Jan16

ISPA CREATES RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR THE WORLDWIDE SPA INDUSTRY

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

LEXINGTON, Ky. - With one in four American adults having visited a spa and more people working in the spa industry than ever before, the partnership between the spa professional and the spa guest is more important than ever. There are potential risks inherent within spas, yet few, if any, risk management tools to address them. The International SPA Association recognized this, and in partnership with the Resort Hotel Association, took a proactive approach and created a comprehensive risk management program for spas.

"ISPA has responded to today's challenges by creating the new risk management program. Because the spa paradigm is more than just treatments - it's a lifestyle - we wanted to make sure that the livelihood of spas, their staff and guests are well protected.," said ISPA Chairman Jim Root. "As spa owners, operators, as well as product and service providers, this new program will help ensure a safe, nurturing yet still valuable environment for the entire spa community."

The program's objective is to provide spa professionals with information to manage safer and effective spa operations while reducing their risk as well as those of their clients. The first tool in the program is The Code of Conduct. ISPA President Lynne Walker McNees described this initiative, "The Code of Conduct is a list of rights and responsibilities of spa guests. It ensures that each spa experience be professional in communication, confidentiality, privacy and spa treatment. The code is especially helpful for those who are new to the spa industry because it describes spa etiquette and helps to manage a guest's expectations. Spa managers are urged to post the code in visible places for spa guests, include it in communications such as newsletters and guest orientation materials, as well as communicate it to employees."

Chinese, English, French and Spanish versions of the code are available for download on the ISPA Web site at http://www.experienceispa.com/cms/cms/articles/. As the association consists of members in 75 countries, ISPA plans to translate the code into other languages in the future. Versions of the code that may be customized with individual company logos are also available on the site free of charge.

The second phase of the Risk Management Program is an online course that will provide spa professionals with education on how to better understand and implement strategies to control risk in their businesses. The course includes chapters on a wealth of areas including facility operations/property liability, emergency procedure/incident handling as well as understanding the legal process. The course is scheduled to be available in late 2007.

About the Resort Hotel Association

The Resort Hotel Association is a not-for-profit, member-managed insurance association that specializes in providing insurance programs specifically designed to cover the risks unique to independent destination and ranch resorts, spas and historic and luxury hotels.

About the International SPA Association

ISPA is recognized worldwide as the leading professional organization and voice of the spa industry. Founded in 1991, ISPA's membership is comprised of more than 2,700 health and wellness facilities and providers from 75 countries. ISPA advances the spa industry by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities, promoting the value of the spa experience and speaking as the authoritative voice to foster professionalism and growth.

Spas are places devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.