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Variety and personalization will be the keywords for the future of the wellness and fitness industry. People will be more and more looking for personalization. This is happening in every single industry and, of course, in fitness and wellness as well. The digital revolution is empowering people: they do not feel anymore part of a specific cluster, but they feel unique and they look for unique experiences in line with their needs, their goals and their aspirations. In such scenarios, digital technologies and artificial intelligence applications, will be increasingly important in order to better understand customers profile and to be able to deliver personalized services.

Alongside technology, in order to be able to offer the right solution for different people with different behaviours, operators will need to work with the right partners in order to make the difference. They will need to transform the classic one-to-one vendor-client transactional relation to a many-to-many approach which involves operators, end-users, suppliers, consultants, customers, influencers and content providers.

Looking at the future, Technogym continues to invest in innovation to ensure growth to the whole industry, to create unique and irresistible experiences for the end-users and to guarantee value to operators in a strategic partnership perspective. Thanks to our Apple-like model, Technogym has developed a connected ecosystem made up of innovative technology, Italian designed products, engaging content and added value services to allow operators to create different experiences for different people in the clubs and studios.

Nerio Alessandri

Founder and President, Technogym

We’re witnessing an evolution where “fitness” is transforming from an approach that was once solely physical, to one that highlights the importance of a happy and healthy mind, body and spirit. The shifting trend puts a greater emphasis on what happens beyond physical exercise at the gym. We are seeing people become more focused on a holistic and well-rounded approach of total wellbeing, integrating wellness into fitness to collectively nourish and heal the body, soul and mind.

As a result of this emerging trend, we expect a rise in the demands for holistic fitness and wellness activities and services throughout 2020 and beyond. This includes fitness and wellness retreats where people can getaway to rejuvenate the mind and soul, and also immerse themselves in physical activities that challenge their bodies. We also expect to see a growth in the awareness and popularity of restorative wellness services that focus on aspects such as sleep, nutrition, stress management, recovery, mindfulness and healing in order to optimize health, wellness and vitality. 

Core Collective is building centers of excellence where the best fitness and wellness professionals collaborate to deliver better service and results for our customers, all under one roof. As this trend emerges, we hope to enable and facilitate the growth of both fitness and wellness businesses, and make their services conveniently accessible for everyone. 

Michelle Yong
Michelle Yong

President and CEO, Founder and CEO, Found8 and Core Collective

At Hilton, we pay close attention to wellness trends so we can enable guests to rejuvenate, revitalize and reconnect while traveling. Three primary wellness trends we see evolving in 2020 are (1) virtual wellness, (2) mindful eating and (3) health technologies, all of which inform our ongoing innovation to promote guests’ wellbeing.

As travelers increasingly look for virtual wellness solutions, we’re responding with in-room options. For example, we introduced Five Feet to Fitness™, an in-room wellness concept that’s thoughtfully designed as a guest’s personal wellness stage, complete with 11 pieces of sports performance equipment and best-in-class gym accessories. Each room has a touchscreen Fitness Kiosk that provides equipment tutorials and more than 200 workout videos. These rooms are at select hotels across the U.S., with more rolling out annually. Mindful eating is another trend we’re tapping into, and that includes some guests’ desire for sustainable alternatives.

We’ve started offering “Mindful Eating” menus for meetings, highlighting ingredients that boost energy and help guests maintain focus throughout the day. And to address the desire for sustainable alternatives, we’re offering options like the “Crave Burger” at Hilton Chicago O’Hare, which swaps out 30% beef for a blend of delicious mushrooms. Finally, we’re seeing demand for health tech grow, and not just for use in exercise equipment. We’re tapping into the future of this through restorative mindfulness offerings at our spas, like the biohacking health and fitness facility at The Beverly Hilton and the recently launched jet lag guru concierge service at The Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah.

