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European wellness industry gathers in Paris for the 14th Forum HOTel&SPA
By Jane Kitchen 10 Jun 2022
This year's Forum HOTel&SPA event included a panel of journalists with Jane Kitchen of Spa Business acting as moderator. Credit: Faust Favart
HOTel&SPA event returns after two-year hiatus
Keynote speakers explored the theme of "thinking outside the box"
Katia Dufon-Schaffhauser, Director of the Maison de la Beauté – Carita in Paris, wins Black Diamond Award
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the 14th annual HOTel&SPA event returned last week, bringing together top hospitality and spa executives from across Europe and beyond for a day of talks and networking.

The one-day event took place at the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris, and included participants from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Morocco, Portugal, Hungary, Luxembourg, Great Britain and the US.

Forum HOTel&SPA is organised by Vladi Kovanic, and this year’s theme was ‘Thinking Outside the Box.’ Keynote speeches were from Roger Allen, CEO of Resources for Leisure Assets; Cornelia Kausch, managing director and leadership coach at CK Hospitality Advisors; Jean-Luc Pleuvry, director of Relais Thalasso; and Franz Linser, CEO of Linser Hospitality.

Allen explored what it means to think ‘outside of the box,’ saying, “If outside the box is where success lies, then inside of the box is safe, familiar – we’re in control. Thinking outside the box is unfamiliar, uncomfortable and unknown, which is why so few people do it.”

Kausch explored the value of people in hospitality, and the importance of having a service mindset as a leader as a way to think outside the box. She pointed to statistics that show staff turnover in hospitality is nearly double that of other industries, and that we have the highest number of open positions of any industry after COVID.

“The industry hardest hit by the Great Resignation is hospitality,” she said. “We need a new people strategy in how we do business as a whole. After COVID, we are all craving connection – not just with friends and colleagues, but those moments when we encounter truly exceptional service. Our industry needs to focus once again on the fact that we are a people business, and people means not just customers, but employees too. For your guests to become your brand ambassadors, your employees need to be your evangelists.”

Linser spoke about a Blue Ocean Strategy merging with the world of wellness, asking the audience: “Isn’t there more to wellness than what we are doing right now?” He said that there is an opportunity for the wellness industry to go where there are no others, realise the full potential of wellness, understand new customer demand, and have the courage to pioneer. He suggested looking at sharing and happiness as wellness strategies. “For years, the question was ‘what more do I need?’” said Linser. “The answer today is: what can I get rid of to feel better?”

A panel of journalists included Jane Kitchen of Spa Business, who acted as moderator, as well as Sarah Camilleri of European Spa and spa & wellbeing vlogger and blogger Raffaella Dallardo.

Filip Boyen, CEO of the Forbes Travel Guide, spoke on a panel hosted by Sammy Gharieni, CEO of Gharieni Group. Boyen explained that 70 per cent of the Forbes standards are about emotions – how hotels, restaurants and spas make their customers feel. “The difference between a good and a great hotel is simple – it’s service,” he explained.

Pleuvry spoke about thalassotherapy, its importance in French culture, and how a new, younger clientele is discovering the wellness practice. “Twenty years ago the clientele was more 50+, but now it’s attracting more young people who come for shorter stays – four days rather than several weeks,” he said, revealing that the Thalasso Union Study showed that 75 per cent of 18 to 34 year-olds are ‘very interested’ in thalassotherapy.

The Forum HOTel&SPA has always sought to highlight the importance of thalassotherapy, and each year awards the Blue Diamond Award to someone within the thalassotherapy industry who has made a big contribution; this year, Marisa Melpignano, director and owner of The Masseria San Domenico in Italy, received the award.

The Black Diamond Award – which designates the best spa manager of the year, who by a simple action or lifetime career has earned the recognition of his or her peers – was given to Katia Dufon-Schaffhauser, Director of the Maison de la Beauté – Carita in Paris.

Next year's event will be held on 1 June, 2023.


