Spa industry launches into a new era built on consumer trust
MORE than 70 speakers were at the online Professional Beauty World Spa & Wellness Conference for three days from 12th to 14th May (Tuesday-Thursday), rethinking the predominantly leisure and pampering industry in preparation to launch into the new, post-pandemic era.
Paramount to the industry’s influencers and its experts was consumer safety, that much of what had always been going on behind the scenes would be at the forefront of the spa and wellness experience while at the same time, maintaining its integral wellbeing ethos. Jean-Guy de Gabriac, Founder of the World Wellness Weekend and of Tip Touch International, conference co-host along with Mark Moloney opened the conference with the clear indication that consumer safety and trust was paramount to the future of the industry.
“It isn’t really about the economic dimension,” said Jean-Guy de Gabriac. “It is really about the empowerment that we can share right now, how we can educate and help navigate these uncharted waters and not just focusing on one pandemic. When we reopen, I truly believe it is time for our industry to be the second wave of responders, to help people understand how they can be their own health managers, the artisans of their own wellbeing.”
The industry has inherently been categorised for its beauty and skincare treatments along with a variety of conditioning therapies. The post-pandemic era of treatments that predominated at the conference, however, clearly defined an industry that has consistently aimed for the highest hygiene standards, less present to the consumer in the past which is expected to become much more visible if consumer trust is to grow.
“The balance lies in our hospital-grade sanitation as well as communicating this to customers, but most importantly we haven’t changed,” said Peigin Crowley, co-founder of the Irish Spa Association. “We are still here to mind you. We are not a hospital. We are not medical. In fact, we are the wellness response to what (consumers) have been through.”
The new era for spas and wellness centres is expected to stem first from among local consumers from a community that existed before the pandemic thirsty to return while new interest may be drawn to new and expanding therapies with improved value incentives. Expert predictions from the conference emphasised the importance of the spa experience while maintaining prices where possible.
“It is not a reopening,” said Kenneth Ryan, Marriott International USA Global Operations Spa, Fitness & Online Retail vice-president. “I would encourage everyone to think about their spa as the first opening. We need to maintain the space where we can be touched together as a community, and the spa is going to be the place where there gets to be healing for that.”
The UK Spa Association results for ‘What’s next for Wellness’ survey will be released on Monday, 18th May online at https://www.spa-uk.org and on Facebook.
Watch the Wellness for Cancer website for a new directory opportunity to be updated by spa and wellness industry professionals on https://w4cancer.com, which will provide a comprehensive list of spas and wellness centres offering a range of therapies to support recovery from cancer from diagnosis, through treatment and remission.