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

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Leisure Management - Leo Tonkin

Spa People: 20th anniversary issue

Leo Tonkin

I started Salt Chamber at the age of 52. There’s real power in ‘intentionally choosing’ and making things happen

Leo Tonkin, Salt Chamber photo: Andrea_Blakesberg_photography
Conscious consumerism and self-care are two trends impacting spas photo: JW MARRIOTT MIAMI TURNBERRY RESORT & SPA
New tech will drive spas to engage with guests regardless of physical location photo: bungalows key largo
Tonkin’s goal is to raise awareness of respiratory wellness photo: auberge beach residences

What’s been your most pivotal career moment?
After a 35-year consultancy career steeped in organisational culture, strategy and leadership development, I started Salt Chamber at the age of 52. We all have visions, ideas and possibilities … but nothing gets done without action. There’s real power in ‘intentionally choosing’ and making things happen.

What do you still hope to accomplish?
To raise awareness about respiratory wellness so individuals, communities and societies take action to impact the quality of the air we breathe and how we affect climate change.

Who will disrupt our industry the most?
Technology companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple with their smart devices, wearables and health-focused applications, will have the biggest influence in the spa and wellness space. They’ll drive spas to engage with their guests, track their wellness and deliver personalised recommendations, regardless of their physical location.

Furthermore, advancements in telehealth and telemedicine will enable spas to extend their reach and provide virtual consultations and treatments.

What trends are impacting spas?
Conscious consumerism will play a role as spa-goers seek authentic offerings that have integrity and are socially responsible.

There’s an increased focus on self-care and wellbeing, as well as therapies that help mental wellness – intentional music therapy, mindfulness and breathwork rituals and psychedelic retreats.

What radical changes do you foresee?
The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) technologies into spa experiences. Biohacking and creating evidence-based multisensory and personalised offerings will be key.

AI will revolutionise the way spas operate. Through machine-learning algorithms, spas will be able to analyse vast amounts of customer data to truly tailor treatments. Meanwhile, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants will enhance customer service, providing 24/7 support and customised recommendations.

Additionally, VR will play a pivotal role in transforming the spa experience. It can transport guests to breathtaking environments, enabling them to escape from their daily routines and immerse themselves in serene and rejuvenating settings. Customers will have the opportunity to explore virtual worlds and engage in guided meditations, mindfulness exercises and virtual fitness classes, all within the spa environment.

Overall, the spa of the future will be a blend of technology and human touch, offering unparalleled levels of personalisation, convenience and holistic wellness.

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: Sammy Gharieni

Originally published in Spa Business 2023 issue 3

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