Connection Is Where It’s At

Connection Is Where It’s At

We’re living through the single biggest culture shift of our time” said Gary Vaynerchuk, Founder of Veyner Media at the WTTC Summit in Madrid last month.  He was talking about the way we connect and communicate.  Equally relevant, is the way we now live our lives.

Since mid April there have been a flurry of tourism anchored events – from the WTTC in Madrid, the ATM in Dubai , Barclays Travel Forum in London and last week the Economists Forum for Tourism in Madeira.

It’s always a privilege to attend these events and a fascination to hear opinion on what’s new, what irritates and what the burning issues really are. We frequently comment on what a ‘small world’ we live in but differences in economic, cultural and social statuses that co-exist in our ‘small’ planet, make it a melting pot of complexity and also, opportunity.

…We’re all in the media business first, then we do what we do” – Gary Vaynerchuk

The previously mentioned Veynerchuk delivered an impactful and memorable speech on how little the tourism industry does to properly utilise the internet, connect with customers and fully embracing this digital age. He also said; “We’re all in the media business first, then we do what we do.”  This truth still needs to hit home for many people and not least, those in the health and wellness industry.

For the wellness purist, the omnipresent existence of social media is the satirical antithesis of their own connection mandate. The quest for human connection, connection with nature, with ourselves and our communities is the lifeblood to the evasive ‘balance’ being sought.  People matter. Nature matters.  It is those two humble assets that trump almost everything else. I’m noticing a gradual but also significant sea change in how wellness venues promote themselves and how they are recognised. It is harder to discern at the high end of the spa and retreat market where a brand reputation has been built and continuously upheld but for newer properties and locations the talk is more about the skill and gifted healing of their practitioners and gurus.  The irony is that, for those people to do well, for those businesses to flourish, social media and digital connection MUST be a part of what they do …”We’re all in the media business first…”

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Anni is the founder and CEO of Anni Hood, Wellness Business Consultancy, an international advisory firm working with both public and private sector organisations who seek advice and global expertise in the rapidly evolving sector of spa, health, wellness and wellness tourism. Widely recognised as a leading wellness business specialist, Anni advises and supports public organisations, private businesses and individuals to achieve optimal results within the realm of health and wellness. Her work anchors in conceptual development, brand creation, integration and enablement of services, strategic and operational design, operational delivery, programming and re positioning. In addition, Anni leads wellness tourism for the Global Wellness Institute and is the founder and visionary behind K.I.S Lifestyle ® – an online wellness community that enables affordable and accessible integrative health expertise through a range of assessment tools, programming support and coaching options. Her career history has carved out a unique appreciation of multi sector wellness offerings. Anni’s experience has been in hotels, spas and restaurants, inclusive leisure resorts and high end global brands such as the Jumeirah Group, The Sanctuary, Meadowood and Clinique La Prairie. You can find her at

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