Ayurveda going mainstream, ‘cannabid oil bigger than ever’, ‘digiceuticals’ (digital therapeutic products), workouts for the soul, body neutrality and the death of ‘weight loss’, were among the latest trends revealed at the recent World Spa & Wellness (WSW) Convention in Midrand.
Keynote international speaker, Singapore-based Melinda Yon (Wellness Projects Director of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas), unpacked the above trends, as well as many more, giving examples of how they were being incorporated into her company’s operations. She also suggested ways for spas in Africa to capitalise on the trends and stressed the importance of tapping into the wellness tourism trend.
Another session at the WSW Convention focused on the use of digital technologies in the spa. Ayesha Rajah of Urban Bliss Wellness Spa spoke about trending wellness apps, massage robots, personalised AR (Augmented Reality) diagnosis and AI (Artificial Intelligence) Manis & Pedis, among many more digital trends. Business entrepreneur Melloney Rijnvis delved into the therapeutic and medical benefits of VR (Virtual Reality), while spa coach, Tarryn Sacher, presented the digital detox alternative.
The Spa Menu Engineering panel provided both inspiring and business-like ways of how to create unique and innovative treatments. Panelists were Hildegard Carstens of Delaire Graff Spa, Joelle Jennepy, Four Seasons Regional Director, and Tanya Lopes of Saxon Spa.
Three aspects of the growing global wellness trend, namely fitness, nutrition and mindfulness, were presented by James Blower of Matrix Fitness, nutritional consultant Madaleine Helm, and Karen Turis of the Oxford Healthcare Retreat respectively.
A lively and entertaining session on social media marketing was presented by growth hacker Johan Mouton, digital communications expert Gabriella Cirillo, Channel Reach’s Keshantha Naidoo, and Marisa Dimitriadis of The Spa Consultants.
The controversial issue of whether or not to offer aesthetic treatments in the spa was covered by Dr Debbie Norval, who explained the legal ramifications, and Yolandè Swanepoel (Isa Carstens Academy), who spoke about the qualifications that therapists need in order to perform such treatments.
Cecilia McKay of Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection (including Camdeboo Spa) provided great insight into revenue generation, with Marisa Dimitriadis providing useful tips on yielding.
The topic of effective communications between hotel and spa, as well as cross-promotion, was un-packed by Nadia Rudolph of Fancourt Spa, Dineo Molefe of Dee’s African Spa, and Francisco Garcia of Jiva Spa at Taj Cape Town.
This year’s WSW Convention ended on a high note, with a fascinating session that covered the biggest challenges faced by the industry today. Melinda Yon presented the resort spa perspective, while Marion Von Maltzahn spoke from the point of view of a day spa. Nuncia Pereira of The Fairway Spa presented the hotel spa perspective and Verona Duwarkah spoke about all the challenges she has faced in developing the Blue Topaz Wellness Centre. (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)