Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB

Shifting demographics will change the face of wellness: panel

by Jane Kitchen | 06 Jun 2016

Is the future of wellness about catering to ageing Baby Boomers, attracting younger Millennials, creating personalised programming, differentiating between lifestyles, or some combination of all of the above? That was the subject of a lively panel discussion held last week during the Forum Hotel & Spa conference in Paris.

Dr Franz Linser, owner and managing director of Linser Hospitality; Ingo Schweder, CEO of GOCO Hospitality; Roger Allen, CEO of Resources for Leisure Assets; and Andrew Linwood, head of design at Areen Hospitality debated the different directions wellness could take in the future.

Schweder argued that ageing Baby Boomers have the most economic power, and said that his company is looking at retirees and active-living people, and pioneering new ways to help them remain fit and healthy.

“Millennials don’t have the money to spend on wellness,” he explained.

Linwood, on the other hand, said figuring out how to attract a new generation of spa-goers through more social and less elitist designs is also important, while Allen said Generation Z will soon be impacting trends in wellness.

Creating social ‘hubs’ or using materials that consumers are familiar with in design can be a way to make the spa experience more friendly for a younger generation, said Linwood.

“You have to give (Millennials) something else to come in,” he explained. “There are different ways of enjoying spas – it doesn’t have to be a lonely experience.”

Linser, however, argued that age labels are not the best way to differentiate.

“Most of our programmes are more relevant if we consider the lifestyles of people,” he explained. “If someone is overstressed, it doesn’t matter if they’re 24 or 44...As a consequence of our lifestyles, we will find many of our clients being disabled to a certain extent.”

He explained that someone who is 30 kilos (66 lbs) overweight will have a form of disability, and that spa operators and designers will have to cater to that kind of disability more and more.

Linser suggested that personalisation will become key in the future, and that spa programmes that feature experts who evaluate and create customised plans will become more and more important.

“To customise that stay as much as possible – I think this will be the future,” he said.

Allen also said that the way the industry caters to guests is changing, as are guest expectations.

“There’s more complexity coming to the industry in the way that the guest is offered a more holistic offering, but that itself creates quite a lot of complexity in understanding the numbers,” he said.

Schweder said he is focusing on the middle-income bracket as well as on wellness real estate.

“There’s an audience out there that requires that,” he said.

Linser noted changes in lifestyles will necessitate a move from an indoor focus to an outdoor focus, and from offering pampering to offering lifestyle changes.

“More and more we are not just talking about an operational unit here, we are talking about lifestyle,” he explained. “We are talking about people seeking out a good way of living.”

Wellness  trends  forum hotel and spa  franz linser  roger allen  ingo schweder  andrew linwood 
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Is the future of wellness about catering to ageing Baby Boomers, attracting younger Millennials, creating personalised programming, differentiating between lifestyles, or some combination of all of the above? That was the subject of a lively panel discussion held last week during the Forum Hotel & Spa conference in Paris. Dr Franz Linser, owner and managing director of Linser Hospitality; Ingo Schweder, CEO of GOCO Hospitality; Roger Allen, CEO of Resources
Ingo Schweder, Roger Allen and Franz Linser discuss the future of wellness / Faust Favart
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Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB