Upscale spas will be à la mode in 2007

Predictions for next year's spa trends point to a growth in high-end spas offering Asian and holistic treatments

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By  Sarah Gain Published  December 20, 2006

In its fourth annual prediction of international spa trends, spa expert, Spa Finder, has predicted that sleep, detox, and fusion treatments will be the big sellers in 2007. The company also predicts that the rapid growth of medical wellness and the renewed interest in water experiences that were witnessed by the industry this year will continue. Spa participation among specific social groups such as men, pregnant women, teens, couples and groups is also expected to grow. “These trends will all continue to unfold and develop in 2007, and of course, entirely new concepts will hit the scene,” said Spa Finder’s president Susie Ellis. “Evolution is the one constant in the vibrant world of spa,” she added. On a regional level, the hot topics of 2006 will also continue to dominate over the next 12 months, as the Middle East perseveres in the footsteps of the more mature global markets, according to Beauty Leaders’ director of operations, Liane Bakaou. “Since the spa market is booming, 2007 will see an emergence of signature spas and anti-ageing, medical spas, as is now the trend on an international level,” Bakaou told Leisure Manager. “The current spa trends are leaning more towards the Asian and holistic themes, and well-being will continue to be the most important factor for all, as we all want to escape, even just for a little while, from the hustle and bustle of daily life,” she added. Beauty Leaders also anticipates that the ongoing heavy focus on top end spa facilities, offering high-quality service, will remain the defining aspect of the region’s burgeoning market. If spa directors are able to develop sufficiently effective management processes, that is. “Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are very important as many of the facilities here in the Middle East either do not have functional SOPs set up, or are currently running with only the most basic procedures in place, which cannot cover the needs of their facility,” said Bakaou. “Professional SOPs and a strong management core must be in place if spas here hope to drive the reputation for high standards of service, and the trend for up-scale spas, forward over the next year,” she cautioned. “Spas in the region are learning fast, however, and with the right operational tools we might even catch up to the bigger markets in Asia and the US.”

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