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SpaFinder Releases 2011 Global Spa Trends to Watch Report With Exclusive Commentary From SpaFinder President Susie Ellis

Posted: December 3, 2010

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Spas can get creative; they just need to keep this aging demographic in mind when designing their offerings, marketing and communications. They should consider adding pain relief massages to their menu of services, and beauty services that focus on anti-aging or corrective benefits. One way to announce your offerings and commitment to this market would be to do some evening lectures or events around all kinds of aging issues and education, whether physical, mental, spiritual or financial.

2. All Eyes on Asia

Asia has had a profound impact on the spa industry: yoga, Thai massage, ayurvedic medicine and acupuncture are staples on many spa menus, and the “zen” nature of Asian design can be seen in spas worldwide. But historically, it’s been a tale of the mass exportation of Asian spa influences. Now a powerful new story is unfolding: The explosive growth of hotel/spa development within Asia (a market of 4.1 billion people), especially within the two fastest-growing world economies, China and India. These markets and others are developing at a breakneck pace, unleashing extraordinary new class mobility and massive opportunities for hotel/spa development. Consider just two facts: Asia-Pacific has the largest number of spas and hotels under development of any region in the world, and by 2015, China will have 100 million outbound travelers, many seeking a luxury lifestyle that includes a Westernized spa experience.

Stay tuned as the new “Spa Road” runs from China to India and beyond, and hotel/spa developers look to please both tourists seeking authentic ambiance and indigenous treatments and local spa-goers looking for Western-style spa-going.

Keep your eye on: Starwood Hotels & Resorts, 60+ hotels in China and 86 in the pipeline; Marriott International, 89 new hotels in India by 2015; Mumbai-based Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces, 47 luxury resorts in the pipeline.

3. Salt Rooms and Salt Caves

Healing traditions that involve basking in salt caves or water may be centuries old, but they are truly coming of age in some of the most modern spas. The benefits to skin, breathing and rejuvenation are making salt therapy—or halotherapy—one of the hottest trends to watch in 2011. More than folk tradition is behind the spa-salt resurgence: Clinical trials reveal it’s beneficial for respiratory illnesses like asthma, considered a global epedemic, and skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.