C-Suite Lifestyle

Spa industry records huge losses due to the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic affected at a great extent the spa industry. The revenues saw a huge drop, according to International Spa Association’s latest research. The hotel and resort spas were hit hardest than the day spas because of the travel restrictions that were implemented due to Covid-19. The average revenue drop in resort and hotel spas in 2020 was 46% compared to day spas who had an average drop of 31%.

The decline was significant since the spa industry for at least the last consecutive nine years till 2019 was in growth. More specifically, the spa industry some years ago had high revenues and visits. For example, in 2018 total spa revenues were $18.3 billion, a 4.7% increase from the $17.5 billion in 2017. Spa visits were up 1.6% to 190 million. Spa locations rose to 22,160, a 1.8% jump from the 21,770 in 2017. Revenue per visit reached $96.50, a 3% bump from 2017. Total employees expanded to 377,900 as of May 2019, a 1.6% increase from the previous year.

However, after 2019 followed a tough period. The spa industry by the end of 2020 recorded a $7 billion dollars drop in total revenue. The decrease between 2020 and 2019 was about 36,4% since from 19.1 billion dollars at year’s end in 2019 dropped to $12.1 billion dollars in 2020. Spa visits also had a significant drop between the years 2019 and 2020. Spa visits in 2019 were 192 million while in 2020 reached 124 million.

At the same time average revenue per visit dropped from $99.5 to $97.5. The number of spa businesses in December 2020 was 21,560 compared to 22,430 in December 2019. The good thing is that according the research, as of January 2021 almost 305,000 spa employees had returned to spas in the US, compared to the previous 384,000 in January 2020. Fortunately, the drop in this case is only a 20.6%.

The reduction in staff at the day spas was lower than in resort and hotel spas. For example, one in two resort/hotel spas (51%) reported a greater than 25% decrease in staff, compared to one in five day spas (23%).

Industry representatives expect that in 2022 the sector will recover, since after the pandemic people show greater interest in wellness and spa treatments.

After all, a recent survey conducted by McKinsey & Company showed that consumers’ interest for wellness is growing. A total number of 7.500 consumers from six countries were interviewed. The importance of wellness was stated by 79% of respondents while 42% of them considered it as a top priority. In general, consumers reported a substantial increase in the prioritization of wellness over the past two to three years. According to the survey, the global wellness market is estimated at more than 1.5 trillion dollars, with an annual growth of 5 to 10%.

Lastly, the top trends in wellness travel for 2021 – that will also help the recovery of the spa industry – are summarized in the following points: personal health and physical fitness, immunity booster retreats, remote-work holidays, self-care treatments and tailored retreats for stress relief.

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Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at maria-gourtsilidou@ceoworld.biz.