Melissa Walker
Senior Director, Global Brand Wellness, Hilton Worldwide

Fitness will continue and be strong. Physical activity is foundational for our overall health, vitality, emotional wellbeing and mental clarity. The Western approach to physical fitness will be more and more connected with Eastern philosophical traditions that view life as an integrated whole, where exercise is an essential part of the path to wisdom, personal growth and transformation. With mindfulness training and breathing practices included into fitness regimes, people will learn how to deal with life’s constant challenges and reduce stress, while becoming healthier and more positive.

Research consistently shows that the quality of physical, emotional and mental health as we age is immensely impacted by our fitness activities and habits. Our relationship to nature will deepen and grow. The West teaches that man is the master over nature and in the East, we are taught respect and harmony in union with nature. Research shows that being in nature can significantly lower levels of stress hormones and anxiety. Urban dwellers will continue to seek solutions to counterbalance the side effects of city life – pollution, long periods of sitting and impact of artificial light. The healing power of nature is one of the principles upon which Kamalaya is founded: we consider nature the greatest healer and spending time outdoors as one of the best ways to reset our moods and sense of wellbeing.

Personalization and personalized healthcare, the way we do at Kamalaya, will become more popular. More and more people will look for a tailored approach to their health and wellness goals. Time is in most cases limited and in order to achieve more specific outcomes, individual consultations and tailor-made programs will be adjusted to specific needs. The use of medicinal herbs and supplements will also become more commonplace and more personalized, supported by the benefit of modern science which will help us to understand the elements within natural remedies.

John Stewart

Co-Founder and Chairman, Kamalaya Koh Samui

Experiential Wellness is on the rise. We’ve now passed the dawn of the experience economy, and it’s no longer a surprise that people are drawn to investing their time and money on experiences over things. Almost half of consumers from MINDBODY’s 2020 Wellness Index study reported that they prefer to spend their money and time on experiences over material possessions.  

In 2020, we predict that the wellness industry will help catapult this trend to the next level. While a yoga class, blowout or massage is already experiential in nature, 2020 will usher in a new level of what these experiences can entail (think stunning backdrops, curated, sensory overloads and multi-day excursions). 2020 will be the year of the holistic studio experience. Technology is now powering the experience. Driven by extreme consumer expectations, we see two major trends powered by technology. (1) Automation Delivered by Artificial intelligence. A.I may seem like just a buzzword, but at MINDBODY, we believe it’s the future of the fitness, wellness, and beauty industries.

Businesses leveraging the power of artificial intelligence in the likes of virtual receptionists are starting to differentiate themselves from their competitors by delivering real-time, always on, personalised experiences to their consumers. (2) Digital Brand Extension. As brands continue to strengthen their connections with customers and attract new clients, they are investing in hardware and digital media to reach consumers anywhere. Wearable tech and fitness trackers are becoming increasingly popular. This market is estimated to reach a value of $1.82B and grow at 13.4% to 2024. The I.O.T home equipment market, including brands such as Peloton, will continue to grow, but according to our research, it won’t have a major impact to studio/gym experiences as members see this technology as supplementary training.

Hema Prakash
General Manager, Asia-Pacific, MINDBODY

I am seeing two major trends heading into 2020. First, spas are becoming more forward thinking and modern in their approach. At Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, we are offering an Advance Beauty Room. This innovate and multi-dimensional room will provide the latest technologies from slimming to anti-aging. 

Guests want this advanced technology and expect spas and wellness centers to be able to offer and be experts on the newest and hottest trends and procedures. The second trend is the importance of a 360-degree approach. Guests are looking to balance all parts of their lives and expect spas and wellness centers to help with this, all in one location. The way we are looking at this is breaking it up into MIND, BODY, and WORK. With this as our focus we invite guests to embark on a unique journey of self-discovery, personal growth and self-awareness, whether the individual is at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level.

Using pathways of spirituality to access and open the MIND, bespoke beauty treatments and massages to nurture the BODY, and WORK in the form of functional fitness, we will connect the three streams together to bring positivity and new energy into each client’s life, and to introduce them to a new, better way of living. 

