A groundbreaking initiative that aims to make English the international
language for the spa industry will be launched at World Travel Market as
part of this year’s Spa, Health and Wellness focus.Working with the British International Spa Association (BISA) and the Spa
Research Fellowship, the focus will span all four days of the leading
business to business event at ExCeL London (Monday 12 -Thursday 15
November). There will be three free seminars, an information stand, spa
listing booklet as well as activities by exhibitors.
This will include the Israeli Government Tourist Office (IGTO), who is once
again linking with AHAVA Essential Dead Sea Treatments to bring delegates
the benefits of the worlds oldest natural spa, the Dead Sea. As the lowest
place on earth and renowned for its rejuvenating properties, the Dead Sea
has the highest concentration of minerals on the planet and produces
mineral-rich mud, proven to aid the healing of many skin conditions.
Visitors and exhibitors to the stand can book facials and spa treatments and
sample some of the delights this natural wonder has to offer.
Robert Czik, Managing Director of spa product manufacturer SpaFind Skincare,
is unveiling details of the new spa training college being set up in Kent,
UK. The school is a joint project between SpaFind and the Bell International
Language School, working in partnership with the British International Spa
Association (BISA), of which Czik is treasurer.
“The plan is to get international spa operators to send their therapists to
the UK, both to improve their technique and learn specialist spa English,”
“We hope it will appeal to large hotel groups, such as Hyatt, but also
national spa associations overseas,” explained Czik.
He said that the position of English already as an international business
language made it the obvious choice for spa students.
The initiative has already won over spa industry bosses in China, who are
keen to build the treatment sector to aid their tourism development.
At the end of November the school is expecting to welcome its first batch of
overseas students - 35 would-be therapists from Japan - who will tour UK spa
facilities, learn more about England’s spa history, and brush up their
“BISA’s aim is to develop best practice standards that go beyond the
individual group training schemes, so this is a way of spreading the word,”
World Travel Market’s Health and Wellness focus is a reflection of the
phenomenal growth of spa holidays, according to Fiona Jeffery, the event’s
“Research shows that the industry has grown 40% in the past three years
alone”, said Jeffery.
“The sheer size of the market is mind-boggling. There are now more spas in
the US alone (15,699) than there are Starbucks coffee shops in the world
Dr Bruce Osborne, chairman of the UK’s Spa Research Fellowship and
vice-chairman of the British International Spa Association says that spas
have become an essential part of the holiday market.
“There are two definite trends,” explained Dr Osborne. “The first is for
spas to align themselves with big brands such as ESPA. They can buy the
products in bulk and get a whole regime of support, including staff
“There is also a trend towards the exotic. Creating new products sets you
apart. Spas often look to the local culture, say using coconut milk in the
Caribbean, to add an element of ethnicity to their offering.
“New treatments are being offered all the time, usually with a form of
evidence that it does some good.
“They may be quite bizarre, but with the plethora of procedures available
some will stick and get taken on into the mainstream. Alternatively, these
‘unique’ products will stay niche and have a novelty value.”