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Growing Wellness Market Offers Bright Future for Spas

Posted: June 2, 2010

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A focus of the report (prepared for the Global Spa Summit and sponsored by Murad Inc.) was to provide the first rigorous investigation into how the spa industry fits into, and can capitalize on, the “wellness” consumer revolution. Although the beauty, anti-aging, and fitness markets naturally boast larger valuations, the SRO study points out that the spa industry is one of the most logical sectors to take advantage of, and lead, the wellness industry.

According to Susie Ellis, Global Spa Summit board member, the reason for this is that spa touches on all the other niches in the wellness cluster and is a natural gateway for consumers to explore wellness. “Consumers already associate spas with wellness, and increasingly modern spas are expanding far beyond traditional pampering, integrating fitness, complementary/alternative medicines, preventive health, advanced beauty/anti-aging and weight loss/nutrition—as well as becoming a key player in medical and wellness tourism.”

“Not only does this report analyze the current unique position of the spa industry within the huge wellness market, it provides a detailed road map for spas to tap into future consumers and markets, whether through forging creative partnerships with the medical industry, seizing the corporate health opportunity, or launching new consumer offerings, such as wellness life-coaching and memberships,” said Ellis. “There are so many practical things spas can start doing now, like gathering and building the scientific, evidence-based data that wellness approaches really work, so that physicians, insurers, public health officials and corporations can get on board.”

Key SRO study findings

  • 81% of consumers are “extremely” or “very interested” in improving their personal wellness.
  • Top three things consumers are most likely to do to improve their wellness: exercise, eat better and visit a spa.
  • 82% of spa industry respondents report they’ve already made changes in their business during the past five years to respond to the wellness trend, and the vast majority has seen revenue growth as a result.
  • Although medical tourism ($50 billion) has generated far more discussion up to now, “wellness tourism” (consumer travel to pursue holistic, preventive or lifestyle-based services) represents a market more than twice as large ($106 billion).
  • 71% of consumers would be more likely to visit spas if they learned that a series of research studies demonstrated treatments deliver measurable health benefits.