Evaluating Spa Research and Deciding What Data Speaks for Our Industry
By Susie Ellis
This is an important topic, one that I have decided to tackle in small bits rather than in one large blog post. As many people know, ISPA had their media event in New York about three weeks ago and gave some preliminary results from their two upcoming research reports – one regarding the domestic spa industry and the other their first global study. Some of the information given out at the media event (which I attended), along with some of the information posted on their website and mentioned in their recent press releases, stirred up questions and concerns – especially in regards to the issue of the decrease, or flattening, of total spa revenues when comparing 2006 with 2005.
I have gotten emails from industry colleagues with questions and have also read a few other blogs where the issue has, and still is, being discussed. Initially I had written a blog to explain my viewpoint and share additional spa research data from other sources including Spa Finder, but after posting, for just one day, I decided to take it down and speak with some of the people at ISPA first. I wanted to be certain that I had good understanding of the background of the situation. Therefore I emailed Jim Root, Chairman of ISPA and Stephanie Ashley, who is in charge of ISPA’s research to ask each of them if I might be able to speak with them by phone. Both were gracious and said yes. We then had our phone call on Tuesday which involved a few other ISPA staff members as well as Nikita Sarkar, Spa Finder’s research director. Together we addressed concerns and discrepancies – and I think all of us came away with greater understanding.
Beginning tomorrow I will address these issues one by one. I think I’ll start with the issue of what is counted as spa revenue.
Looking forward to having your input as well so please click on “comment” at the end of any of these blog posts to add your perspectives as well.