Spatec Europe begins in Alicante

The 2015 edition of Spatec Europe kicked off yesterday in Alicante Spain.

The event, which has attracted 170 delegates from across Europe and around the world, opened with a keynote address by Jeremy McCarthy, group director of spa at the Mandarin Oriental hotel group.

In his opening speech, McCarthy highlighted some of the key spa and wellness trends currently shaping the industry, including “movement is the new fitness”.

This he explained, entails looking at fitness not just as isolated bursts of fitness, but as part of “thinking about movement more broadly”.

Today, McCarthy added, our fitness goals are more centred around being able to use certain muscles and on what we can do with our bodies, than on how it will make us look. Another growing trend, he said, is “wellness everywhere”.

Currently the biggest of the wellness trends, people no longer look just for “pockets of wellness”. Rather, McCarthy said, consumers now want wellness everywhere they go; at home, at work and on the road.

Much of this is, he continued, driven by wearable technology, whose ability to track our fitness and wellbeing at all times also pushes us to take steps to improve it.

What this means for the spa and wellness industry is , he said, a need for spas, hotels and wellness resorts to deliver that constant access to wellness amenities and services.

McCrthy also highlighted wellness as “the new luxury”. Showing that you have the time for daily yoga sessions or the funds for a personal trainer is, he explained, the new way to display luxury. Among the other key trends McCarthy drew attention to was personalisation.

He commented that wellness cuisine needs to become more indivudialised, not just adapted to be healthy but also directly tailored to the dietary needs and requirements of the individual guest.

McCarthy also drew attention to the trend towards kids in spas, the growth of the wellness travel sector, and mindfulness. The mindfulness development is, he said, ona similar trajectory yoga once was.

Not yet mainstream, it is, however, something people are thinking about to a greater extent than ever before and teaching people the skill of being still, of “sitting down and doing nothing,” is, he said, one of the most important roles the spa and wellness industry can play.