COVID-19 has kickstarted a consumer focus on self-care, says Anna Bjurstam
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COVID-19 has kickstarted a consumer focus on self-care, says Anna Bjurstam

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The spa and wellness industry is set to witness a renewed interest in self-care, according to Anna Bjurstam, Six Senses wellness pioneer.

Bjurstam spoke to Spa Business to assess the impact of the global pandemic on the industry and discuss what’s next.

“At Six Senses we think the future is going to focus on self-responsibility as people are realising the importance of taking care of their own health,” she said, “They won’t just want a massage, they’ll want to learn about it.

“In anticipation of this, we created and launched our At Home With Six Senses portal – in just under a month – on 24 March. The aim of the platform is to offer proactive and pragmatic ways for people to care for themselves and the people they love.”

Six Senses launched the portal to help consumers remain solution-oriented, by supporting their physical and mental wellbeing and resilience during the coronavirus shutdown.

At Home with Six Senses’ content is structured around the brand’s key wellness pillars – Mindfulness, Eat, Sleep, Move, Live Naturally and Connect.

“The portal offers advice around our brand values – on how to reduce anxiety and loneliness for example,” explained Bjurstam, “As well as tips on everything from working at home to getting into good sleep routines.

“It’s been hugely successful in enabling us to communicate with our customers and they’re giving feedback daily on what they like and don’t like.”

Looking ahead, Bjurstam is positive about the future of wellness and wellness tourism, having seen encouraging signs of interest in recently reopened Six Senses resorts.

“Like all spa businesses, we’ve had to shut our properties – but there is light at the end of the tunnel. IHG, the owners of Six Senses, had 170 hotels closed in mid-March and almost all of those have now reopened. At Six Senses Quing Cheng Mountain in China, the restaurant had 70 walk-ins the first day the lockdown was lifted and it’s experiencing up to 100 per cent occupancy at the weekends.

“The ramp-up will be slow and limited to domestic travel this summer, but then the international side will pick up and there will be a huge opportunity for wellness tourism when it does.”

Bjurstam is a strong believer in the power of positivity and recently publicly highlighted a scientific study which proves that optimism is associated with lower levels of disease.

She’s urged people to harness optimism and mindfulness to maintain wellbeing during the pandemic, as, in her opinion, both are crucial to surviving lockdown and remaining healthy.

To read more in the latest issue of Spa Business, click here.

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The spa and wellness industry is set to witness a renewed interest in self-care, according to Anna Bjurstam, Six Senses wellness pioneer.
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