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Hospitality Wellness Expert Panel

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Leaders In Hospitality & Design Share Unique Insights & Outline Key Performance Drivers For Successful Wellness Developments





On October 9, 2019, leading global architecture firm, OBM International (OBMI), hosted a Hospitality Wellness Expert Panel and art exhibition. Rika Lisslö, Hyatt Vice President of Development, Vivianne Garcia-Tunon, Wonder Flower Principal and Founder, Marianne Canero, Alma Community Founder & Executive Director, and Giovanni Medina Marenco, OBMI Associate Senior Designer, participated in the conversation at the Sacred Space Miami. Together, with moderator, K. Denaye Hinds, OBMI Director of Corporate Sustainability, who led the panel, the four experts discussed their insider outlook on health and wellness in the hospitality and real-estate industry, the trends impacting its direction and the crucial elements to consider for successfully designing wellness developments.

The sold-out event gathered over 175 professionals across the hospitality, real estate, design, development and wellness industries to hear diverse perspectives and to be inspired by illustrations of wellness concepts in the elegant venue, The Sacred Space Miami. In line with the panel’s theme, experts advised the audience on the challenges and opportunities to successfully execute wellness offerings in developments, designing for wellness beyond the spa, and the importance of investing in human capital for wellness programs.

Referencing reports from the Global Wellness Institute, the experts relayed the international wellness market grew to $4.2 trillion in 2018, and that wellness-focused tourism is fast outpacing overall tourism growth. The panel also remarked how the hospitality sector has been highly motivated to keep up with today's wellness guest by evolving the scope of programs and developing key partnerships for membership models to deliver elevated and catered wellness activities as an opportunity for the hospitality industry to ensure a return on investment. An example shared was Hyatt’s clever acquisition of the Exhale spa chain.

Vivianne Garcia-Tunon and Giovanni Medina Marenco both remarked on the importance of weaving wellness into the design of the entire property, as well as factoring in space planning and offerings for various demographics of consumers and future generations. Both panelists agreed this all-inclusive approach would help in achieving a socially equitable and viable development.

Rika Lisslö and Marianne Canero remarked on the importance of cultivating the local labor pool and integrating the community into the wellness space when delivering a positive experience for end-users and ensuring a return on investment to stakeholders. Focusing on the wellbeing of your corporation’s employees resounded equally essential as training and educating in the wellness industry, according to panelists.

“When looking for revenue drivers, we must talk about the value proposition and take time to educate the room on how wellness will benefit the end user and the investor,”  noted Rika Lisslö, Hyatt Vice President of Development. “We see wellness the way we look at internet. Without it you’re obsolete. It’s where we are now and we’re baking it into proforma. The client is everyone, and wellness is in the overall experience.”

For more information, contact Marissa Howe: mhowe@obmi.com or (+1) 305-537-7100.