These 15-cm figures, above, are climbing up a wall of the 41st floor fitness at THE REGENT HOTEL SHANGHAI (they are by a Balinese artist, Jeffrey Lee). Plea to whoever, please introduce similar smile-inducing elements to all gyms, as a matter of coures… The hotel’s overall designer, by the way is Cedric Jaccard of Wilson & Associates. Looking at Lee’s lean-lithe figures show they do not have a surplus kilo between them: good news, especially when the World Health Organization WHO currently claims obesity caused 2.8 million deaths worldwide in 2021, and the justly-derided O requires 13% of all healthcare expenditures.
There will be lots of concentration on wellness this coming week in Miami Beach, when IHRSA hosts its annual conference, 22-24 June. Apparently IHRSA is the leading fitness industry association but Google also suggests it stands for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. Oh well. What is clear is that one of the keynoters will be Susie Ellis, CEO of the Global Hotel Institute GWI. She will present eight future trends in fitness (Girlahead hopes she repeats, with updates, at GWI’s own really important annual gathering, starting 31st October in Tel Aviv). Speakers then will include Levi Shapiro, founder of mHealth, Israel’s largest community of health-tech innovators: Aradhana Khowala, chairwoman of the Advisory Board for Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, the world’s most ambitious, largest regenerative tourism project: Michelle Williams, Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Rick Stollmeyer, founder of the nearly $2 billion wellness experience platform, Mindbody
At any time, GWI research findings are esssential reading. Right now GWI says the global wellness economy is HUGE. Fitness alone is a $77 billion industry. Sports and active recreation add $200 billion. Mindful movement is $30 billion, fitness technology is $49.5 billion, sports and fitness equipment is $105 billion, and sports apparel and footwear constitutes $293 billion. Interestingly, during the main pandemic period, 2020, the fitness segment (gyms, studios, classes) saw the biggest hit at 37% revenue drop, while fitness technology soared up by 29%.
Today’s total physical activity market is $738 billion and the future is bright – revenues will nearly double 2020-2025, to reach $1.2 trillion. GWI predicts three major shifts in physical activity: 1) The “why” of physical activity will pivot to mental wellness, 2) a growing at-home fitness market will further attract big tech and big media, and 3) physical activity will become a right and an essential health service.
That ‘at home’ element can be adapted, just as WFH is, to ‘at hotels’. Some groups, says 25hours, Hyatt (some brands) and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, always include yoga mats in room essentials. At CAESARS PALACE DUBAI, top suites also have weights and stretch bands, all delightfully colour-coordinated in dayglo pink. Let’s listen to Caesars Palace regional boss, Tony Costa, here: