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State of the Spa - Know What You Want In A Spa

Jan 16, 2008
With an estimated 14,615 spas in the United States in 2007 the growth of spas is a steady one, according to The International SPA Association (ISPA). "Similar to restaurants, hotels and fitness centers, spas play a significant role in today's culture," said ISPA President Lynne Walker McNees. "One in four American adults has been to a spa and know what they want from a quality spa experience."

The ISPA has identified that spa visits are viewed by many consumers as necessary and even an entitlement. This is particularly true among baby boomers who view spa visits as more than special occasions, citing the most common reasons for their visits as a way to relieve and reduce stress, sooth aching joints and muscles, and for their mental and emotional health.

Consumers also look for results from their spa visits than to simply be pampered. More than one in 10 spa-goers treat spa-going as part of a larger health and wellness lifestyle. In fact, the American Massage Therapy Association found that 30% of Americans who include massage therapy into their routines do so for medical reasons such as injury recovery, pain reduction, and overall health wellness.

With that attitude in mind, it's no surprise that medical spas are one of the fastest growing segments of the industry today, with 69% average annual growth from 2003 to 2005. Medical treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and natural weight loss methods represent some of the most popular treatments at medical spas today. Additionally, the medical industry, particularly the plastic surgery sector, has begun incorporating spa treatments such as acupuncture and naturotherapy into their services. Both sectors are also making strides in anti-aging treatments that heal and renew the skin from the inside out utilizing mineral essentials and other products at the cell level.

It makes sense then that spa-going is considered a lifestyle choice as well. The ISPA's research shows that the spa as a lifestyle is gaining momentum with more than 2 million spa-goers taking part in lifestyle classes in 2005. These classes included healthy cooking classes, seminars on managing stress, and at-home customized spa treatments. Issues such as obesity, diabetes, and environmental concerns are being addressed by many spas, which are incorporating lifestyle elements to help guests in prevention and recovery from these issues. And as consumers adopt the spa lifestyle, it's not surprising that spas are adding residential components and real estate developers are constructing spas in gated communities and condominiums to meet this new demand.

For those who may not be able to adopt a complete spa lifestyle, spa vacations are on the rise as well. Sixty-three percent of U.S. spa-goers have visited a spa, according to the ISPA, while traveling from home. Trips to spas are driven by the desire to visit a specific destination for a specific type of vacation. When traveling, spa-goers are also seeking indigenous treatments and products. Helping to forge connections to people, places, and traditions, destination spas are utilizing textures, aromas, and sounds with meaningful storytelling for their guests.

Demand for unique experiences is also driving developing trends in the spa industry. For instance, one size no longer fits all when it comes to spa experiences. Spa-goers are seeking customization when it comes to their personal needs and desires. From bookings and music to lighting and products, spa-goers are becoming more involved in choices of their treatments and the spa environment. Additionally, with more than 30% of spa-goers being men, the demand for products and services tailored with men in mind is at an all-time high.

In addition to customization, spa consumers are also seeking more socialized spa experiences. Since the Roman Empire, groups have been going to the spa. Now spas are offering opportunities for socialization, with some spas merging the traditional spa concept with entertainment and networking. While once considered an independent experience, more and more spa-goers are using their time at the spa to socialize and connect with others, as they reconnect with themselves.
About the Author
Geologix Inc. manufactures products using a proprietary formula featuring 34 natural minerals contained in the ancient sea water from the famous Michigan Basin -- a concentration of minerals higher than that found in any known body of water in the world. Mineral Essentials focuses on spa, skin care, and massage products to moisturize and provide anti-aging protection for great skin. Mineral Essentials, and Acheaway
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