USA Today shared Gerald Celente’s (Trends Journal) predictions of the top trends for 2007 in yesterday’s issue. Interesting that one of those trends is the same as what Spa Finder predicted for 2007 – a rise in medical tourism.
“American consumers will be “globetrotting to find the best prices for the best medical care,” seeking out overseas doctors to perform procedures not readily available or not covered by insurance. Celente calls this “medical outsourcing.”
“In 2007, more and more people will travel to another city, state or country for medical spa experiences, creating a new trend: medical tourism. A range of new technologies will attract these medical tourists – DNA analysis, for example, and new generations of anti-aging medicines, injectables and lasers. But another big draw will be cost. Squeezed by domestic health care costs, many Americans are going online and discovering global destinations that offer cutting-edge medical procedures for a fraction of the cost … often in beautiful, culturally rich locales like Bangkok, South Africa and India, to name a few.”
I think that when a trend gets noticed both inside and outside the spa industry, we can be quite sure that this trend is gathering steam.
I am in Las Vegas at the ISPA(International Spa Association) conference. I always enjoy catching up with colleagues and checking out the trade show floor. This year, there are 3,000 attendees. I remember when the conference had just a few hundred. The industry has really grown. The conferences keep getting better – and this one may have been one of the stronger ones.
Jim Root (left) is going to be the next chairman of ISPA, and he shared that his first order of business is going to be changing the commonly used term “spa industry” to “spa community”. That has a nice feel to it. And the timing might just be perfect.
It is interesting to reflect on the growth of ISPAand how each of its leaders has contributed to the organization. I have been involved with ISPA almost from the very beginning (1991), and I feel that each of its chairpersons has left their imprint on the organization – and that, in turn, has affected the entire industry. I am sure that every ISPA member would have their own interpretation, but this is how I remember each of their contributions:
Werner Mendel – let’s get things started John Korpi – let’s think bigger Alex Szekely – let’s live the vision and think long-term Jerry Katzoff – let’s make this profitable Jane Segerberg – let’s get more professionally organized Thad Hyland – let’s get our priorities in line Gayle Brady – let’s run this like a business Jeff Kohl – let’s set accounting standards Kate Mearns – let’s listen to our members Jim Root – let’s become more of a community
Each leader’s contributions were important and, in retrospect, might have been exactly what was needed at the time. “From industry to community” might be a very spa-like way toward greater health.