23 May 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
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Spa Business
2023 issue 3

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Leisure Management - Terry Prager

Spa People: 20th anniversary issue

Terry Prager

I wish I had become a mentor earlier. I want to be able to guide young people in our industry

Terry Prager, Seed to Skin photo: Seed to Skin

What’s been the most pivotal moment in your career?
In early 2008, I was still working as a spa director in Grand Cayman when, on one particularly auspicious day, I received a call from none other than Sue Harmsworth, asking me to join her team at ESPA.

Switching from 18 years of spa operations to being a vendor/consultant was a big learning curve but that experience gave me a huge advantage and was pivotal to my success. It helped me form some strong and long-lasting relationships which I treasure and nurture to this day. This is a relationship-driven industry without a doubt.

What do you still hope to accomplish?
My one wish, and something I should have done much earlier, is to be a mentor. Now, as an ISPA Board member, I hope to be able to guide young people in our industry and open their eyes to the opportunities available to them. This is a fast-growing, global industry with a lack of qualified employees and little succession planning, but there are countless options for career advancement. It’s such a rewarding and enjoyable vocation.

How do you hope the industry will look in 2050?
The self-care trend has helped the spa world bounce back from COVID-19 and I see it becoming more mainstream than ever. This translates into all kinds of statistical improvements, particularly spa-goer demographics – a balance between genders to reflect more male visitors and a wider age range.

Touchless therapies are more popular and there will always be a place for them, but nothing will replace human touch. Many people are increasingly suffering from loneliness and a machine can’t fill that void like a caring therapist does.

I hope wellness and spa become increasingly mainstream and affordable for all, while at the same time, creating meaningful and rewarding career paths for future generations.

More from spa industry leaders...

In celebration of Spa Business’ 20th anniversary, industry leaders take a look at how far the sector has come since the magazine’s inception in 2003, share personal career highlights and reveal their plans and ideas for the future.

View next: Veronica Schreibeis Smith

Originally published in Spa Business 2023 issue 3

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