Spa Trends of 2010

Spa Trend #1: The New “P” Word

Move over, pampering; hello, prevention. Against the backdrop of a global healthcare crisis, prevention is poised to be the new “it” word of the spa industry. Prevention is not replacing established industry concepts like pampering and wellness. Rather, it’s a sharp (and smart) refocusing of the conversation. Pampering, after all, speaks to the stress-reduction, relaxation goal of most spa-goers, and that in itself is preventive.

Spa Trend #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 (hamam in Turkey) represents one of the hottest spa trends for 2010, albeit with a distinctly modern expression. This is the year in which people who have never heard the term hammam will learn its meaning, and those already familiar with it will discover new places to experience it.

Spa Trend #3: Not “Going to,” But “Belonging to” a Spa

Spas are being creatively re-imagined as places of “belonging,” not just places where you “go” for the occasional treatment. This is happening through the big rise in membership programs, and in the diverse ways spas are being recast as social or communal hubs, which contributes to emotional health.

Spa Trend #4: The Online Spa

2010 will be a watershed year for the spa industry’s virtual presence. Consumers are already online searching for spas, booking treatments, joining online weight loss and coaching groups, and embracing social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Get ready for gaming while you exercise, for having health information (like your blood pressure and heart rate) automatically uploaded for access online by your spa or doctor, and for spas to use yield management software that—much like the airlines—enables price variation, so spas can offer a less expensive massage on weekday mornings, compared to Saturday afternoons.

Spa Trend #5: The Hybrid Spa

Spas are incorporating more fitness, fitness centers are incorporating more spa, hospitals are incorporating spa elements, and spas are bringing in more medical doctors and specialists. The era of the spa/fitness/integrated-health-center/hospital/spiritual-retreat/wellness-center/beauty-clinic is on a serious upswing. It’s one integrated human body, after all, and the “pure” spa is on the decline, while the hybrid spa is busy inventing new you-name-it plugged-in hybrid models.

Spa Trend #6: The Price Is (Still) Right

The spa bargains will continue in 2010. Not only will there be continued discounting, but spas will offer more incentives to bring in revenue and retain loyal customers. And keep an eye out for savvy new spas combining less expensive treatments and facilities with a touch of glamour, hitting a sweet spot between “nice” and “price”.

Spa Trend #7: Wellness Tourism Wows

People seek spas for wellness, while “medical tourism,” means crossing borders for medical procedures (often plastic surgery, dentistry, knee replacements, etc.). Well, make room for “wellness tourism,” a new term describing travel across borders for preventive services, diagnostics, spa and well-being vacations, even stem cell banking. The concept dramatically broadens the appeal of the medical tourism model, which has suffered from its narrow association with plastic surgery. It’s increasingly poised to become the way we define our time away from home and work in the future.

Spa Trend #8: Scary and Silly Spa Stories Drive Evidence, Science, and Standards

The fallout from heavily publicized spa horror stories and consumer insistence on no-gimmick treatments with real, measurable benefits will quicken a rising industry spa trend. Expect increasing demand for evidence-based therapies, stricter industry standards, and greater transparency/resources to help spa-goers separate the wheat from the chaff. As spas move into the health and wellness sectors, facts, evidence, and science that support industry approaches will move front and center, even at the cost of a few diamond facials.

Spa Trend #9: Diversity at a Tipping Point

Analysts have discussed how spas are attracting new demographics (men, teens, seniors, new ethnic groups). But in 2010 diversity has fully arrived, and it’s here to stay. Spa-going has become so mainstream that the face of the spa-goer will now continue to reflect the wider global population. And spas are taking note, with offerings that cater to these diverse groups’ needs and wants. Set to explode: In the U.S. alone, where approximately 78 million baby boomers are poised to enter their 60s, watch for “silver spa-ing” to really take off.

Spa Trend #10: Stillness

The modern human experience is an unprecedented amount of sensory overload, noise, and media stimulation. We’re wired to the gills, spending nearly all waking hours in front of TV and computer screens—bombarded, texting, tweeting, clattering away—now even on airplanes. 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, slowness, and silence. Examples include totally silent massages/treatments or using white noise and subtle nature sounds instead of music; silent walks, hikes, and dinners; and an upswing in meditation offerings and programs.

Bonus Spa Trend #11: Celebrating Celebration

Travel agents report the #1 emerging spa travel trend is people increasingly hitting stay spas for special occasions like the big ’0s’, anniversaries, weddings, and retirement parties. And after the severe downturn in spas’ corporate/meetings business (which, because of virtual conferencing, will continue to decline), the industry is aggressively incentivizing group celebration travel to revitalize lost business. This concept was born at the day spa (with its long tradition of bachelorette, graduation and “girlfriend” parties), and it’s migrating into the travel arena in 2010.

What are the hottest spa trends for 2010? SpaFinder, Inc., a global spa and wellness company based in New York City, identifies the top 10 global spa trends to watch in 2010.Article retrieved from

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