Research has become a hallmark of the annual Global Spa Summit, and this year there was a lot of valuable research from a variety of sources. Euromonitor, Horwath and Diagonal Reports presented in person at the Summit and an additional five reports were shared on a USB memory stick and are now available for anyone to access. There is really a lot of great data there.
The slide shown here is one of my favorite slides. It shows the global recession and recovery. Notice that although Asia felt the recession early and deep, it has had the most spectacular recovery. I think that all of us who attended the Summit in Bali could feel the energy and momentum that is represented by this graph.
The rest of Freitag’s Powerpoint report can be accessed at this link. Clicking through his entire Powerpoint is a good visual education on what happened in the hotel industry in 2010 and for the first quarter of 2011.
My opinion: While it might be tempting to simply look at the chart above and say, “that’s interesting, Asia has had the best recovery,” I think it might be valuable to spend some time thinking through the implications of what this will mean for the spa industry and for each of us individually should it continue (and it looks like that will be the case).
With so many new hotel projects opening in Asia and many at the luxury level which means they will all have spas, how is this going to affect the entire spa industry around the world? It may mean a lot of job opportunities. It could also mean there will be a shortage of trained therapists and management. Where do you think the spa managers will come from? Might they be recruited from countries – like the U.S. – where there isn’t as much growth? From where will they hire spa consultants? My guess is that they will first look for consultants in the Asia region. What are the millions of new Chinese and Indian travelers who experience spa first in their country going to expect from their spa experiences when they travel to other parts of the world?
There are lots of questions and it remains to be seen what the answers will actually be. The only thing that we know for sure is that the current roller coaster ride is giving those in Asia a pretty thrilling ride!