Amid extended lockdowns and work-from-home arrangements, Thai island resort Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa is seeing a rising trend among corporates for holistic wellness solutions that can help teams reconnect.
First opened in 2005, the Koh Samui resort has traditionally been popular with leisure guests seeking its diverse wellness programmes that include anti-stress and burnout prevention. This has now expanded to include the corporate and MICE markets, with demand, both local and overseas, expected to account for almost a third of its business in 2022.
“The corporate and MICE markets are looking to evolve their experiences to include tools that assist in reconnecting teams, embracing change and dealing with long term anxieties caused by the pandemic-induced extended lockdowns," said Bruce Ryde, general manager and brand strategist who joined Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa last month.
"This has meant a marked uptick in enquiries for programmes and retreats that assist in these areas, particularly at a senior leadership level."
Kamalaya offers 17 curated programmes both at the property or via its online platform 'Kamalaya Connect', which take a personal approach to each individual’s stay based on their unique needs.
Stress reduction, team dynamics and embracing change are recurring themes that businesses have highlighted in the last 12 months, added Ryde, who previously headed luxury brands strategy for Marriott International and IHG.
Senior management from multinational companies, embassies and NGOs are interested in professional team-building and personal mentoring, while enquiries for wellness-focused incentive programmes have also increased.
While the demand for wellness is largely domestic currently, Ryde is confident that short-haul markets like Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and potentially the Middle East, will be key.
“It is still difficult to know how the global markets will reopen. But one thing that has been apparent is that Asia's poised to become a much larger consumer of holistic wellness tourism,” he said.
Like Phuket, Koh Samui is aiming to reopen to international visitors by July 2021.