Sandie Johannessen
Senior Spa Director, Asia Pacific, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The use of data to drive customised/personalised experiences in wellness/wellbeing will continue to grow in 2020. More and more wellness businesses are capturing data and now beginning to use it to drive more engagement with customers and to drive more revenue. Furthermore, the use of data enables wellness/wellbeing service providers to target consumers in a much more precise way – learning about their preferences through machine learning / artificial intelligence, so targeting can be conducted in an automated, hyper-personalised way. 

At Switch & Co, we work with service providers in the fitness and wellness industries to optimise (or enhance) their use of data to grow their business. We believe that data is the fuel of all businesses and if it’s not currently fuelling your business, others will not only catch you up, but very quickly overtake you and leave you for dead. 

Gary Blowers
CEO, Switch & Co

As wellness continues to be an unstoppable trend, we at Peerfit see a few things happening. We predict there will be more players coming into the digital at-home fitness space, both live and streaming. There will likely be some consolidation within that space as well. We predict flexible fitness, both for consumers and corporate wellness, will continue to evolve to the needs and wants of the user (convenience, ease of use, perks). We also expect to see the holistic approach to wellness, especially within the office environment, root even deeper in programs.

Our data shows that when health insurance carriers provide fitness experiences as an integrated part of the overall benefits package, and when there is a variety of options for the member to choose from versus the status quo of only one option, it positively affects company culture and builds community in the workplace. We expect to see more movement with health insurance plans, who are typically seen as being reactive to healthcare, taking more initiative in identifying proactive ways to make populations healthier. 

Chris Patton
Vice President, Wellness Solutions, Peerfit

The fourth industrial revolution is already having a profound impact on our lives. AI (Artificial Intelligence), digitalization, robotics is disrupting almost every industry in every continent and the wellness industry is not immune to this. Beside the disruptive effects on economies, technology is also transforming the way people consume wellness. With growing awareness of the importance of health and fitness, consumers are understanding they can reduce their risk level for developing chronic conditions.

Wellness is now a lifestyle choice that has been influenced by social media and facilitated with the use of technology. Today, many consumers desire a solution that is affordable and convenient as they often have limited time, limited spending power or limited access to fitness facilities. On-demand experiences are taking advantages of these specific stresses and they are making a big impact on the industry. The trend for ondemand fitness has been noticeable with the growth of fitness Apps, but also with athome fitness streaming solutions that have been more creative and exciting than ever. At-home fitness services are also taking advantage of improved internet connectivity and streaming capabilities.

The future of the on-demand fitness market looks promising, e-services are slowly penetrating every households in every continent. In between a busy schedule, long commute, and bad weather, home workouts have a huge array of benefits and it might be the ideal solution for many consumers. 

Cedric Betis
Founder and CEO, Becan

I see two major trends. Firstly, increased awareness of the reservoir of wellbeing available to all of us by better managing our protein intake. Protein, the most misunderstood macronutrient, not only supports bones and muscles, but immunity, hormones, and digestion. Protein can also be a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier, but only when we get the quality and absorption factors right. Every system in our bodies depends on a daily supply of clean, high quality, undenatured (so uncooked) absorbable protein to function optimally. With regular use, simply put, we look, feel and perform better. Which protein? Grass-fed, cold-processed, whey protein, which is the most efficient protein for the human body delivering a wide range of research-backed health benefits.

At Protelicious, that’s the only type we use, plus a little gourmet quality flavouring. The applications of this quality protein are limitless. We are seeing the trend to use it as a transformed ingredient not only in high-end fitness but in F&B associated with corporate wellness, spas or hotels – be that in Asia-Pacific or North America – anywhere where clients are looking for great tasting foods that heal. Secondly, the other trend I predict is an increased awareness of the potential for improved mental and physical wellbeing through better breath management. Mind, stress, and focus can all be better managed through conscious breathing and specific breath techniques. Good to note that the US army is catching on to these techniques. They use similar techniques as we do in my Kundalini Yoga ‘Power from Breath’ workshops.

