With trends and technology always changing, a trip to the spa isn’t just a facial or a message anymore…
How to respond to a host of new trends now shaping the future of the spa industry—either through products and services provided by the spa itself, or in conjunction with other amenities made available at a club or resort property—should be factored into the business model of every spa operation going forward. These trends include:
A significant shift towards wellness and preventive health and away from the focus on pampering typically provided by day spas, luxury spas and cosmetic medical spas. This includes incorporating “med-spa” procedures into prevention treatments and services, and taking a more collaborative approach with the health and medical industries. Hospitals, in fact, may emerge as new competitors as they begin to introduce their own spa offerings.
Helping consumers de-stress through offerings such as yoga, tai chi, meditation and relaxation massages. This can extend into detoxification and renewal programs to help prevent or relieve maladies such as asthma, cancer, ulcers, and arthritis.
Self-discovery services and learning activities to help recharge spirits and minds. These can include self-improvement courses, art and painting classes, and healthy cooking seminars.
Sleeping rooms, areas and services that provide places to take effective power naps and obtain treatment for sleep deprivation.
“Energy medicine” and therapies such as Reiki, chakra balancing, light and sound therapy, and acupuncture, to help combat concern about electromagnetic fields and other forms of “electro pollution” that are seen as an increasing threat to public health. This involves refining the energy fields that are present within treatment rooms and also expanding services to embrace “holistic wellness,” balance “biofields,” create “harmonized environments,” and provide general education on nature as a health source.
Greater emphasis on the execution of standards, best practices and staff training/education, to ensure better and more consistent delivery of the spa experience. And, since most club or resort properties don’t have General Managers who have also been involved with running a spa business, like Canebrake Country Club, this trend is fueling momentum for outsourcing spa management duties to third parties with specialized expertise in what has rapidly become a much more complex field. At the same time, though, it is more critical, whether or not a third party is involved, to integrate spa operations more closely with other aspects of club and resort activity.
Source: “Spa Trends Going Forward: A Brief Look at the Future of the Industry,” by Gary Henkin, President, WTS International, in July/August 2009 issue of RT Management & Operations
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