News
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24 Jun 2022
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Industry veteran Jacqueline Berry has been appointed group director of spa and wellbeing at Miraval. She will oversee the company's Life in Balance spas at Miraval Arizona, Miraval Austin and Miraval Berkshires. Berry was previously ... More
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A new spa and wellness retreat has launched at The Fontanelle Estate in Tuscany, a countryside property nestled among the rolling hills and vineyards of Italy’s Chianti wine region. Completed with the help of Lahra ... More
21 Jun 2022
The winners of the 13th annual Good Spa Guide Awards were announced last night (20 June) at industry conference Spa Life UK taking place this year in the Cotswolds. The awards celebrate the best in ... More
16 Jun 2022
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) has signed a long term management agreement with Attestor Limited to rebrand and manage Hotel Cristallo in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Currently operated by Marriott International within its Luxury Collection, the ... More
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Newly-formed industry body The Great Spa Towns of Europe association has appointed Stefan Szirucsek as its new board chair. As of July 2021, The Great Spa Towns of Europe was established as a UNESCO World ... More
15 Jun 2022
On 24 June 2022, skincare specialist and therapist trainer Jennifer Young will launch a new training course called Hormonal Wellness Touch Therapies. The new qualification is designed to enable spa therapists to help guests address ... More
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Global lifestyle brand Nobu Hospitality, founded by Robert De Niro, Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper, has announced plans to open its fifth Spanish destination in Madrid. Centrally positioned in the heart of the Spanish capital’s ... More
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The Organic Spa GmbH
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News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
European wellness industry gathers in Paris for the 14th Forum HOTel&SPA
POSTED 10 Jun 2022 . BY Jane Kitchen
This year's Forum HOTel&SPA event included a panel of journalists with Jane Kitchen of Spa Business acting as moderator. Credit: Faust Favart
HOTel&SPA event returns after two-year hiatus
Keynote speakers explored the theme of "thinking outside the box"
Katia Dufon-Schaffhauser, Director of the Maison de la Beauté – Carita in Paris, wins Black Diamond Award
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the 14th annual HOTel&SPA event returned last week, bringing together top hospitality and spa executives from across Europe and beyond for a day of talks and networking.

The one-day event took place at the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris, and included participants from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Morocco, Portugal, Hungary, Luxembourg, Great Britain and the US.

Forum HOTel&SPA is organised by Vladi Kovanic, and this year’s theme was ‘Thinking Outside the Box.’ Keynote speeches were from Roger Allen, CEO of Resources for Leisure Assets; Cornelia Kausch, managing director and leadership coach at CK Hospitality Advisors; Jean-Luc Pleuvry, director of Relais Thalasso; and Franz Linser, CEO of Linser Hospitality.

Allen explored what it means to think ‘outside of the box,’ saying, “If outside the box is where success lies, then inside of the box is safe, familiar – we’re in control. Thinking outside the box is unfamiliar, uncomfortable and unknown, which is why so few people do it.”

Kausch explored the value of people in hospitality, and the importance of having a service mindset as a leader as a way to think outside the box. She pointed to statistics that show staff turnover in hospitality is nearly double that of other industries, and that we have the highest number of open positions of any industry after COVID.

“The industry hardest hit by the Great Resignation is hospitality,” she said. “We need a new people strategy in how we do business as a whole. After COVID, we are all craving connection – not just with friends and colleagues, but those moments when we encounter truly exceptional service. Our industry needs to focus once again on the fact that we are a people business, and people means not just customers, but employees too. For your guests to become your brand ambassadors, your employees need to be your evangelists.”

Linser spoke about a Blue Ocean Strategy merging with the world of wellness, asking the audience: “Isn’t there more to wellness than what we are doing right now?” He said that there is an opportunity for the wellness industry to go where there are no others, realise the full potential of wellness, understand new customer demand, and have the courage to pioneer. He suggested looking at sharing and happiness as wellness strategies. “For years, the question was ‘what more do I need?’” said Linser. “The answer today is: what can I get rid of to feel better?”

A panel of journalists included Jane Kitchen of Spa Business, who acted as moderator, as well as Sarah Camilleri of European Spa and spa & wellbeing vlogger and blogger Raffaella Dallardo.

Filip Boyen, CEO of the Forbes Travel Guide, spoke on a panel hosted by Sammy Gharieni, CEO of Gharieni Group. Boyen explained that 70 per cent of the Forbes standards are about emotions – how hotels, restaurants and spas make their customers feel. “The difference between a good and a great hotel is simple – it’s service,” he explained.

Pleuvry spoke about thalassotherapy, its importance in French culture, and how a new, younger clientele is discovering the wellness practice. “Twenty years ago the clientele was more 50+, but now it’s attracting more young people who come for shorter stays – four days rather than several weeks,” he said, revealing that the Thalasso Union Study showed that 75 per cent of 18 to 34 year-olds are ‘very interested’ in thalassotherapy.

The Forum HOTel&SPA has always sought to highlight the importance of thalassotherapy, and each year awards the Blue Diamond Award to someone within the thalassotherapy industry who has made a big contribution; this year, Marisa Melpignano, director and owner of The Masseria San Domenico in Italy, received the award.

The Black Diamond Award – which designates the best spa manager of the year, who by a simple action or lifetime career has earned the recognition of his or her peers – was given to Katia Dufon-Schaffhauser, Director of the Maison de la Beauté – Carita in Paris.

Next year's event will be held on 1 June, 2023.
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25-27 Jun 2022

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Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, United States
27-28 Jun 2022

Medical Wellness Congress

St. Martins Spa & Lodge, Frauenkirchen, Austria
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©Cybertrek 2022

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