Global Nomads Say Happy Birthday

18 01 2010

A WELL ADJUSTED “TODDLER”

Most 3 year olds don’t receive a virally launched internationally spotlighted birthday wish  from around the world. But there is one dynamic 3 year old I know, that deserves it! EXPATWOMEN.COM

ExpatWomen.com turned 3 January 16th. Founded by two travelers bonded together as friends in their expat adventures.  Andrea Martins and Jill Lengré, have 20 years of combined experience living  broad, and decided to launch ExpatWomen.com while living in Mexico City. Both are professionals, adventurers, mothers, and authors, and created a version of truth for themselves and others in the midst of the labrinyth and chaos of Mexico’s capital city.

I’ve been inspired by their vision, and have relied on the stories and the women of ExpatWomen.com many times in my own foreign escapades for commaraderie and inspiration. 

The well developed site tools provide interviews, links, resources, newsletters, clubs, real life stories, and a writers forum for ALL of us to tell our most intimate adventures and share it with women who GET IT. Just travel, create and upload.

You can also take your blogs to ExpatWomen.com, I did, along with many other talented women. BLOG AT EXPAT WOMEN. 

BLOW OUT THE CANDLES!

There are many things that define each of us in our individuality and UNIQUENESS.  Travel is one of them. Find you. Be you. And don’t look back. I always remind myself that it is better to go solo, than pretending to be something or someone else for another. We all create our moments. Past, present and future.

One thing I love about being an expat, is the diversity of it all, and a little anonymity. It’s also a little like being in a secret club. It takes a different breed to be an expat, and even more to be a serial expat.  Even better is finding websites and resources from similar women where you can find outlets for expression, creation, and getting things done.  Just like the one that Andrea and Jill have poured their hearts into.

I was also honored for my story, “Round & Round it Goes….” to be nominated by Jill and Andrea for the winning story in November 2009 on their site.  I was a little frazzled to reveal an inside look to my feelings with my story, and when I received the email of nomination over my morning coffee, I actually teared up.

Thanks EXPAT WOMEN.com, a big birthday BESO, and UNA ABRAZO FUERTE from Planet Spa! We love you and what you do.

Cheers to many, many years to come.





Is “Luxury” Taboo? Purposeful Leisure Companies Are New Trendsetters

24 04 2009

 

Nothing is Taboo

Nothing is Taboo

Spas and resorts are paying attention to the economic trends at the luxury level. The tell – tell signs of  expansion or retraction here can be like the canary in the mine. Most spa trends, casino and hotel spas being an example, show upward growth. However, lately, many spa and hospitality planners are more apt to err on the conservative side. When it comes to gifting, purchasing and luxury related healing therapies, spa and hospitality budgets are shrinking. Especially with corporate goodies, which were extravagant when bookings were at a high in fat times.    

 

Will luxury goods, services and high end destinations take a bigger hit in 2009?  Will it be taboo to partake of luxury services and products? Or can we have faith that spas and leisure are here to stay and amid the slowdown people will evolve to create their own ‘purposeful leisure’ options? More people are combining  pampering, getaways, and other leisure time with a ‘give back’ mentality that changes leisure into a purpose driven result. Guilt free. The growing trend in ‘Volun-Tourism’, showcases that. Choices are endless with packages to volunteer  in a Cambodian orphanage to cleaning up international reefs.  Leisure with a purpose seems to be a newly revived social trend that spa and hospitality venues can tap into for wealth building.  Creating activities and packages with this theme, has already increased the revenue of trendsetters and marketing innovators.   

 

Luxury Travel Vacation

Luxury Travel Vacation

Take a look at charity driven travel as told in  Forbes Traveller  by author Rebecca Ruiz. “Buying travel packages or event tickets through charity auctions is not a new trend, but it can be a useful tool for conscientious travelers who like the idea of combining a vacation with altruism. Once aware of the option, says CharityFolks.com Founder and CEO Kelly Fiore, “Why would you do it a different way?”.  In short, people purchase items, services and travel from a charity related site or event. The win – win is the client receives great items, and the charity gains useful funds. A  desire for guilt free indulgences, travel, luxury and products, can be developed into a grand PR opportunity for your spa or leisure location. 

