Expert insight: the greatest challenges facing spas right now (part II)

Jeff Matthews, Managing Director, Spa Foundations

Around the world, we’re all facing the same problem and that’s a shortage of qualified staff.

In North America, I think the introduction of wellness into the spa industry is causing people to wonder which direction the industry is going. Many people want to go towards wellness, which is good: eating well, proper exercise, and self care, while others would prefer to stick to the more clinical model of facials and massage and so on.

One of the challenges right now is that we don’t know what the spa industry truly is. Is it going towards wellness? And if so, what does that mean? And if it’s staying the way it is, what does that mean? At the Global Spa and Wellness Summit led by Susie Ellis, it’s definitely going towards the wellness and health movement. They’re moving in this direction because they want to see workplace wellness, lifestyle change, and other aspects in this area open up new avenues of revenue generation, and create a larger scope than what we have now.

But not every spa that’s currently operating can offer a wellness portion to their menu. It’s not just about eating well and being spiritual; it’s a matter of having the right staff on board who can deliver wellness through dedication and guidance towards changing the way you live your life – what you eat, how you behave, how you spend your time – and I don’t think spas are equipped for it.

Solutions will come within five years when people are better educated about what wellness really is. Right now, we’ve only tapped in over the last three or four years, so this movement still in its infancy, and it has such an incredible amount to grow. It will require individuals with the appropriate skills and expertise, and we’re lacking that because it is still relatively new.

Read Expert Insight Part I with Daniel Poulin, Corporate Spa & Fitness Manager, North & Central America, AccorHotels

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