Hotelier Spa Summit to debate future of medi spas

Speakers from Four Seasons, Hilton Worldwide and Jumeirah weigh-in

Sharon Barcock, director spa operations and development Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, will moderate the opening panel session.
Sharon Barcock, director spa operations and development Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, will moderate the opening panel session.

The Hotelier Middle East Spa Summit, being held next week from February 10-11 at Grosvenor House Hotel Dubai, is set to tackle the debate between the future potential of medi spas over traditional spas.

In the opening panel session, moderated by Sharon Barcock, director spa operations and development Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, panellists will share their predictions for the key issues expected to shape the spa sector over the next decade.

One topic on their agenda will be the growth of medi spas versus the revival of more traditional spas reliant on ancient healing practices.

Commenting on the issue ahead of the event, speaker Simon Casson, regional vice president & general manager, Four Seasons Resort Dubai and chairman, Four Seasons Global Spa Taskforce, said: “I see that there is ever increasing alignment between the two. Traditionally the conventional, medical approach has been problem solving whereas the integrated wellness approach is focus on quality of life. I think there is room for both and they can be complementary”.

Panellist Paul Hawco, group director of spa, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, predicted an increase in “a wellness everywhere hotel concept”, which “packs health related benefits into shorter stays and will “seep into all hotel aspects from activities, food, nutrition, music, scents, programmes, and how the guest spends their time”.

Dr. Shylaja Pillai, spa manager, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates and an ayurvedic doctor, said she favoured the traditional approach.

“For sure I am with traditional, natural and organic spas,” asserted Pillai. “These spas not only cure but keep us healthy in a preventive aspect of ailments. Consider whether to approach a specific problem, for example a life style disorder, where it is getting treated for temporary relief, or whether we address the issue from the root cause and it is corrected naturally and allowing the body to cure by itself?

“I would like to stick with the ayurveda concept of health. Perfect health is defined as the balance between, body, mind, spirit and social well being, not the mere state we are free from any illness,” she explained.

Sarum Trading managing director Susan Gorman, who is sponsoring the Hotelier Spa and Wellness Summit, said she had witnessed a growth in this arena.

“In terms of specific treatment trends, we are seeing an upsurge in hammam and ayurvedic treatments and a drive to organic and harm-free products as consumers become ever more educated," said Gorman.

For more essential insights into spa trends, challenges and business opportunities, don’t miss the Hotelier Middle East Spa and Wellness Summit on February 10-11.

Attendance is free to spa professionals. To reserve your place, email Amanda.elisha@itp.com

 

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