 Ok,  some of you may be saying ANY of YOUR leisure time IS purposeful.  This concept is nothing new. Your right.  It’s relative to your perception. In business perception is imperative to growing. With media continuing to highlight the downturn, and overindulgence frowned upon, business solutions may not be so obvious. Do remember, one item  that will never be overindulgent or taboo, is excellence in client service.  Time to expand your perception.

So how do we utilize this purposeful social trend to not just indulge, but to create purpose for ourselves and our spa clients?  Tracking the current trends in luxury travel and purchasing  to get creative, and jump on board with new options would be one way. If you can’t get creative on your own, using media conscious tools or a PR consultant to collaborate on regional to international marketing campaigns could be the difference between  business recognition or obscurity. 

 

 

Corporate Luxury Gift

Corporate Luxury Gift

 

Let’s consider what you need to produce the results your want from your clients. Would you have use for the uber –luxury items in this video.?  If this doesn’t fit your client profile, don’t worry. As with all products and services, stop and ask yourself if this is something your clients can use?

   Your clients – everyday people, professionals, tycoons, and celebrities all have the same capacity to be stressed, just for different reasons. We are in a unique time, and one I believe we can use to forge new positive pathways with staying power.  Statistics show that people continue to use leisure services and spa treatments to decompress. Many spas are still ringing in positive sales quarters, despite some luxury taboos. Industry trend setters continue to keep a close watch on the current economics and client responses within the spa, luxury and leisure industry.  Susies spa blog cites this reponse, “most spas say that bookings are up or holding steady” and “weekend bookings are still at capacity.” While I am sure that these spas have been affected somewhat by the economic downturn, there is resiliency. Why? Another trend in our top 10 – Stressing De-Stress.”  Susie Ellis, SpaFinder.   

 This is a bit of a spoof since most small and medium size spa and leisure companies, won’t be in the market for this type of  luxury. But instead of laughing it off, take the time to understand the entire scope of luxury (comfort), from high brow to low brow. 

 

Volun-Tourism Globally

Volun-Tourism Globally

Industry resiliency will reflect the client’s desire for value drive, relevant and results oriented, leisure fun. Including, spa, wellness, travel, volun-tourism, and other comfort products. While smaller, weaker brands may suffer the worst, and smaller spas may be hit the hardest. More established spa brands such as Champney’s, and Mandarin Oriental are expected to stay strong through the downturn.  Subsequently, newly  established spa locations and markets will also struggle to stay in the eyes of the consumer and industry marketers. 

 

 While larger brands can push ever more spending on publicity, smaller competitors will push to do the same, overspending. This may push them out of business.  If you are amid the small to medium size brands, operate as such, and don’t expect that you will have the media budget of a corporate brand. Even in a downturn, people will de-stress, and working with a local brand can be a value judgement for the client.  A revived purposeful leisure trend, enables people to explore new markets, with the ‘give back’ mentality.  Affordable luxury, or should we say well-being, still drives the market. New collaboration and package opportunities for individual businesses are ripe.

Though taboo luxury, has seen declines from the world’s top luxury trade fair in Basel, to  big layoffs at the  Greenbrier Resort , West Virginia, and fashion at the Christian Lacroix show in Paris. It will do no good , not to take a look at the positives. The new trend in leisure with a purpose just may be contributing to human growth as a whole.  No matter what your global positioning is, take a moment to participate in your own purposeful leisure activity. Your effects could be global.

To find our more, or brainstorm on our own purposeful leisure, get in touch with Lotus Effects contact@thelotuseffects.com

It seems spa and leisure trends can go two ways. Even more excessive pampering of the wealthiest clients, or deep discounting in an attempt to save falling sales. The businesses that fall into the gray matter in between may be feeling most of the pinch, with the deep discounters coming in a fast second. Luxury is still alive and well, but many are now taking a more conscientious look at defining that luxury. With societal opposition to opulence, many companies are opting to disengage from using the word luxury, for more relatable words such as, comfort and well being.  This can endear people to their brand, while still allowing them to provide a high level of comfort..

