23 May 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
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Spa Business
2023 issue 3

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Leisure Management - Emlyn Brown

Spa People: 20th anniversary issue

Emlyn Brown

Spas still lag in terms of sales and marketing planning and execution

Emlyn Brown, Accor photo: Accor Hotels Group
Brown praises the foundation laid by Willow Stream spas photo: Accor Hotels Group

What have been the most pivotal moments in your career?
In 2002, I moved to Dubai to work at the Burj al Arab and this was the start of my journey in the spa, wellness and luxury hospitality space. It was a steep learning curve but the knowledge I accrued still serves me well.

Joining Accor in 2018 was also a significant milestone that has seen me work globally in the wellness realm.

Who have been the biggest industry influencers?
We should remember the positive impact ESPA had on our industry in its early days, as well as the foundations laid by Mandarin Oriental spas, started by Ingo Schweder and Fairmont’s Willow Stream spas led by Anne McCall.

Six Senses, which I was fortunate enough to work for, was a passionate advocate of wellness and sustainability well before it became mainstream in hospitality and should be congratulated for what it’s achieved.

What spa models are coming down the track?
I’m really excited by the interface of technology and spa. Nothing will replace the power of human interaction and touch therapists, but the advances in medi-tech over the past 20 years have been incredible and I truly believe it will have a dramatic role in helping people live better for longer.

How can the industry realise its true potential?
We still lag in terms of sales and marketing planning and execution. We also need to see better commercial education of future leaders as they develop and enter the workforce.

Meanwhile, the current boom in social bathing is a great example of how we can embrace a business model that’s more affordable and that’s understood by and accessible to a broader demographic.

Read more: www.spabusiness.com/emlynbrown

More from spa industry leaders...

In celebration of Spa Business’ 20th anniversary, industry leaders take a look at how far the sector has come since the magazine’s inception in 2003, share personal career highlights and reveal their plans and ideas for the future

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Originally published in Spa Business 2023 issue 3

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