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Jeremy McCarthy: “Spa will be a greater asset now than it's ever been”
By Megan Whitby 21 May 2020
Jeremy McCarthy is group director of spa and wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Industry figure and group director of spa and wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Jeremy McCarthy shares his thoughts with Spa Business on how the spa and wellness sector will recover in the wake of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

“In my opinion, it’s short-sighted thinking to be looking at spas as a liability right now,” said McCarthy.

“Perhaps I’m more optimistic than some, but I feel the spa is a greater asset now than it has ever been,” he explained. “Why? Because the first business to come back to hotels will be local spa business – it will be one of the first revenue streams to come back to a hotel while international travel remains restricted for some time.

“Once international travel opens up again, the next line of business to come back will be leisure travel – by people who have been cooped up and massively stressed for several months and have a new awareness of the importance of their own health and mortality.

“Spas that rely on hotel guests will be in trouble, but those that have a strong local following will bring some much-needed energy into hotels that are struggling with single-digit occupancy,” he continued. “I believe the last segment to return will be business and conferences which were the least likely to use the spa anyway.”

With lockdown easing through parts of Asia, Mandarin Oriental hotels and spas have begun to reopen in Hong Kong and are some of the first wellness destinations to face new kinds of consumers with new demands after the advent of the pandemic. McCarthy sheds more light on what consumer demand has been like so far.

“In markets where we have a strong local following we’ve been excited to see our guests returning to our spas with high demand,” said McCarthy, “it’s a good sign of resilience and also rewarding to see that guests value the services we provide and aren’t deterred by the current situation from visiting our facilities.

“We benefit from having a brand that is widely trusted and respected so our guests are confident that the service will be provided in a safe way by a trained professional in an immaculately clean environment.”

Mandarin Oriental prioritises stringent safety and cleaning standards, in part because as a Hong Kong-based company, it had previous experience with a viral outbreak during the SARS epidemic. McCarthy believes that the entire industry will have to implement heightened sanitisation standards to survive, in order to comfort consumers and build a sense of trust which will, in turn, drive revenue.

“I think Coronavirus is going to force the industry to be brought to a new standard in terms of health and cleanliness – the global wellness industry has got to examine their sanitisation procedures to create a safer experience for everyone,” he said.

During lockdown, Mandarin Oriental has stayed connected with guests by producing digital content such as live streaming fitness classes and video personal training sessions.

“I think these kinds of virtual connections with our guests are something we will continue doing even after COVID-19 has passed,” explained McCarthy.

He revealed to Spa Business that Mandarin Oriental will soon be launching a new campaign both for staff and guests – called “Inner Strength – Outer Strength” – which focuses on helping people develop healthy habits for a strong mind and body.

The staff programme is designed to help employees stay strong both physically and emotionally, to support them during the pandemic and to help them come back to work being at their best and ready to serve others.

The four-week course is split into four modules with the first week focusing on body, mind and character, week two is designed to provide strategies for managing stress mindfully, week three deep dives into self-compassion and loving-kindness while the fourth and final week will teach employees to bring strength to their personal mission.

Mandarin Oriental will also offer similar services developed for guests.

McCarthy is keen to emphasise that the pandemic has forced people to understand the importance of their own health and that the industry now has a responsibility to do everything possible to implore people to maintain this focus and also teach them how to look after their health.

“The crisis, by virtue of breaking us out of our routine ways of doing things, forces us to look at everything we do with a fresh perspective,” he concluded, “now we have a great opportunity to introduce new habits and activities to people who will be more motivated than ever to consider how their lifestyle contributes to their long-term health.

“Ultimately I think people will quickly settle into a new routine once the world returns to a new normal, so it’s important for people to use this time to establish a new goal for the kind of life they want to lead and we’re here to help them do that.”