 

 





Top Ten Spa Tips to Make Your Happy Healthy Holiday Season Last

10 12 2007

Creating a healthy and sustainable lifestyle is becoming a top priority for more and more people and their families. With the stress and hustle of the holidays and the change in sleeping and eating patterns that may come with it, the thing beauty3.jpgpeople can use the most is a reconnect between body and mind. How can a day spa help with that? For starters, they can give you the tools to stay physically and mentally healthy and help you visualize ongoing personal and professional success. “It all begins with a smart spa shopper and some dedicated well trained spa staff.” says Liz Galloway, spa image advisor and spa college international trainer.

Liz Galloway recommends these Top 10 Must Know Tips to keep you focused, and healthy throughout your holiday season and beyond.

 

  • Patron spas that you know have high licensing requirements for their therapists and are transparent about their sanitizing policies and procedures. Sometimes they will post this right on the wall. Spas are safe, but they are also intrinsic to a personal environment where viruses and bacteria can be spread. Good procedures and sanitization is a sign of good training and knowledge.

  • Follow up on industry trends before you book your appointment, and know what questions to ask and the results you want from the treatment. Keep in mind your health and wellness is key here. Do you prefer an organic product, are you recovering from an injury, are you willing to try the latest laser or wrap? This can also make first time spa goer’s more comfortable.

  • Book a series of treatments or invest in a product series offer at your day spa. They are usually a better bargain and will keep you committed to long term objectives. This works well with dermabrasion, skin rejuvenation, lipossage, and even massage. Spas and therapists are more than happy to give long term discounts in return for guaranteed income.

  • Coordinate your spa therapies with a nutrition plan for more rapid, satisfying results that will get you into good long term habits. Contact a lifestyle coach that can help you create a project plan for your short and long term goals is all aspects of lifestyle. Incorporate anti oxidant bases, natural energy boosts, and an eating plan that’s right for your body type.

  • Your spa therapies will create an important mind body connection, but that is not the only thing you need to keep healthy. Your financial health is also important. Find the best spa price for your budget. There are spa options that range from $35 -$135 an hour an up. Remember though that the knowledge and training of the therapist and the facility will play a big role in your satisfaction. Sometimes you will be paying a premium for good therapies and well trained people. Your worth it.

  • Keep your self looking younger and stress free through the holidays by getting rid of dull, dry, un even skin tone and helping maintain elasticity even after the holidays are over. Key skincare products and regular facials can help fight off tired stressed out skin. Something that can make us look and feel older. Try products that have antioxidant properties and stimulate our inherent cell growth and skin repair. A big trend is natural skincare, but don’t worry, many have great results driven ingredients.

  • Consider following spa industry and skincare trends by purchasing certified organic and natural based skincare products and spa treatments that support fair trade in other countries, and best practices, that will also create benefit for your own skin. Know the ingredients and read the labels, so you avoid irritations or allergies. Many spas have adopted these practices and can help you understand what’s best for you.

  • Go after a spa trend that incorporates guided imagery in your spa treatments. This is a combination of hypnotherapy and relaxation techniques that can leave your mind feeling fresh and gratified. It gives you a focused path to follow, so you can stop all that mental chatter from your day.

  • Take action for preventative care now. Not tomorrow or the next day. Some of this may include product, therapies, or nutritional elements that require you to try several variations. There is an element of reasonable experimentation to find what’s best. If you have questions about your regimen or needs, ask your spa skincare advisor or spa concierge to educate you. There are many things you can do for a healthy mind and body that you will thank yourself for later.

  • Seek out a pathos driven spa experience, where you follow your emotional needs and your spa of choice appeals to that. This is ultimately a large part of your spa satisfaction just in line with a more ethos driven experience, comfort in knowing your therapist is knowledgeable in their field. To make that happen spas and therapists need to invest in personal and career development.

Consider these tips and tools when booking your spa treatments and making your new year’s goals for lasting health and some stress free happiness through the holidays and beyond. Keep your mind rested and clear for the new year. In need of precision training to ensure that you, your staff and your clients are more than satisfied? Consider bringing in an outside trainer or advisor. Happy spa – ing!

