24 May 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
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Spa Business
2023 issue 4

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Leisure Management - Early start

Editor's letter

Early start

If spas are to keep flourishing, embracing younger generations and families will be key. The sector has an exciting opportunity to position itself as an educator in wellness to develop relationships with children as they grow

It’s crucial wellness knowledge is built into education photo: shutterstock/Drazen Zigic

With the Spa Business team just back from this year’s Global Wellness Summit (GWS), we have much to reflect on – and share our highlights on p88.

Fresh numbers revealed at the summit show the global wellness economy has grown to US$5.6 trillion, with the spa sector and thermal/mineral springs segments being worth US$104.5 billion and US$46.3 billion of that respectively (see p22).

The majority of the other sectors which make up the global wellness economy – from wellness tourism to public health, prevention and personalised medicine – are all part of the spa ecosystem and with projections of a 52 per cent increase in the wellness economy by 2027, it means we’re sitting within some huge and fast-growing markets.

To keep on this upward trajectory, spas need to branch out from their traditional gen X and baby boomer markets and at the GWS, there was a strong focus on capturing a younger clientele.

A conference panel talked about a huge market of younger people who are engaged with exercise, physical activity and sport and will eventually supersede the current generation of spa-goers, presenting operators with new audiences and opportunities to pivot their model to active wellness.

Krip Rojanastien, CEO and chair of Chiva-Som spoke about the importance of embracing families, highlighting efforts at sister property Zulal Wellness in Qatar. On p66, Niamh O’Connell reveals how families will be a key focus for Jumeirah moving forward as well. Catering to multiple generations is a trend we’ve identified in our Spa Foresight report, with family-friendly facilities or family wellness programmes coming to market more frequently (see www.spabusiness.com/foresight2023).

“It’s crucial that wellness knowledge and understanding be built into early education so it lasts a lifetime,” Rojanastien said. Spa consultant Amy McDonald echoed these thoughts, saying: “If resorts or day spas can reach out and bring something as simple as mindfulness to teens to teach them about gratitude, that could be transformational, as these are powerful tools.”

The spa and wellness sector has a real chance to make a difference to the wellbeing of children – whether that’s by adapting offerings so they’re more family-friendly or sharing valuable expertise. Either way, it can provide much-needed services, while also engaging with the customers of the future.

photo: Jack Emmerson

Katie Barnes is the editor of Spa Business magazine | katiebarnes@leisuremedia.com

Originally published in Spa Business 2023 issue 4

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