Hotel Spas: What does the Client Want?
By Jacqueline Clarke Wellness Research Director, Diagonal Reports | July 08, 2012
Spas have been the main force in establishing wellness and beauty as new priorities for significant numbers of consumers in many different countries around the world. One country in particular illustrates this impact of the spa, the UK. Approximately UK£8 billion (US$ 12 billion) is spent each year on wellness and beauty in Britain.
Most of those millions are spent in businesses that did not even exist ten years ago. The majority of these new businesses are spas. The speed of growth of this industry in the UK has been extraordinary; today spas are so commonplace that it is easy to forget they hardly existed a short time ago.
However, the high growth rates that characterized the spa industry in past years will not continue. Existing spas face new challenges. In 2012 they must deal with, not only, the impact of the economic downturn but also much greater competition. In addition, spa consumers are more demanding and sophisticated, and their expectations of what and how a spa should deliver have been transformed in the past decade.
Of interest to the wider spa and hotel industry is how spas across the UK, particularly those in London, respond to these challenges. The client mix seen in London spas is a microcosm of the global market. Spas in the megacity serve not just locals, and British users, but also large numbers of international clients. To succeed spas must deliver to a "best in class" standard; further, the prestige London spas must deliver to a "best in world" standard. They must operate at the top of the game to recoup the significant levels of investment required to compete in this prime location and consumer segment.
The wide range of clients served in the most upmarket London hotel spas enables their managers to evaluate changes in client behavior and emerging trends. These spas highlight the preferences of a consumer segment that the industry globally has long recognized as a key demographic: younger women, and men of all ages. These clients are crucial segments in London hotel spas.
What do spa clients want?