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

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Leisure Management - Amanda Al-Masri

Spa People: 20th anniversary issue

Amanda Al-Masri

At times, I was tempted to shortcut my way to bigger things... but there’s no replacement for hard work

Amanda Al-Masri Hilton Hotels & Resorts PHOTO: Hilton Hotels & Resorts
A deal with Peloton shows Hilton’s commitment to widespread wellness photo: peloton
Hilton’s latest trends report highlights a hunger for cultural experiences photo: Hilton Hotels & Resorts

What have your career highlights been so far?
Getting Hilton’s newly-created role of global vice president of wellness is truly the job of my dreams. However, there’s been an accumulation of skills and experience that brought me to this point.

Being ambitious, there were times I was tempted to shortcut my way to what I perceived were bigger or newer things. But as I knew – or sometimes learned the hard way – there’s no replacement for hard work. While I have no illusions that I still have much to learn, especially in an industry as dynamic and diverse as ours, I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved so far.

How has the industry evolved?
Hilton’s 2023 global trends report shows that more than half of the 8,000 people surveyed are looking to engage with wellness experiences when they travel. The audience has become increasingly diverse and their expectations are expanding too.

Most hoteliers now engage with wellness in some way at the full-service and luxury level. However, areas once considered “cutting edge” – luxury spas and well-equipped gyms – are now table stakes. There’s a need to provide a sensible, comprehensive and cross-functional approach to wellness across the entire stay experience and portfolio – from focused service to luxury.

What consumer trends are driving change?
Our trends report also showed a hunger for authentic, cultural experiences and our teams are doing a wonderful job creating this programming for guests worldwide. For example, workshops highlighting local healing herbs in Thailand which are then used in treatment compresses, or a wellness wildlife sabbatical in the Galapagos Islands.

Meeting the diverse and ever-changing needs of our guests within this new wellness paradigm means deepening our existing areas of wellness expertise – namely fitness and spa – while we also move into other areas such as sleep, nourishment and mindfulness. But it also requires consistent brand, marketing and communications support to ensure we shine a light on the incredible work happening within our portfolio.

What do you still hope to accomplish?
One of the things that attracted me most to my new role at Hilton was how it aligned with my own vision of democratising wellness.

As the wellness consumer diversifies, our goal is to reach as many people as possible – not just guests in our luxury or full-service properties, but across our entire portfolio of 22 brands and 1.1 million guestrooms in 123 countries.

Read more: www.spabusiness.com/hiltontopteam

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.

View next: Cary & Kim Collier

Originally published in Spa Business 2023 issue 3

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