Stephanie Shiu, our Director of Marketing and Communications at The Upper House, explores the silver lining of post-pandemic wellness travel.
Perhaps the most noticeable evolution is the prioritisation of wellness across the board. The latest Wellness Tourism Global Market Report forecasts steady growth in the coming years, reaching an anticipated $1.179 trillion market by 2027 (roughly the same as Amazon’s current market cap of almost 1.3 trillion). While hedonistic holidays are unlikely to lose their appeal altogether, today’s journey has become one of personal investment. Travellers are looking for more than simply flying and flopping onto a beach — they expect added value, whether that means retreats designed for burned-out executives or stays encouraging healthy habits.
These discerning globe-trotters are looking for authenticity, too. As a formertravel magazine editor, I learnt to distinguish between establishments genuinely dedicated to wellness and those simply riding a trend. Time spent experiencing Ayurvedic retreats in India, yoga intensives in the Maldives and reiki in Vietnam offered much more just than stunning backdrops. Direct access to knowledgeable practitioners who helped pave the way towards my own progress was infinitely more valuable. People really do make a place.
The same holds true at The House Collective, where I’m lucky now to lead marketing and communications for one of Hong Kong’s most progressive hotels. Here, ‘wellness’ isn’t just a catchphrase. It’s embedded in our ethos and lived by our people. From championing work-life balance as we pilot a 4.5-day work week, to providing the housekeeping team with complimentary chiropractic sessions, and ensuring fresh salads are available daily in the staff canteen, well-being is woven throughout our House. This year, we are thrilled to be nominated in the World Spa Awards for Hong Kong's Best Wellness Retreat 2023, quite the recognition for a hotel without its own dedicated spa.
Closure of Hong Kong’s borders created an opportunity to broaden and refine wellness for guests at the House. We developed exclusive FAMILY FORM and GOOD Yoga classes taught by passionate, high-calibre teachers, while shamanic healing, crystals and oracle card readings dive deep into energy work.
The challenging time underlined the importance of equipping people with tools and techniques to find balance and begin the process of rebuilding and recovery. Staycation guests benefitted from more than just five-star treatment, taking home skills to manage the stress of contemporary lifestyles.
We’ve strengthened our ties with the community. We collaborated recently with social run club Shelter Athletics on Global Running Day with ‘Eat pasta, run fasta’ treating people to carb load at The Continental post-run. Our regular offerings include a monthly complimentary healing meditation led by Shakti Healing Circle, Hong Kong’s original wellness centre, which is open to the public ensuring a sense of groundedness is consistently accessible to all.
Through our tranquil sanctuary, we encourage moments of self-care to transform and empower guests to face the world renewed. Every day is wellness day at our House. And with Hong Kong back in full swing, we’re excited to introduce our philosophy of well-being as part of our House DNA to our international guests again.