Health and wellness have become more closely aligned since the Covid-19 pandemic. Do you think that’s a permanent shift?
“Governments and media are focused on Covid-19, but actually we have more than one pandemic to address. Five pandemics have been going on for decades: sleep, obesity, inactivity, anxiety and non-communicable diseases. More than ever, we all need to have a responsible long-term approach to our vitality, serenity and immunity through better lifestyles and with the support of friends, colleagues and family.”
What’s the aim of World Wellness Weekend (WWW)?
“We encourage wellness professionals and enthusiasts to take a stand and show that their health matters. When thousands of spa professionals open their doors on the same weekend, just before the September equinox (September 18–19), it creates a PR event that catches the attention of journalists and influencers, who then share with their audiences original wellness activities to be experienced in 129 countries.
“For World Wellness Weekend we ask professionals to offer a minimum of one hour from one member of the team to lead a workshop, class or talk that is safe, free, fun and as transformative as possible. We want participants to learn something new and share it with their friends to entice them to try. We also encourage participating venues to create packages for people to stay on longer at the property during WWW, and bounce-back offers to entice people to come back.”
What’s happening at WWW this year?
“Activities will take place in 129 countries with close to 1,000 cities. There are more than 100 country or city ambassadors and coordinators. Like last year, wherever possible, professionals will organise safe, in-person group activities outdoors to reconnect with nature (weather permitting), or indoors with spacious rooms where people can respectfully be six feet apart.
“In countries or cities where the Covid-19 pandemic may still be raging, classes, workshops and talks will be accessible online. We shall also honour the first line of responders, with beauty schools in France and massage schools in Canada offering beauty treatments to doctors and nurses.
“Major spa and wellness properties will be participating. The TAJ group will have over 50 hotels in India and internationally with activities about the benefits of ayurveda.
The Minor group, Six Senses and Fusion Resorts will also be involved. For the first time, the International School of Busan (South Korea) will organise activities focusing on mental and physical wellness for kids.”
You’re also conference producer for the World Spa & Wellness Convention in London. What can delegates expect this year?
“Each year the objective is to share with delegates insights and best practices from top-notch senior executives. In response to feedback from the spa industry, Professional Beauty London at ExCeL on October 17–18 will cover issues including how to tackle the shortage of good therapists; creating a nimble spa model to cope with any future disruption to business; and packages for preventative health – particularly the menopause. We have some amazing speakers lined-up, including Zoe Wall, MSPA’s group spa director for Asia; Ana Coehlo Siva, group spa director at Rocco Forte; and Finlay Anderson, Intercontinental Hotels Group area spa director.”