May 1, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. and LANSING, Mich. – The International SPA Association, the ISPA Foundation and The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute are making headway in spa education to prepare a quality workforce for the future. These tools include a soon-to-be-launched collegiate course as well as a scholarship, grants and textbooks.

“The spa industry is very labor intensive, and one of the biggest challenges is finding qualified employees. In the United States alone, 72 percent of spas had open positions in 2007,” said ISPA Foundation President Edwin Neill III. “Through the curriculum being developed by the ISPA Foundation, we are turning the labor challenge into an opportunity to create generations of well-trained staff that will lead the industry into the future.”

Collegiate Course

Available to colleges worldwide this fall through EI, the introductory-level course will teach those who are interested in a spa career the ins and outs of the industry. Including the new textbook, “Spa: A Comprehensive Introduction,” as well as an extensive video component, the course explores the history and philosophy of spas, examines today’s spa industry, and introduces students to spa careers. The text also takes readers through a typical day from a spa director’s perspective, examines the qualities of an outstanding spa experience, and discusses industry trends and future directions.

“The Educational Institute is pleased to work with the ISPA Foundation to offer materials that address the education needs of this fast-growing segment of the hospitality industry,” said George Glazer, MHS, senior vice president, EI. “Post-secondary hospitality programs that want to stay competitive will be very interested in these new spa-specific textbooks and supplemental materials.”

Additional Curriculum

In addition to the course, there are two other texts available from ISPA, the ISPA Foundation and EI:

  • “Retail Management for Spas: The Art and Science of Retail” explores retail planning, inventory management, maximizing profits, sales and service, visual merchandising, and marketing within the spa environment.
  • The “Uniform System of Financial Reporting for Spas” provides a financial reporting system that gives spa operators the tools to measure, compare and report on the financial health of their business.
  • Academic institutions that are interested in purchasing “Retail Management for Spas” or the “Uniform System of Financial Reporting for Spas” should contact EI at 1.800.344.4381 or 1.517.372.8800 (outside the U.S. and Canada, call 1.407.999.8100). Hotels and other hospitality industry organizations may purchase these books directly from the ISPA Foundation by calling 1.888.651.4772 or by visiting
  • There are a variety of other educational opportunities available from ISPA and the ISPA Foundation including the Spa Operations Manual, Risk Management Program and Supervisory Skill Builders Program. Details on these offerings may be found online at
  • More Opportunities

    • The Foundation has expanded its educational endowment opportunities with the Dr. Howard Murad Research Grant and the Ruth Stricker Spa & Wellness Award. Dr. Murad’s eponymous grant offers financial assistance to those conducting research that addresses Cultural Stress, its effects, and ways to manage it. The Ruth Stricker Spa & Wellness Award offers financial assistance for the purpose of stimulating research and exploration into the various ways that spa can meet current health care needs, promote wellness, and enhance quality of life. Interested candidates may review details and apply online at
    • The first recipient of the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship has been chosen and will be announced soon. The scholarship recipient will receive $2,500 toward their education, as well as registration, airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the 2008 ISPA Conference & Expo. Applications for the 2009 scholarship will be available later this year on

    Giving Back


    About EI

    Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute’s mission is to support AH&LA by becoming the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries both domestically and internationally by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals.

    About the International SPA Association

    The International SPA Association is recognized worldwide as the leading professional organization and voice of the spa industry. ISPA’s membership is comprised of more than 3,000 health and wellness facilities and providers from 75 countries. Founded in 1991, 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.

    About the ISPA Foundation

    Created in 1999 to serve the educational and research needs of the spa industry through endowments, curriculum development and scholarships, the ISPA Foundation is the nonprofit 501(c)3 arm of ISPA. The ISPA Foundation’s mission is to improve and enhance the value of the spa experience while supporting its vision of sustainable health and well-being through the advancement of spa culture. For more information on the ISPA Foundation and opportunities for involvement, please visit

Scroll to Top