Each year, I always look forward to the release of SpaFinder President Susie Ellis’s picks for top spa trends. She’s a wonderful and important part of our industry, and her insights are always spot-on. This year is no exception. Here are her thoughts:
1. The New “P” Word
Against the backdrop of a global healthcare crisis, prevention is poised to be the new “it” word of the spa industry in 2010 and beyond.
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 represents one of the hottest trends for 2010, albeit with a distinctly modern expression.
3. Not “Going to,” But “Belonging to” a Spa
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.
4. The Online Spa
2010 will be a watershed year for the spa industry’s virtual presence.
5. The Hybrid Spa
The era of the spa/fitness/integrated-health-center/hospital/spiritual-retreat/wellness-center/beauty-clinic is on a serious upswing.
6. The Price Is (Still) Right
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.
7. Wellness Tourism Wows
Make room for “wellness tourism,” a new term describing travel across borders for preventive services, diagnostics, spa and well-being vacations, and even stem cell banking.
8. Scary and Silly Spa Stories Drive Evidence, Science, and Standards
The fallout from heavily publicized spa horror stories—and the recession-driven consumer insistence on no-gimmick treatments with real, measurable benefits—will quicken a rising industry trend: the demand for evidence-based therapies, stricter industry standards, and greater transparency/resources.
9. Diversity at a Tipping Point
Spa-going has become so mainstream that the face of the spa-goer will now continue to reflect the wider global population. Every spa region has its unique “diversity story,” and around the globe far more men, younger and older generations, and ethnic groups are hitting the spa. Spas are taking note, with offerings that cater to these diverse groups’ needs and wants.
With the spa as one of the last remaining sanctuaries of silence and serenity, look for the industry to put a new emphasis on stillness, on slowness, on silence.
As spa experts, what do you think of these trends? And what do you see on the horizon for 2010? Share your thoughts here, and look for an upcoming issue of American Spa for more details on Susie’s selections.