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Travel Agents Report Healthy Growth for Spa Travel

Posted: March 14, 2013
SpaFinder Wellness "2012 State of Spa Travel" survey.

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Baby boomers aka the eternal spa traveler: The health-obsessed baby boomer generation (individuals aged 48-67) remains this travel sector’s core demographic, with 67% of agents reporting that they were the age group most likely to book spa travel in 2012. But a significant 31% of agents pegged the younger, 26-45 age group, as now most likely to book spa vacations. This age breakdown is essentially the same as reported for 2011.

More people booking spa travel through agents: Across 2012 there were numerous reports that travel agents were seeing resurgence in their business, particularly in luxury travel, after years of declines.

This new survey provides further confirmation: Sixty-five percent of agents reported that more people booked spa travel through agents in 2012, with 28% claiming levels remained the same as 2011, and only 6% seeing declines.

Agents divided on the Groupon impact: With the daily deal sites now a travel space fixture, the survey gauged how this new reality has impacted travel agents’ business. A significant minority, 44%, reported that the sites have had a direct, negative impact on their bookings. But interestingly, 53% report that the crowded daily deals space has had “little/no impact,” because the “deal customer" is typically not a travel agent customer. Three percent report their spa travel bookings have increased since the emergence of deal sites.

*For this survey “spa travel” was defined as “all bookings for travel/vacations/packages with a strong spa component.”