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A Global Perspective

By: Abby Penning
Posted: October 17, 2008, from the November 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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With Egypt’s proximity to the Middle East, it is seeing a similar booming trend, but budding spa growth on the rest of the African continent is also beginning to expand. Ariss notes that South African spas are coming into their own, showing a flair for using local resources. “They’re very strong in the natural trend, and they have very good local resources through agriculture for ingredients and products,” she says.

Africa is also emerging as a tourist destination with its wilderness and stunning natural beauty, helping some of its hotels and resorts score top spots on the 2008 World’s Best reader survey in Travel + Leisure magazine. “The market is still being sought out there,” Ariss explains. “Many more people are going to Africa because of tourism, and just a handful of them are going to experience the spas there. You mainly hear about travel to Africa for safari and charitable missions, but not spas.” This, however, makes the area important in the future growth of the spa market.

Another continent just picking up steam in terms of the spa industry, Ariss says, is South America. “In South America, there is a lot of opportunity just starting to emerge,” she explains. “Brazil in particular is growing in the spa industry; that country is seeing spas opening like crazy. South America is full of opportunities and money to be had.”

This opportunity outlet is allowing for the new development of distinctly South American trends and treatments. “They’re still young and scrambling to get a firm, knowledgeable grip on the industry,” Ariss notes. “They aren’t yet quite as sophisticated as spas in Europe, but they are distinctly working on building their own branding. There is enormous potential there.”

With the growth of the luxury industries in these countries, more and more people are seeing them as vacation destinations, making the African and South American spa markets on the verge of breaking open in the near future.