Glimpse of Spa Industry in Europe While Attending ITB Berlin.
Susie Ellis, SpaFinder, Insider
Am in Berlin – my first time at ITB Berlin which is the world’s largest international travel show. The numbers are staggering…11,000 exhibitors from 180 countries and almost 200,000 visitors – most of them trade. Clearly it’s “the” travel show to attend.
In addition to the huge trade show spread out in pavilion after pavilion on multiple floors covering blocks of space (it can literally take you an hour to walk from one end to the other), there are various conference sessions.
I had been invited to speak at their one-day Wellness Forum and was asked to present the findings of the first Global Spa Economy Report that was commissioned by the Global Spa Summit in May 2008. I took Nicholas, my stepson, along with me since it would give him a chance to tour Berlin which will be new to him.
My trip included spending time with the other speakers, listening to various international perspectives on the spa industry, visiting the travel exhibits including the wellness area (quite small actually) and then another couple of days in Berlin to try out the famous Liquidrom spa and the spa at the Adlon Kempinski. I tagged on a few more days to take in some sights with Nicholas and visit with some relatives who live in this area.
Some quick spa-related observations:
1. Europeans aren’t seeing a huge decline in spa business due to the economy – yet. Some think they may be lagging about 3 months behind the US and expect things to slow down. The most softening so far has been in the luxury segment with day spas not feeling anything yet.
2. Seems that people are beginning to hold back on large purchases – like a new car – however spa services are still an affordable option.
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