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September 2018 – Edition 1

WHY TOURISTS WON’T PAY TOP DOLLAR

Euphoria over a synchronized global upswing has expired. Global growth remains solid, but it is imbalanced and fragile: the economies of emerging markets, Europe and Japan are decelerating while the US is booming at around 4%. Tax breaks largely explain this exceptional performance that is not expected to last beyond 2020, when fiscal drag kicks in, likely bringing growth down to 1%.

A stronger US dollar makes the goods and services produced by other countries (Japan, Eurozone, etc) more competitive relative to their US equivalents.

“The most telling effect of such currency shifts tends to be on net tourism spending”

The most telling effect of such currency shifts tends to be on net tourism spending: the difference between what national tourists spend overseas and what foreign tourists spend in a particular country. Take the UK. The net tourism spending gap has been closing ever since the GBP started to fall post- the 2016 referendum. That means a boost to the economy, stemming from greater inbound tourism, plus UK citizens taking fewer trips abroad (because a cheaper currency also makes a country “poorer”).

The bottom line for the wellbeing industry: while the dollar stays strong, there’ll be more US travellers in Europe, Japan and some selected emerging countries; and there’ll be fewer foreign wellness tourists traveling to the US.

Thierry Malleret, Managing partner Well Intelligence

FOLLOW YOUR BASIC INSTINCTS

A four day working week is a realistic 21st century goal, said Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the UK’s Trades Union Congress at its annual conference. Whilst the benefits from new technology and AI are being envisioned, for now, it’s the fundamentals of wellbeing that are being overlooked in most organisations. This failure isn’t exclusive to public or private sector, or to any particular industry – it’s endemic. How well people feel, life satisfaction levels, community cohesion and sense of purpose all contribute to individual health, people retention and business performance. In hospitality, that translates to the quality of guest experience delivered by people who are healthy, happy and purposed.

Two recent pieces of industry insight Hotel News Now’s Round Table, and Skift’s opinion column offer strong practical points on integrating wellness into operations. At the same time, they highlight by omission, the common disregard throughout industry: to address the corner stones of that process, leadership, culture and people.

The basics of wellbeing integration needn’t be complex or expensive. Investors and operators need to take action in a culturally different way: to nurture the human glue of their organisations and take seriously the impact, legacy and return that people investment brings.

Anni Hood, Managing partner Well Intelligence

MAKING AIR QUALITY PAY

This summer’s high temperatures have caused a surge in ozone and raised air pollution levels in many cities. In London, legal thresholds have been breached consistently since monitoring began in 2010, contributing to an estimated 9000-plus premature deaths each year.

You could turn this negative to a positive by creating your own ‘wellbeing premium’. Hotels and other businesses frequently ask us: How can we ‘do’ wellbeing within our building space? What actions should be taken? And how will we get a return?’

“Your internal air quality can be a positive differentiator on several levels.”

A smart three-step strategy is to look at what factors external to your premises are eroding wellbeing; then seek to create the opposite environment for employees, guests and customers when they step inside; and lastly, promote it.

Your internal air quality can be a positive differentiator on several levels. High air quality and the associated health and productive benefits such as thought clarity, fewer headaches and better cognitive function are compelling reasons to want to work for your company.

For hotels it is a triple win for team, guests and bottom line. A case in point: Edwardian Hotels, which has committed “to maintain good indoor air quality (IAQ) in order to improve the health, productivity and comfort of all building occupants”. And that’s more than just hot air.

Anni Hood, Managing partner Well Intelligence
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