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SpaFinder Announces Its 2010 Trend Predictions

Posted: December 9, 2009

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2) Year of the hammam. With spa-goers increasingly seeking authenticity, tradition, and that magical spa experience that also offers true results, the Middle Eastern hammam (hamam in Turkey) represents one of the hottest trends for 2010, albeit with a distinctly modern expression. This is the year in which people who have never heard the term hammam will learn its meaning, and those already familiar with it will discover new places to experience it.

3) Not going to, but belonging to a spa. No longer a place where you infrequently go for the occasional treatment, spas are being creatively re-imagined as places of belonging—not only through the big rise in membership programs, but also in the diverse ways spas are being recast as social or communal hubs, contributing the additional, although unspoken, benefit of emotional health.

4) The online spa. 2010 will be a watershed year for the spa industry’s virtual presence. Consumers are already online searching for spas, booking treatments, joining online weight loss and coaching groups, and embracing social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Some even play the online Sally Spa game. But there’s more to come. Get ready for gaming while you exercise, for having health information like your blood pressure and heart rate automatically uploaded for access online by your spa or doctor, and for spas to use yield management software that—much like the airlines—enables price variation, so spas can offer a less expensive massage on weekday mornings, compared to Saturday afternoons. And in early 2010, you’ll be able to stroll down any street in the United States and check your iPhone to pinpoint the spa nearest you, thanks to the upcoming SpaFinder app.

5) The hybrid spa. The modern spa is increasingly a hyphenated affair, with spas incorporating far more fitness, fitness centers incorporating more spa, hospitals incorporating spa elements, and spas bringing in more medical doctors and specialists. The era of the spa/fitness/integrated-health-center/hospital/spiritual-retreat/wellness-center/beauty-clinic is on a serious upswing. It’s one integrated human body, after all, and the “pure” spa is on the decline, while the hybrid spa is busy inventing new you-name-it plugged-in hybrid models.

6) The price is (still) right. 2009’s headline spa story was the industry’s aggressive response to the global recession and the near-universal focus on deals, deals and more deals. While there’s cautious consensus that the economy is in recovery mode, there’s great news for consumers in 2010: The spa bargains will continue apace, not only straight discounting, but also more innovative incentives smartly designed by spas to drive incremental revenue and retain loyal customers. And keep an eye out for savvy new spas combining less expensive treatments and facilities with a touch of glamour, hitting a sweet spot between nice and price.