By Larry and Adam Mogelonsky
While everyone is still looking to mitigate the ongoing staffing shortages, it’s also important to ponder what’s possible in the years (or decades) to come and to ask the question, “What if?” After all, if you don’t think about what the future can hold for your hotel, then the market will choose for you, and the result may not be in the favor.
As the ‘wellness’ industry recovers from the pandemic, it’s simultaneously branching out into new niches by incorporating new trends or technologies to maintain branding moats and offer more lucrative services. The world is only going to get crazier, so it behooves you to think about what might happen and then plan conservatively for what will inevitably occur. Here are six far-out and oftentimes expensive or controversial ideas to keep your cerebral juices flowing into budget season for 2022.
1. Digital detox. Modern humans are satiated with screens and media, and many of us are looking for a retreat to calm our nerves. Beyond merely policing the use of cellular phones in public areas, the notion of a detox can extend to bespoke eating regiments, heartrate and activity level monitoring, room features that enhance one’s quality of sleep (for instance, red-hued nightlights or vitamin-infused showers), meditation classes or, if the property is rural, nature hikes (where the futuristic spin would be to incorporate augmented reality into said treks).
2. Advanced physio-centric resorts. These types of properties already exist, but now machinery such as gait analysis or ultrasound muscle activation scanners can be put through an AI program to both accurately deduce the cause behind any musculoskeletal pains and develop more effective therapies. Then for sport programs, imagine an AI-based golf swing assessment program that uses state-of-the-art wearables or an infrared camera to generate a step-by-step improvement plan within seconds, all to complement in-person coaching.
3. Surgery recovery centers. Whether cosmetic or otherwise, why spend days or weeks recuperating in a spartan, urban hospital that’s devoid of character (and likely doesn’t supply gourmet meals) when you can instead devote this time to being in a more inviting setting? Indeed, hotels all over the world are already merging with surgical operation centers to offer a tranquil place for patients to recover while also accessing the full range of onsite amenities. Particularly for reconstructive surgeries of the head or face and body augmentation procedures, guests may not want to immediately return home and would prefer to heal in the relative anonymity of a suite or private resort that’s away from the public eye.
4. Drug or psychiatric rehabilitation. Lots of research has accumulated on how the combination of a peaceful environment, proper diet, regular exercise, mindful reflection and cognitive behavioral therapy can lead to greater self-esteem, more self-control and a better life outcome. Further, novel classes of medicines are emerging to help the brain form new synapses and reverse any degradative pathways. The rapid pace of cannabis legalization will offer hotels a range of ways to capitalize on this relatively cheap, recreational drug. Then, considered as ‘the next marijuana’, the active component of psychedelic mushrooms (psilocybin) and, to a lesser extent, LSD are both in clinic human trials for curing addictions, trauma and various other ailments via ‘micro-dosing’.
5. Stem cell treatments. Despite any theological consternations over the sourcing of said cells, this is already a multibillion-dollar business. In very simple terms, when you inject these undifferentiated components into a part of the body alongside the correct growth factors, stem cells will help ‘fill in the gaps’ and revitalize the entire area – think near-immediate relief of chronic and debilitative joint pain, smoothing of facial wrinkles, the regrowth of hair follicles for baldness or even correcting damage to the nerves that control locomotion. Such injections still have a recovery period as the body incorporates these cells, thereby necessitating the demand for comfortable accommodations, great cuisine, entertainment and additional rehabilitative treatments while on the mend.
6. Biohacking. With PCR sequencing becoming widely available and the advance of CRISPR-based gene therapies as well as a deeper understanding of epigenetic-influenced health factors, we are on the verge of bringing together a great hotel stay with DNA-specific treatments and dietary regiments. This is often labeled as ‘biohacking’ because we are using medicines that target specific sequences in an individual’s genome or the protein structures within the nucleus that switch genes on or off. Biohacking can also involve numerous other biochemicals that enhance one’s body or mental capacity as well as cybernetic augmentations. Expect these highly targeted treatments, with a few of the more outlandish cyberpunk implants, to have a mounting presence in the news over the next decade as these technologies are perfected.
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Editor’s note: To discuss business challenges or speaking engagements please contact Larry or Adam directly.