Sheila Partrat
Founder and Managing Director, Protelicious

I believe three wellness trends will become more prevalent in 2020. Firstly, Veganism and Plant-Based Diets. The Netflix documentary ‘Game Changers’ will provoke a lot more people (and companies) to adopt plant-based diets for health, performance and ethical reasons. Secondly, Cannabis. I am not advocating the use of cannabis one way or another, but it is clearly going mainstream as more governments legalize it, more companies invest in it and more consumers buy it. Thirdly, Stress Management. Stress is the root cause of many chronic health issues from poor sleep to alcohol and drug addiction. I think more effort and resources will be targeted at stress reduction products and services.

Ruben Toral
Vice President, Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort

Back in the early 2000s wellness could be as basic as yoga mats in a room or the offer of a juice at a luxury hotel. Today, wellness brands are having to cater to the emergence of hyper knowledgeable guests who have done their homework, know far more than the basics, and are willing to research to find the right experience for them, the right teacher or the right retreat. This has created a new ‘extremism’ in wellness offerings – wellness centres can no longer just offer a yoga or a pilates retreat. Instead, we are starting to see a polarisation of the definition of ‘wellness’ – there are those that are keen to ‘get back to the source’ in the most traditional definition possible, such as COMO Shambhala Estate that offer ayurvedic doctors and elevate the holistic experience to new heights. Or, to the other extreme, Six Senses going fully modern science based, offering guests ‘biohacking’ and fitness machines (at their soon-to-open private members club in NYC). What we find interesting however is that in this day of growing extreme positioning, there is an almost complete lack of credible wellness media or awards in Asia. We are at the forefront of so many new and exciting developments, and yet AsiaSpa, which was the leading trade publication in the region, recently shut down. There remain a couple of great online portals here – Compare Retreat and Destination Deluxe come to mind – but where is the booming media landscape that should come hand in hand with what we are told is a 4 trillion USD industry? Perhaps this is due to the fact that while wellness brands are keen to spend on developing their offerings, they are less keen to pay and advertise what those products are to potential end-consumers in Asia? Or perhaps it is because wellness brands are so focused on that hyper-knowledgeable, highly researched guest, that they have started to ignore how to educate entry-level wellness enthusiasts? Either way, we feel that there is tremendous room for growth for better ways to communicate wellness and wellbeing in the region.

Dominique Backhouse
Managing Director, Companion Communications

A large array of wellness trends will come to market in 2020 and beyond. These include the (1) Quality of our water, hydration tracking apps, pH levels, mineral content, glass bottles, no plastic and environmental consciousness. (2) Sound healing, breathing apps, kundalini yoga and meditation. Kundalini combines gong baths, chanting, meditation and intense breath work – it has also been approved by the American Alzheimer’s Association for preventing Alzheimer which ties into the ‘dying well’ trend. (3) A much need time out from technology: The verdict is still out on what social media is doing to our Central Nervous System.

Digital Detoxing is the next big trend where many will restrict their intake and combine this with biohacking for optimum mental health. Sleep pattern tracking and social media consumption is related and will continue to dominate the industry. (4) Men’s Mental Health. We cannot ignore statistics of a 70% increase in suicide in Generation Y & Z’s. Men’s healing groups, men’s only retreats and men’s mental health ambassadors will be prevalent in 2020. (5) CBD (Cannabidiol) skin care, natural facelifts, face yoga, anything to make us look more radiant. Ocean algae minerals and plant-based collagen will thrive. Air quality, oxygen therapy, air filtration, succulents in our homes, anything to improve the air we breathe. (6) Fast fashion diets.

Eco aware fashion dominates the wellness market. Clothing swaps and thrift shopping as the market focuses on community gatherings and group consciousness. (7) Mindful eating, blessing food, plant-based, adaptogens and superfoods. When and how we eat, not just what we eat is the future of Wellness.

Emily McBurnie
Luxury Wellness Advisor and Consultant


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