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A group of spa experts at a spa marketing-and-media company has released its predictions of spa-industry trends for 2008.“Spas are sparking important new ideas in everything from health, fitness and beauty, to architecture, design and cuisine,” said SpaFinder, Inc. President Susie Ellis, whose staff compiled the trends list. “As we look at these spa trends for 2008, we're seeing the future—from where we live, to how we plan a family, to how well we sleep.”
Trends for 2008:
1. The feng shui'd gym: Spas' décor will inform gyms, and waterfalls and fine art will share space with swimming pools and weight benches.
2. A star (therapist) is born: experienced spa guests will develop loyalty toward great spa therapists, and spread the word about them.
3. Wellness, wellness, wellness: Consumers increasingly desire to be healthier, feel more vital, and maintain a youthful appearance, and spas are a cornerstone to achieving a state, and sense, of wellness.
4. Luxury detox and luxury boot camps: Many spas are beginning to treat weight loss and detox less as punishments and more as celebrations. Dovetailing with this trend is the “spa-ification” of drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation centers, which are incorporating massage, fitness, nutrition and meditation into their programs. (See MASSAGE Magazine, February 2007, "Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Massage Therapy Helps Recovery from Addictions.)
5. Spa real estate mania: There are now more than 250 residential communities with a spa/healthy living component in the United States. (www.massagemag.com/condospas)
6. Taking sleep seriously: About two out
7. Fertility tranquility: Hopeful parents-to-be are visiting spas in search of tranquility, and some spas offer treatments and diet regimens designed to boost fertility.
8. Hydro and thermal super experiences: An increased appreciation for the benefits of water therapies combined with spas' desire to offer staff-free treatments is leading to a renaissance in taking the waters. Whirlpools, waterfalls and specialized showers are increasingly popular at spas.
9. Urban spa explorer: Young urbanites choose less-expensive, ethnic spas, such as Russian and Korean baths and Thai massage parlors. As these spas are discovered they’ll become more popular, larger and more beautiful; in other words, part of the official spa industry.
10. Plug-in or unplug: Four out of five spas report that less connectivity (making the spa a laptop-, Blackberry- and cell phone-free zone) represents the fastest-growing consumer demand—but one in five spas report guests want more connectivity. So don’t be surprised if the customary questions posed at your next spa visit, like “male or female?” and “lavender or ginger?” are followed by a new option: “plugged or unplugged?”
SpaFinder maintains a global media network, including www.spafinder.com, Luxury SpaFinder magazine and the annual Global SpaFinder Directory.