Now setting one on one appointment times for the Day Spa Expo 2008 at the Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas. Book now for free consultation or interview times. Join us for the key business management and operations class at the expo. Feb 5th 11:00, “Make Your Spa a Destination” We will be giving away a destination retreat package in Costa Rica for most competitive participant in the class. Sponsored by Serenitas Spa Sanctuary. Dont’ miss it. RSVP for the class to ensure we have you reserved as our special guest. Purchase one of our essential spa books now available in a paperback manual with workbook and forms. “What Makes You So Special? Spa Career Success” From fundamentals to management. $45.00 How to create, present, market and profit from your spa ideas and treatments. By Liz Galloway and Nicolay Kreidler.





Day Spas and Resort Spas Set a Bad Example When Training is Overlooked

4 12 2007

When spas and resorts overlook needed training and customer relationship’s its a loss for the industry and the client. With our society highly focused on both inner and outer beauty and wellness, it is key that spas and therapists don’t lose sight of the real purpose they are in business. Results based, experiential services and the client. When spas have a lackluster attitude about sub standard training and operations, they are not the only ones hurt. Many spas say they are lacking the clients they need and the wanted exposure to make them successful. Much of that is due to gaps in training and insufficient customer service, because people don’t want to justify the cost for training. That sets a bad precedence for the industry. That is why providing cutting edge training seminars and in depth business reviews are one of the top priorities many industry experts, and foder for industry trend reports.That’s why training is a key focus of leaders like www.thelotuseffects.com .

Most recently Lotus Effects and Spa College International trainers had big success in focused seminars in Costa Rica and Mexico City to address both hands on and theoretical training for spas and individual entrepreneurs. Pulling from business tools and insights from the spa and hospitality industry, along with showing how to access industry’s across the board for resources. The results were positive and client driven. Here are some key touch points to remember when reviewing different training’s and convincing your superiors that it is necessary;

Spa Ambiance – You can’t fake being a good therapist, or giving a good treatment. You need tools and support. And remember that creating your visual and physical atmosphere helps you be competitive.

Client Comfort/Trust – Stop copying what everyone else is doing and raise the bar on client comfort and trust, that in return beget loyalty. That comfort and trust comes with experience and training.

Boomerang Booking – The whole purpose of your business is to entice clients to use your services and return to you for more. Put your time and energy into a focus of getting your existing clients to return. Plan for future outcomes and trends to some degree and create the menu to sell.

Review Client Emotional Base – Build on seed ideas that have given you past enjoyable experiences that reflected your comfort, positive sensory level, therapist interaction, and feeling. Take action on the good points of how that affected your emotional base and transfer it to your spa treatments.

Lifestyle Treatments– Address niche markets and money markets like LOHAS – Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. Find gaps in the current trends like spa community living, lifestyle coaches, eco movements, and spa concierge services, then improve upon it.

There are plenty more touch points to be aware of, this is a quick example, so you don’t fall into the trap of unwittingly setting a bad example for our industry. We have all heard of less than stellar spa services, maybe even experienced one ourselves. Without the correct training, it can go beyond that, with lack of knowledge of products, contraindications, treatment/client needs or even bordering on ethical and boundary violations, spas can run into trouble. This kills your business and drives a wedge in the seamless flow of what a spa needs and what our industry is trying to portray.

Liz Galloway, who has trained people in several countries says, “It’s almost a universal problem that I continually run into. You can’t expect your staff to perform as needed, or act as your ambassadors without the right career training and support.” She goes on to say, “Invest in training where it counts, so it doesn’t affect your bottom line.”

Don’t let lack of the right training or support of your staff hurt your business. There are many training solutions in the industry, and spas should be consistently monitoring trends and accessing industry professionals to continue to increase standards and create their own trends. Find training solutions at;

The Lotus Effects Precision Training – www.thelotuseffects.com

Santi Spa Management Training – www.frederiqueacademy.com

Cortiva Institute – www.cortiva.com

Steiner Educational Group – www.steinerleisure .com

The next customized seminars from Spa College International will be in Jamaica Antigua and Thailand and include the new training partnerships with Michell Royer, and Angela Martindale bringing an additional 20 years of health, communication, management resolutions, bodywork, fitness and healing energy work into the training curriculum. Want to set a GREAT example? Have boundaries, be passionate, set trends, be authentic and create boomerang booking.

Pick up the newly published core manual on spa treatments, marketing and empowerment tools for the spa professional – “Spa Essentials a Course to Mastery -From Fundamentals to Management” now for only $45 including workbook and forms.