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29 Jul 2021

Pandemic’s impact on US spa industry highlighted in ISPA’s 2021 Industry Study
BY Megan Whitby

Findings show that, despite the economic hardships endured by many spas in 2020, the average price per spa service actually increased by two per cent

Findings show that, despite the economic hardships endured by many spas in 2020, the average price per spa service actually increased by two per cent
photo: Shutterstock/UfaBizPhoto

The International Spa Association (ISPA) has released the full findings of the 2021 ISPA US Spa Industry Study, marking the 22nd anniversary of this annual research initiative.

Following an initial preview of the research at ISPA’s Stronger Together Summit in May, the 85-page report is now available for all ISPA members.

The 2021 study captured the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the US Spa Industry in 2020, including its effect on revenues and spa visits, both of which fell by more than 35 per cent.

The total number of US spa employees dipped by just over 20 per cent.

The total number of spa locations, however, dropped by only about four per cent, while revenue per spa visit fell just two dollars to US$97.50 (€82.12, £69.85).

“As expected, this year’s study reveals the scope of the challenge spas have faced throughout the pandemic, but it also illustrates the industry’s resourcefulness and innovative spirit,” said ISPA president Lynne McNees.

“Spas have worked tirelessly to continue safely serving guests, and recent indications of exceptionally high demand leave us confident in a strong recovery throughout 2021 and beyond.”

As in previous years, the ISPA Foundation commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct the study, which surveyed more than 2,000 US spa professionals.

In addition to revealing the pandemic’s economic impact, the study’s findings highlight the many ways spas adapted as they strove to reopen and resume safely serving guests, including:

  • The development of new spa menus (42 per cent)

  • Outdoor or curbside treatments (40 per cent)

  • Touchless treatments (21 per cent).


Findings also indicate that, despite the economic hardships endured by many spas in 2020, the average price per spa service actually increased by two per cent, indicating demand for spa services remains strong.

“This year’s edition of the study is critical not only to understanding the pandemic’s effects on the US spa industry but also to measuring its recovery as we move forward,” said PwC global research director Colin McIlheney.

“The study’s findings provide a clear picture of a challenging moment in time for the industry, but taken in context, they also suggest that the industry is in a position to recover well throughout 2021 and into 2022.”



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