The Link Between Wellness and Sustainability

By On 29th February 2016

The Link Between Wellness and Sustainability. Andrew Cohan of Horwath HTL Miami, FL, USA has written the next in our series of Industry Reports. Andrew explores the connections between wellness and sustainability and uses this frame of reference to explain current trends in both soft programming and the physical design of resort hotel properties. This theme is a very relevant topic in the industry as more and more operators and owners work to include wellness and sustainability into new and current offerings. The prize for getting it right is the perfect mix of fantastic user experience and profitability.

Wellness and sustainability have very different definitions, but are often tied together in hospitality industry literature. In a foundational survey on wellness and its definition, conducted by Canyon Ranch, respondents most frequently associated the words hope, joy, and energy with wellness. These are words that are often used to describe travel and vacation experiences, especially vacations taken at resort properties. The full range of body, mind and spirit-enhancing activities constitute various dimensions of wellness. For example, one of the most popular wellness activities noted in a 2011 Values Study of Baby Boomers was simply “laughing with friends”.

In summary, the themes of sustainability, wellness and experiential travel have become closely intertwined as they are complementary aspects to increasingly demanded guest preferences. It appears that from the perspective of the hotel guest, what the leisure resort offers has moved well along the spectrum from an “escape for indulgence” to an “escape for vitality”. Hotel and resort management, consequently, must also transition their mission from one of spoiling guests with extravagance to one of providing a soothing and perhaps exotic canvas for guests via the physical environment, along with all of the necessary tools and programs with which guests can create their own desired experiences.

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About The Author

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Andrew Cohan

Andrew Cohan is the Managing Director for Horwath HTL primarily serving the Sunbelt States and the Caribbean Basin, based in Miami. Horwath HTL has been operating for 100 years in the hospitality consulting space with expertise in valuation and feasibility studies, resort hotel and resort real estate consulting, asset management and tourism and leisure consulting.

A seasoned hospitality professional with extensive real estate, marketing and account management skills in North America and Latin America, Andrew has consulted for projects with leading branded management companies such as Canyon Ranch, Six Senses, Montage, Auberge and Alila.

Andrew has extensive experience in the wellness and sustainability space, especially as it pertains to resort properties. He especially enjoys working on ground-up projects, teaming with land planners to determine the optimal resort configuration to fit market demand with destination and site attributes, and helping land owners assemble their development teams.

As health and wellness have moved from the margins of the industry to become important components of mainstream hospitality projects, Andrew’s expertise has been in demand to conduct an increasing number of assignments for proposed sustainable wellness resort properties, particularly as the industry continues to strengthen in Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico and the “sunbelt states” in the United States. As the focus changes from the hotel product to the hotel experience, “property personality sharpening” through programming rather than capital expenditures has become one of the consultancy’s strengths. He has written numerous articles on topics ranging from Miami’s continuing growth to topics of interest in eco-tourism, active adventure tourism, and wellness tourism.

Prior to Horwath HTL, Andrew spent nine years with HVS’s Miami office. During his tenure there, Andrew earned his MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute, and holds Certified General Real Estate Appraiser and Real Estate Broker Associate licenses in the State of Florida. He has a Masters degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters in Hospitality Management from Florida International University, in addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Tulane University. He is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Global Wellness Institute.

Prior to joining HVS, Cohan rose through the ranks at AT&T, serving in their Latin America Wholesale Markets Division, managing a team with personnel in four countries, and having responsibility for maintaining tens of millions of dollars of annual revenue.
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