More than 1,300 active spa-goers were recently surveyed about their buying patterns, spending habits, best spa experiences, and other hot topics—and the findings can apply to massage therapists’ marketing as well.

Among the findings:

  • 74 percent of respondents cited word-of-mouth referrals as their primary method of selecting a new spa.
  • 69 percent had their most recent spa experience at a location near where they live; 21 percent were at a hotel they stayed at for leisure.
  • 84 percent say it is important for therapists to explain products and their benefits during the treatment.
  • 82 percent are interested in buying a series package in order to achieve benefits of skin care.
  • 81 percent cited discounts, not free treatments, as their number one reason to try a new spa.

    “We found it particularly interesting that, despite the economy, many of the respondents could be swayed to spend more at spas with the right motivating forces, some of which were unexpected,” said Arthur Chang VP of Development at Coyle Hospitality Group, a market research firm. “People need to feel like their treatments are truly an investment in their well being and are looking for getting a value. Many also commented that they would be drawn to spas that are somehow giving back to the community.”

    The full report, available at