In August 2016, Allied Research Market released a report saying the Global Spa Services Market projects the market to reach $154.6 billion by 2022. In October 2018, the International Spa Association reported a record high in total U.S. spa industry revenue at more than $17.5 billion in 2017, marking a 4.3% increase from $16.8 billion in 2016 and accounting for 21,700 spa locations — the highest count since the 21,300 recorded just before the recession in 2008. The study also shows an equivalent of more than 511,000 people visiting U.S. spas each day.
Although the industry isn’t one that the business community in the region typically pays attention to — aside from maybe the monthly massage appointment set in stone on your Outlook calendar — in the way we focus on airlines, shipping and the like, there’s no doubt that it’s an industry that has potential to stand out. For one, there is our relationship with Asian culture (of which many spa-related practices are derived and treasured) through proximity, heritage, food and practice. And then there is our relationship with the U.S. economy and technologic and wellness trends, whether that be through legislation, military or tourism.
A look around the streets of Guam and Saipan or even a simple Google search will show we certainly have not missed the boat on this trend. Managers from a variety of spas Guam Magazine spoke with for the story on Page 15 all agree that competition is strong, and those who have been here for the past 15-plus years have seen spas popping up at an increasing rate with new products and techniques. Even the legislature will admit to feeling a change in pace as they look at practices to regulate the influx, leading to the beginnings of discussions on how legitimate and fairly operated operations can work together to better the collaboration and reputation of their field.
As we look at changes in both our local and tourist markets — toward wellness, our environment, sustainability and the like — it may do the business community well to take a look at the industry that has championed those types of practices from the very start to see how they can work together and heighten an industry that is already established to make its mark on a growing worldwide stage.
Plus… it couldn’t be too bad on the back either.