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SpaFinder Shows Travelers Looking for Wellness and Pampering

Posted: August 20, 2009

Clients and particularly travelers coming into spas are looking for treatments that improve their health as well as de-stress them, says SpaFinder's State of Spa Travel Survey.

According to SpaFinder’s third annual State of Spa Travel survey released yesterday, travel agents experienced a strong year for spa travel in a tough 2008, but report the industry was measurably impacted in the first half of 2009 as the economy’s downward spiral quickened. However, agents also indicated that they see light at the end of the tunnel, and forecast strengthening for the sector across the remainder of the year.

Highlights from SpaFinder’s survey on emerging spa travel trends include: 2009 is shaping up to be an unprecedented year for spa travel deals; wellness and traditional pampering are not opposing categories, as both are of paramount importance to spa travelers today; and the late-2008 AIG scandal had a relatively modest, but lingering, impact on business spa travel.

“While it’s hardly surprising that the 2009 economy has impacted spa travel, compared with other travel sectors it continues to show resilience,” said Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder. “After all, industry research concurs that the number one reason people go to spas is to de-stress, and today people are more stressed than ever. With consumers increasingly perceiving their health and wellness as a ‘need’ rather than a mere ‘want’—combined with this historic year for spa deals—you have a recipe for relative industry strength.”

SpaFinder’s State of Spa Travel survey was conducted with travel professionals in June and July of 2009, and is designed to illuminate unfolding developments in spa travel, including pricing, consumer adoption, demographics, and popular locations and amenities. Key findings include the following.