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Intelligent Spas Surveys the Industry in South Africa

Posted: October 15, 2009

The spa market research company Intelligent Spas has released a survey on the industry in South Africa, showing how it has been affected by the global recession and its curret positions within the global spa industry.

Intelligent Spas' second Spa Benchmark Report on the South African spa market presents an extensive collection of financial statistics, including breakdowns of key performance indicators by day spas, hotel spas and resort spas. The new research found more than 200 spas are operating in South Africa and generated revenue of ZAR380 million (approximately $47 million) in 2008, representing a 2% decrease compared to 2007.

Other key findings include:

  • 45% of spas were day spas (not co-located with accommodation) and 55% were destination spas incorporating hotel, resort and retreat spas offering overnight accommodation.
  • More than 2,500 people were employed by the South Africa spa industry in 2008, which was a 15% increase on 2007 employment numbers.
  • Treatment revenue per spa decreased by 16% between 2007 and 2008.
  • Hotel spas achieved higher revenue per spa compared to day spas and resort spas.
  • Day spas achieved more daily visits per spa on average compared to hotel and resort spas.
  • Less than 30% of spa visits were from males.
  • International tourists made up over one fifth of visitors.
  • More than two-thirds of visits to hotel spas were from people not staying in the adjoining hotel, highlighting the importance of hotel and resort spas also catering to their local markets in terms of operational policies and procedures and incorporating local day spas in their competitor analysis activities.
  • Prices of standard spa treatments were higher at hotel spas in comparison to prices set by day spas and resort spas.
  • 77% of respondents stated clients are more price-sensitive, explaining clients had requested discounts, packaged treatments and added value.

"The South African spa market is performing relatively well despite the global economic conditions, and spa owners and managers have a positive outlook. This updated research identifies key differences in the performance of day spas, hotel spas and resort spas which are critical for each type of operator to understand" stated Julie Garrow, managing director of the independent research company Intelligent Spas.

Dr. Nadine de Freitas, executive eirector of the South African Spa Association, added, "The release of the South African Spa Benchmark Report is a fundamental step in the growth and maturity of the South African spa industry, allowing an accurate understanding of the industry statistics, financial indicators, industry weaknesses and strengths, to facilitate efficient spa operations and maximise profit potential and industry opportunities. The South African Spa Association thanks Julie Garrow and Intelligent Spas for their commitment to 100% independent spa research, so allowing all investors and spa operators access to crucial spa intelligence, to indentify key success factors and ensure a successful and competitive spa, in today's ever-changing market."