Spa Industry Trends That Touch the Guest

By Allie Hembree Public Relations Manager, International SPA Association | July 21, 2013

As the spa industry continues to grow, so do the spa trends and offerings which, given how spas have become an integral part of the hotel industry's customer experience, also translate into the hotel and hospitality scene. The challenge for the spa industry is to identify the shifts and opportunities available for business growth. For instance, spas are responding to the growing "mind, body and spirit connection" trend by incorporating more results-oriented treatments and experimenting with inspirational programming. As this shift toward healthy living is increasingly important to all types of guests and travelers, spas are beginning to shed their reputation as "pamper palaces."

Returning to its Roots

From the historic beginnings of spa, water has always been a crucial part of spa treatments. The word "spa" is inspired from the Latin words "salus per aqua," which means "health through water." One strong emerging trend seen in the global spa scene is the renewed interest in water-based treatments.

According to Hilton Hotels & Resorts' report titled Hilton Blue Paper (published in the January/February 2013 issue of the International SPA Association's Pulse magazine), "now more than ever, spa-goers in the Middle East and Africa are interested in treatments that pay homage to their cultural roots. This includes a renewed interest in wet treatments and hammams."

The report also recognizes how modern spas employ creative floor space planning in order build these water-based treatment rooms. "While traditional hammams consist of large heated and cooled rooms, modern spa design does not generally have the luxury of that space. Spas today are finding ways to bring back these treatments in more intimate environments, leading to a new and modern take on hammams." European spas, in particular, focus more on finding different ways to use water treatments for spa-goers seeking health and stress-relief.

The report further states that "there has been a recent reemergence of water-based treatments across Europe-water therapy, hydrotherapy and other thermal practices-most notably in Eastern European countries such as Russia, Hungary and Poland. While these therapies are inherent in European culture-remnants of bathhouses can be found among the ruins of ancient Rome-they have evolved and are becoming far more prescriptive to meet the needs of today's spa guests and their overall focus of holistic well-being."

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