To say that technology is changing things in a pervasive manner is almost cliché. Even in the spa world—a place that offers its guests a temporary escape from the tether of technology in their lives—technology has created new ways of doing things, from administrative tasks to retail sales to treatments both medical and traditional.
Some of the major changes in the spa industry have had to do with ownership structure, investor attractiveness, and spa mergers and consolidations. All three are indicators of a maturing industry. Spas are facing many of the challenges that more traditional businesses face while still keeping their focus on the mission that makes spas unique.
Spa professionals are focusing more and more on activities extending well beyond the walls of their spa and the typical business goals. There is a continued return to the roots of spa, the roots where people see the spa as serving social purposes and improving the quality of life. This stems partly from more stringent government and legal requirements and partly from a feeling of social responsibility.
Part of survival—whether personal, spiritual, or business—is planning for what comes next and ensuring that one’s actions today are providing for the future. Today’s spas are flourishing and successful and in a perfect position to prepare for even greater things ahead. This is true both on the aggregate level of the spa world and the individual spa.
Service is generally defined as “work done for others.” However, most people in the industry would impose a quality factor into that definition. There is an expectation that the service is done well and appropriately and even beyond that, quality service means exceeding the guests’ expectations.
Management experts long ago learned that there are fundamental differences between the way that service businesses manage and market their services and the way that manufacturing businesses manage and market their products.
A menu of spa services can be confusing to anyone unfamiliar with the terminology used to describe the array of treatments available. However, a look into the traditions from which the treatments come, their countries of origin, or the people who developed techniques can shed light on the unique language found within a spa.
Spa treatments come from all over the world and have been developed over the centuries by people from many cultures, religions, and medical perspectives. Many modern spa therapies have their origins in one or more of the long-standing traditions described below.