News
1 to 12 of 7448 news stories
10 Jul 2020
England and Scotland have become the most recent countries to announce their spas will reopen, following a hard-fought campaign by industry associations, operators and the media. Spas will be permitted to reopen from Monday 13 ... More
09 Jul 2020
Luxury country house hotel, Beaverbrook Hotel and Spa, in Leatherhead, UK, has curated a series of wild wellness experiences to assist with both emotional and physical wellbeing following its reopening on 4 July. The new ... More
09 Jul 2020
WTS International has snapped up Todd Walter as its new president, following the demise of Mynd Spa & Salon – formerly The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon & Spa – where he was CEO. Walter ... More
08 Jul 2020
Healing Hotels of the World is hosting a virtual Master Class with wellness experts from luxury destination spas, Rancho la Puerta and The Farm at San Benito. Sarah Livia Brightwood, president of Rancho La Puerta ... More
08 Jul 2020
The government of Dubai has announced that spas and massage centres across the emirate can now open for business following the coronavirus lockdown on 15 March. It revealed the news on 3 July in its ... More
07 Jul 2020
According to CEO of Aromatherapy Associates (AA), Anna Teal, online retail has been crucial for business following enforced closure of spas. Speaking exclusively to Spa Business, Teal shared how the company has pivoted its online ... More
07 Jul 2020
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has switched venues from Tel Aviv to the US following travel disruption due to the pandemic. The event will now take place from 8-11 November 2020 at The Breakers in ... More
02 Jul 2020
Planning permission has been submitted for a naturally filtered thermal experience and botanical spa and wellbeing hub on a dutch barge moored in West India Quay, London. Conceptualised by bodywork therapist Nico Thoemmes, the Water ... More
01 Jul 2020
As a wave of spas reopen around the world, it’s clear the industry is going to need to be creative to cater to new consumer needs which will likely focus on prioritising health. In light ... More
02 Jul 2020
The UK spa, beauty and wellness industry is in uproar following a recent Prime Minister’s Question time where the urgent matter of reopening the sector reduced MPs to laughter. William Wragg, MP for Hazel Grove ... More
01 Jul 2020
Kathryn Moore, founder of Spa Connectors, has announced the launch of the Hall of Wellness Awards (HOW Awards) to recognise those excelling in their fields in the global spa, beauty and wellness industry. The awards ... More
30 Jun 2020
Italian destination spa, Borgo Egnazia, has reopened to guests and updated its popular Happiness Break to begin at home, with a new set of pre-arrival digital consultations and classes. Borgo Egnazia’s team of therapists has ... More
     
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Jeremy McCarthy: “Spa will be a greater asset now than it's ever been”
POSTED 21 May 2020 . BY Megan Whitby
Jeremy McCarthy is group director of spa and wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Industry figure and group director of spa and wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Jeremy McCarthy shares his thoughts with Spa Business on how the spa and wellness sector will recover in the wake of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

“In my opinion, it’s short-sighted thinking to be looking at spas as a liability right now,” said McCarthy.

“Perhaps I’m more optimistic than some, but I feel the spa is a greater asset now than it has ever been,” he explained. “Why? Because the first business to come back to hotels will be local spa business – it will be one of the first revenue streams to come back to a hotel while international travel remains restricted for some time.

“Once international travel opens up again, the next line of business to come back will be leisure travel – by people who have been cooped up and massively stressed for several months and have a new awareness of the importance of their own health and mortality.

“Spas that rely on hotel guests will be in trouble, but those that have a strong local following will bring some much-needed energy into hotels that are struggling with single-digit occupancy,” he continued. “I believe the last segment to return will be business and conferences which were the least likely to use the spa anyway.”

With lockdown easing through parts of Asia, Mandarin Oriental hotels and spas have begun to reopen in Hong Kong and are some of the first wellness destinations to face new kinds of consumers with new demands after the advent of the pandemic. McCarthy sheds more light on what consumer demand has been like so far.

“In markets where we have a strong local following we’ve been excited to see our guests returning to our spas with high demand,” said McCarthy, “it’s a good sign of resilience and also rewarding to see that guests value the services we provide and aren’t deterred by the current situation from visiting our facilities.

“We benefit from having a brand that is widely trusted and respected so our guests are confident that the service will be provided in a safe way by a trained professional in an immaculately clean environment.”

