Singapore, 18 December 2009 – Intelligent Spas is the most reliable spa benchmark and research company according to an independent review conducted by US-based spa consulting company, Health Fitness Dynamics, Inc. (HFD).

The review aimed “to determine if the studies are ‘real research’ or ‘press-release’ research, e.g., are they following the best practices for valid, reliable research or are they providing information that get people’s attention.” Judy Singer, President of HFD stated “there are lots of established, well-known as well as new research and consulting companies that are conducting various types of spa benchmarking studies, but their reputation and expertise in one area does not mean they have the experience, industry knowledge, objectivity, etc. to conduct reliable spa research.”

The Results:

· “Right now there is only one company, Intelligent Spas, that is totally dedicated to spa research. They are the pioneer and leader and have set the benchmark for other research companies that aspire to contribute to the growth of the spa industry.”

· “Intelligent Spas is the only dedicated spa-specific research company that does nothing other than collect, analyze and report findings. They have been doing spa research since 2001 which is longer than any other company, do it globally, collect the most amount of data and have the greatest number of metrics. They are the only company that does not provide any consulting; therefore, there are no conflicts of interest in terms of how the data is used. They only release research which achieves a response rate of at least 5% of the spa population, which provides a statistically reliable sample size in industry research terms.”

“We are pleased to receive this important recognition as it is troubling to see the volume of unreliable information circulating within the industry – it wastes people’s time and increases their business risk. Intelligent Spas is very proud of its unique 100% independent, professional research model and looks forward to continuing to provide reliable spa industry research to help spa operators, suppliers and consultants realize their true potential. I commend Judy on her initiative to conduct this independent review” stated Julie Garrow, Managing Director of Intelligent Spas (www.IntelligentSpas.com).

How to Identify Professional Research Versus Marketing Releases

1. Disclosure: Market research is a science therefore industry studies and benchmarking statistics should be developed based on professional market research principles. The research objectives, methodology and survey response rates achieved and the related sample size as a proportion of the survey population should be disclosed so the readers may accurately interpret the results. If this information is not provided, the content was probably not produced by conducting professional market research or the study likely did not succeed due to lack of responses. Such content is not reliable research and therefore should not be released, circulated, promoted or used.

2. Price: Professional market research is too expensive to conduct if the results are only going to be given away for free. Any research which is free, is most likely a marketing campaign. Conversely, just because you pay more, does not mean the research is higher quality.

Key Success Factors

· Respecting we cannot do it without the spas participating, there is no charge to participate and participants are rewarded with the full survey results, plus extra benchmarking tables which are not available for sale. Non-participants and non-spas may purchase the professional industry reports to access the business intelligence.

· Intelligent Spas’ unique 100% independence policy ensures all individual survey data submitted by spas is not used for any other purpose, so spa owners and managers may feel comfortable their data is kept strictly confidential.

· The benchmarks are comparable across the entire spa industry due to the consistent global research methodology implemented.
· Intelligent Spas does not conduct anonymous surveys. Each respondent must identify themselves, comply with Intelligent Spas’ benchmark definition of “spa” and pass numerous screening criteria to qualify to ensure the research is accurate and reliable for users.

· Julie Garrow, Managing Director of Intelligent Spas personally takes time to “clean” the survey data to ensure the responses are correct, explaining “this is an important part of our research process which requires ‘spa industry’ experience, it cannot be conducted by just anyone. Obvious input mistakes such as a single spa entering 199,534 in the ‘number of employees’ field can easily be corrected. However, I also check for less obvious errors by cross referencing specific survey questions to ensure the data is realistic, for example, spa size versus number of treatment rooms and average revenue per visit versus pricing.”
“…unreliable information wastes people’s time and increases their business risk”

Julie Garrow, Managing Director, Intelligent Spas
Join Intelligent Spas’ 2010 Spa Benchmark Program Now

Intelligent Spas’ Global Spa Benchmark Program is currently underway in over 80 countries and aims to produce reliable and comparable statistics to help spas maximize their performance, provide business intelligence to assist other organizations to better understand, service and support the spa industry plus generate greater awareness of the spa industry to increase spa visits. To join Intelligent Spas’ free Global Spa Benchmark Program, register at www.IntelligentSpas.com.

Spa Benchmarks Available

Intelligent Spas is the only 100% independent research company specializing in the spa industry and holds the largest database of spa industry intelligence in the world after conducting comprehensive spa industry research over the last eight years.

Intelligent Spas’ research aims to provide a reliable update of the spa population, profile, size and value, plus calculate updated and reliable industry benchmarks for key financial and performance indicators. Intelligent Spas’ reports are available from www.IntelligentSpas.com and typically contain over 800 updated spa industry benchmarks relating to total spa revenue, treatment revenue, spa expenses, visits and employment, with many topics showing historical data available from 2005 to 2008, plus forecast data for 2009 and 2010.

Other statistics and benchmark ratios featured in the reports include:
· Average Revenue per Visit
· Total Revenue and Treatment Revenue per Available Treatment Hour and Minute
· Total Revenue and Treatment Revenue per Square Meter/Foot
· Total Revenue and Treatment Revenue per Available Treatment Room
· Total Revenue and Treatment Revenue per Employee
· Breakdown of Total Revenue including retail revenue
· Breakdown of Total Expenses including salaries
· Visitor Profiles by Gender, Age and Residence

· Proportion of Hotel Guests Visiting the Spa
The reports also present a collection of supporting business intelligence including:

· Spa business models describing ownership, business structure, management structures.

· Spa infrastructure covering spa size, space breakdown, treatment rooms and stations, standard support facilities versus water-based support facilities.

· Spa menus such as variety of hydrotherapy and water-based treatments offered and the range of treatments practiced.

· The latest spa industry trends.
To read the full review, click here.

Online Media Centre: www.IntelligentSpas.com

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