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Global Beauty: Trends in the Spa World

Melinda Taschetta-Millane December 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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It probably comes as no surprise to you that today’s spa industry is an $11.2 billion-plus industry, which makes it the fourth-largest leisure industry—falling not far behind the No. 1-ranked golf industry at $19.7 billion; cruise lines at $14.7 billion; and health and racket clubs at $14.1 billion.As a top-grossing industry, spas are ahead of amusement parks, box office receipts and even time-shares.

We all know that today’s consumers are savvy. They are well-educated, know the benefits of total-body wellness and are buying into the spa experience. Two years ago, the International SPA Association’s (ISPA) annual industry trends report touched on consumer behavior and found that people wanted “pampering” in order to stay healthy and look good, and that they generally were knowledgeable and demanding about spa services. However, new findings conclude that a shift in attitude continues to affect the industry. The spa emphasis now is on self-preservation,and spas have gained a new aura of respectability. People want to reward themselves for working so hard. De-stressing and decompressing are cited as the top two reasons for “being touched and pampered,” according to the ISPA survey.

The desire for relaxation and pampering has deepened throughout the past five years, and is now broader-based. The under-35 group is willing to invest in it; the 45-plus group took a little longer to be won over by its appeal. And all of this was fueled by the baby boomers when they hit 40. Boomers and their children also will pay to look young and healthy. In the United States alone, the market for anti-aging skin care products is valued at nearly $2.5 billion for theretail sector and is growing at double-digit rates.

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Spa Trends

  • Spirituality
  • Life coaching
  • Image management and consultation
  • Acupuncture
  • Choice—custom-tailored spa options
  • Men’s grooming
  • Men-only spas
  • Fitness centers
  • Children’s services/kids spas
  • Ayurveda
  • Shiatsu
  • Lomy lomy
  • Medical advancements
  • Noninvasive alternatives to plastic surgery
  • International travel for medical and aesthetic treatments
  • Light-emitting diodes (LED)
  • Laser advancements
  • Indigenous treatments—the whole “greening of the spa” movement
  • The Asian influence
  • Pre- and post-op treatments for the mouth
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