Mandarin Oriental prioritises stringent safety and cleaning standards, in part because as a Hong Kong-based company, it had previous experience with a viral outbreak during the SARS epidemic. McCarthy believes that the entire industry will have to implement heightened sanitisation standards to survive, in order to comfort consumers and build a sense of trust which will, in turn, drive revenue.

“I think Coronavirus is going to force the industry to be brought to a new standard in terms of health and cleanliness – the global wellness industry has got to examine their sanitisation procedures to create a safer experience for everyone,” he said.

During lockdown, Mandarin Oriental has stayed connected with guests by producing digital content such as live streaming fitness classes and video personal training sessions.

“I think these kinds of virtual connections with our guests are something we will continue doing even after COVID-19 has passed,” explained McCarthy.

He revealed to Spa Business that Mandarin Oriental will soon be launching a new campaign both for staff and guests – called “Inner Strength – Outer Strength” – which focuses on helping people develop healthy habits for a strong mind and body.

The staff programme is designed to help employees stay strong both physically and emotionally, to support them during the pandemic and to help them come back to work being at their best and ready to serve others.

The four-week course is split into four modules with the first week focusing on body, mind and character, week two is designed to provide strategies for managing stress mindfully, week three deep dives into self-compassion and loving-kindness while the fourth and final week will teach employees to bring strength to their personal mission.

Mandarin Oriental will also offer similar services developed for guests.

McCarthy is keen to emphasise that the pandemic has forced people to understand the importance of their own health and that the industry now has a responsibility to do everything possible to implore people to maintain this focus and also teach them how to look after their health.

“The crisis, by virtue of breaking us out of our routine ways of doing things, forces us to look at everything we do with a fresh perspective,” he concluded, “now we have a great opportunity to introduce new habits and activities to people who will be more motivated than ever to consider how their lifestyle contributes to their long-term health.

“Ultimately I think people will quickly settle into a new routine once the world returns to a new normal, so it’s important for people to use this time to establish a new goal for the kind of life they want to lead and we’re here to help them do that.”
RELATED STORIES
Mandarin Oriental supports returning staff with mental wellness programme


Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is launching a mental wellness course as its staff gradually return to its reopened hotel and spa destinations.
Jeremy McCarthy labels Mandarin Oriental’s Silent Night as ‘hugely successful’


Mandarin Oriental hotel group’s Silent Night programme will take place this year on the 11 December.
Jeremy McCarthy to receive 2019 ISPA Visionary Award


The International SPA Association (ISPA) will present the 2019 ISPA Visionary Award to Jeremy McCarthy, director of spa & wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group at the ISPA Conference & Expo taking place at The Venetian in Las Vegas from 11-13 September, 2019.
Mandarin Oriental to manage New York residences overlooking Central Park


Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced an agreement to brand and manage 69 residences located on Fifth Avenue New York, scheduled for completion in 2021.
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Jubilation as spas set to reopen in England and Scotland following gruelling lobbying campaign
England and Scotland have become the most recent countries to announce their spas will reopen, following a hard-fought campaign by industry associations, operators and the media.
Wild wellness: Beaverbrook Hotel and Spa develops nature-based wellness experiences
Luxury country house hotel, Beaverbrook Hotel and Spa, in Leatherhead, UK, has curated a series of wild wellness experiences to assist with both emotional and physical wellbeing following its reopening on 4 July.
Todd Walter appointed president of WTS
WTS International has snapped up Todd Walter as its new president, following the demise of Mynd Spa & Salon – formerly The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon & Spa – where he was CEO.
Wellness specialists from Rancho La Puerta and The Farm to host virtual masterclass on healing journeys
Healing Hotels of the World is hosting a virtual Master Class with wellness experts from luxury destination spas, Rancho la Puerta and The Farm at San Benito.
Dubai government gives green light for spas to reopen
The government of Dubai has announced that spas and massage centres across the emirate can now open for business following the coronavirus lockdown on 15 March.
Anna Teal: “Spas need to consider re-evaluating the role of the therapist”
According to CEO of Aromatherapy Associates (AA), Anna Teal, online retail has been crucial for business following enforced closure of spas. Speaking exclusively to Spa Business, Teal shared how the company has pivoted its online offering and how the industry can capitalise off demand for online retail.
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