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Is The Spa Industry Outpacing Itself?

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The International Spa Association (ISPA) released its annual findings of spa industry financial indicators, reporting great news. Total revenue passed US$16 billion increasing from US$15.5 billion in 2014.

It’s evident that the power of touch is alive and thriving. Spa and wellness continues to attract and revitalize new fans around the world.

However, as I read the report an old saying came to mind; “To whom much is given, much is required”.

Just as huge amounts of money and energy are spent developing treatments to attract more market share, I believe that it is incumbent upon our industry to consistently apply the same intensity to therapist education. Creation of programs that teach how to communicate, engage and sell to  guests in a way that feels comfortable and organic would only serve to make the industry stronger.

Imagine the impact that heightened customer engagement could have to the upcoming holiday season. Good will toward men indeed. And of course the increased revenue earnings would be tremendous. How many more product and treatment sales would your therapists generate with targeted training designed to bolster their existing skills?    

When we consider how much “classified” information the spa-going public has access to, it is apparent that old school methods of training are no longer sufficient. Product distributors and spa training managers need to step their game up. The new consumer comes to the spa often armed with as much (sometimes more) knowledge as your professionals. 

 Therapists must learn to connect on a different level. Simply prattling off product ingredients or performing a treatment by rote is no longer good enough. Everyone wants their experience to feel personalized to their needs and why shouldn’t it be?

 During a 2015 Beauty Biz podcast Michael Tompkins, Chairman of ISPA made the point that men are now at 40% of the spa population. “As more men come into spas, we’ll start to see the diversification of the behavioral specifications around men.”  

His assertion applies to millennials and seniors as well.

If we begin to rethink how training is done and adjust accordingly for today’s market, I believe that the industry’s goal of $20 billion by 2020 will be a piece of cake.  


Linda Harding-Bond
Linda Harding-Bond is shifting the paradigm on spa retail training. Her Express Online Retail Training Course is exactly what's needed for post-COVID-19 spa re-openings. Designed to bring your therapists' retail skills up to speed, it will quickly position retail as a robust alternate revenue stream. Linda has provided training for many world-class organizations including The Oberoi Group, St. Regis Hotel, Anantara Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels, The Resort at Pedregal, GoldenEye Resort and Spa and Six Senses Resorts. She is author of "Listen, Engage, Sell!: The Foolproof Method for Increasing Spa Sales in 7 Days or Less" and "The New Esthy Handbook: an Essential Guide for Novice or Nervous Estheticians". Connect with her at Linda@Moontideconsulting.com .
Linda Harding-Bond

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