Source: Interview thanks to Dirhotel

From inclusion to innovation

If we go back centuries, we realize that tourism and physical and emotional well-being always go well together. It’s no coincidence that in the 19th century, the Empress of Austria, known as Sissi, traveled the world in search of peace of mind.

Interview with Maria Inês Lourenço

Background on Sissi's Travels

Despite the beautiful palaces she lived in, the parties she attended, and the people she met, Sissi felt she couldn’t fit into society.

Sissi's Social Struggles

We live in a country of sun, sea, mountains, and good food. A country that has a lot to offer both locals and foreigners. However, there is one concept that is still little discussed: inclusion. Inclusion is not just about creating a physical way for people to be present. Inclusion is about creating resources and opportunities so that they can be there physically and emotionally.

Importance of Inclusion

Fast-paced routines, the duality of home vs work professions. A world full of deadlines and kids’ lunchboxes to make, goals to meet, and grandparents’ birthday parties, team meetings, and the dog to walk. Reports to hand in, team organization, promoting a new package, and in the midst of all this, we’ve already forgotten the kids’ school Christmas party.

Challenges of Modern Life

We need to stop and take a holiday from our hectic lifestyles to relax and recharge our batteries. Travel can help minimize the stresses of everyday life. In a country where the NHS can’t cope with requests for help, the hotel professional can be the doctor and the act of traveling the prescription.

The Healing Power of Travel

We usually associate a wellness hotel with a luxury hotel, which at first glance is related to its facilities, spa, and natural surroundings. However, the second part is not related to what is seen but to what is experienced. The luxury of having time for reflection.

True Luxury in Wellness Hotels

What we all want is care, attention, respect, and inclusion. It is in this sense that the role of the hotelier is essential to the humanity of every client who enters the reception area. The act of caring that is touted in psychology centers is experienced by all hoteliers who smile at the person who enters reception or who is on the other end of the telephone line. Our eyes are sensitive to physical barriers. The emotional barriers that can prevent ordinary people from enjoying life to the full are still neglected.

The Role of Hoteliers in Human Connection

There is a new paradigm in hotel service. Concern for the visual environment is combined with concern for customer care. There are two types of customers that stand out in this type of tourism: Decision to travel to access medical care; Choosing to travel to promote health in a preventive way, on a physical, psychological, and spiritual level.
Human Flourishing through Psychology

Evolving Trends in Hotel Service

In line with this theme, the World Health Organization (WHO) presented a report, according to the newspaper Diário de Notícias, on 9 September 2019, in which it states: “One death every 40 seconds: Suicide kills more than breast cancer or war.” The report suggests that the disease that takes the biggest toll is depression and that the associated suicide rate is currently on the rise, leading to a search for new psychotherapies.

WHO Report on Suicide and Depression

In association with this style of tourism, new trends are emerging in the area: Increase in online communities; Increasing demand for specialization; Demand for wellness tourism packages; Increase in personalized trips; Search for the authentic and rejection of the artificial; New concept of luxury – something unique and exclusive; Search for an authentic experience: no longer looking for a product, but an experience with all its components – holistic; Valuing authenticity, balance, and the pleasure of traveling with the promotion of new, healthier habits to the detriment of mass, depersonalized offers; The idea of going back to basics.

Emerging Trends in Tourism

As a hotel industry, we have an obligation to train employees in the importance of inclusion. As a hotel industry that is part of a society, we have a duty to help make it more inclusive so that customers can enjoy a safe environment in which to live an experience, which is a right.

The Hotel Industry's Responsibility in Inclusion

New Life Portugal

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