The Wellness Economy is already Here!
A recent article by Prof. Maria Escarreja, professor at the Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics, summarized the new paradigm of a well-being economy that “is approaching”. From the entire article, there is nothing more to disagree than just this last part: “it is approaching”.
We are not witnessing the approaching of the Wellness transformation; we are already living it! The tremendous valuation of this market – 4.5 trillion dollars – is greatly documented, as well as the conclusion that brands will only survive if they “understand consumer wellbeing as a priority”, assuming wellbeing from a “multidimensional” perspective, that is, physical, environmental, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, financial, social and occupational well-being.
It is within this multiple dimension – which derived from a brutal change with the pandemic period as a catalyst – that a new and broad focus on “wellbeing” emerges. People’s expectations have changed, demanding that companies (and brands) adopt this holistic awareness both for consumers and for their employees. The pandemic did more than accelerate “wellness” trends. It also created new trends or drastically changed existing ones, whether in terms of purpose, action, or audience. In addition, the pandemic has exposed the difficulties of economic development and growth regarding the current paradigm, arising the need to establish different structural principles for a new economic model that goes beyond the limitations of the old model:
1. Recognizing that people need to restore a harmonious relationship between society and nature, that is, a wellbeing economy not only supports an improvement in the quality of life – physical and mental wellbeing – but also in the sustainability of our planet. A healthy and prosperous society starts with nature, acknowledging it as both a resource to meet consumer needs and a system of which we are a part of.
2. Ensuring a fair distribution of resources to fight inequalities, which means that the development of a wellbeing economy involves many aspects of society, including economic security, protection, health, and community. Countries with higher average levels of wellbeing tend to have greater equality between population groups and fewer people experiencing difficulties.
3. Living in healthy and resilient communities. In a successful wellbeing economy, everyone lives with dignity, has a sense of connectedness and belonging and actively engages with their communities. People have equal access to means that support their basic human needs, including physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing. Countries that understand the connection between individual and collective wellbeing and the role of the economy in promoting wellbeing implement policies that support housing conditions, security, strong relationships within communities, and trust in political system.
More than “approaching”, these three points that build a Wellbeing Society and Economy are already being added to public and private policies in several countries – Costa Rica, Canada, Iceland, for example. By redefining the goals and expectations of politics, business and society, those countries – and all the ones that may want to be a part of this – can transform the traditional economy focused on economic growth into an economy that builds and sustains a healthy and prosperous world. As the examples above illustrate, policymakers have a vital role to play.
Governments must be open to new ways of thinking and commit pervasive systems of innovation, using the principles of a wellbeing economy to help guide the way.
Hotel Management Strategy
ABC Sustainable Luxury Hospitality
Proud Ambassadors Global Wellness Institute