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International Trends: Spa Growth in Singapore

By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: June 20, 2007, from the July 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 6 of 6

Future insights
      The Intelligent Spa Survey identified that a key trend in the Singapore spa industry indicated by managers and owners was the competitive and affordable prices currently being offered. Another trend was the increase of medical-related treatments being introduced. And, as in the U.S. market, spa-goers in Singapore are looking for a total spa experience. As for client trends, these Asian spas are seeing more male and younger clients, as well as more couples’ services, and gift certificate sales are on the rise.
      At Estheva Spa, Tech sees the future trends as including anti-aging treatments and definitely massage. “It’s all in the package,” he states. “The trend really is to put together comprehensive packages. It needs to be viewed as a lifestyle to help the client look good and younger. Natural is also a trend. The spa industry is very competitive in Singapore; spas here must rise up in order to stay on top.”
      Sinnathurai feels that a big trend is the return to the basics. “A lot of Asian treatments are going back to ayurveda and Chinese traditions,” she explains. “Most of the treatments are hands-on—look at Thailand and India for examples. A lot of people come to Asia as a retreat and for detox programs, plus as a way of their lifestyle.
      “In addition, a lot of American trends are coming to Asia,” she continues. “This includes old, traditional treatments. Singapore turns to the States for esthetics, products and technology.”
      What else is hot in Singapore? Sinnathurai is seeing a surge in body treatments using chocolate, tamaran scrub, papaya wrap, saffron and coffee as main ingredients. (See Trend Watch.)

Challenges
      Yfantidis states that a problem with spas in Singapore is the high turnover in service, noting that it is a very business-focused country. She sees the industry as changing more toward holistic therapy and wellness. And as for the future of Whatever, she would like to franchise it and increase the healing center. “I’d like to make it more spa-oriented and bring in more organic products, all natural-based. It’s all about going back to nature,” she states, adding that spas in Singapore are going away from pampering and moving more toward healing.
      Another major challenge that Asian spa owners face, says Tech, is that the industry is growing in all directions, and there is a lot of competition. “They need to differentiate, and that is where the spa owner must get creative,” he stresses. “Spas need to have a mainstay treatment in addition to developing signature treatments. Innovation is the key. Spas must be able to stand out in the crowd, and clients need to be able to differentiate between spas.”
      Despite the challenges, the spa future looks promising for this business-savvy country, and with tourism on the rise, spa managers will be putting more marketing power into working on capturing this affluent market.

References
1. Singapore Department of Statistics, www.singstat.gov.sg
2. Singapore Tourism Board, http://app.stb.com.sg/asp/index.asp
(Both accessed April 15, 2007)