ISPA Sees the 2009 Spa Industry Landscape


From customizing your style to customizing your car, you want services tailor-made to your busy lifestyle. This is why, as the voice of the spa industry, the International SPA Association (ISPA) is forecasting customization as one of the hottest trends of 2009.

"In this economy, people are watching their money, plain and simple. Spa professionals are listening to the needs of customers and creating specialized treatments. Whether it's a 30-minute pick-me-up massage on a lunch hour or soothing those worked-to-the-bone Wi-Fi fingers, it's all about meeting the demands of consumers," says ISPA president Lynne McNees.

The following are the top trends ISPA expects to see in 2009:

  • Customized treatments: In addition to 30-minute facials and massages, spa owners are listening to the demands and desires of their customers. So whether you're looking to combine a series of treatments or have one tailored to fit your needs (i.e., Wi-Fi massage), talk to someone at your spa about how it can best fit into your lifestyle.
  • Mind, body and spirit: Consumers are looking to spas to recharge not only their body, but their spirit and mind as well. Many spas are increasing self-discovery services such as ropes courses, art classes and other learning activities that help consumers to stop, be still and focus on themselves.
  • Family-friendly resort spas: In an era where everyone is moving at warp speed, more and more people are looking for spas that cater to families. These spas are responding to the need for families to communicate and spend time together, whether it's flying through the air on a trapeze or attending family yoga.
  • Organic spas: More spas than ever before are offering environmentally friendly products and services, but that's not all. Many feature outdoor treatments and eco-friendly facilities, as well as treatments that highlight indigenous plants and the environment in which the spa is located (i.e., seashell body treatment and blueberry body wrap).
  • Spa credits: In this economy, the smart traveler is the one who de-stresses at the hotel spa after a long flight. Hotels are looking to entice travelers and increase bookings by offering free treatments or spa credits when booking a room.
  • Spa memberships: Similar to a gym membership, it allows spa-goers to experience spas at a lower cost. A 12-month membership could include unlimited use of the facility, a treatment a month and discounts on additional monthly services.
  • Half-day spa vacations: With people watching every penny, many are canceling their expensive vacations and instead turning to spas. Transform your morning or afternoon into a full-blown escape with a massage, facial and pedicure.
  • Dental spas: Your annual cleaning just got more relaxing. The American Dental Association says about 50% of U.S. dentists are providing spa amenities at no additional charge. With hand massages, paraffin wax dips and reflexology, you'll never dread the drill again.
  • Tried and true: Consumers are moving away from the trendy and seeking treatments with proven and tangible results. They're getting back to basics, focusing on core spa services such as deep tissue massage and clarifying facials.
  • Increased spa amenities: Turn a 60-minute service into an entire afternoon of rejuvenation by taking advantage of the spa's amenities. After your hot stone massage, take a plunge in the pool, sit in the sauna or cool down in an ice room; today's spas encourage loitering.

ISPA represents 3,200 members, both spas and product companies, in 83 countries. It's simple to find an ISPA member on

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