Spa Trends to Watch in 2004

Every year, spas become more relevant to everyday Americans, as more and
more people—and more and more different types of people—embrace spas
to improve the way they look and feel. Spa Finder is at the very center of
this unfolding story, representing the largest network of spas in the
world and interacting with the largest audience of spa consumers. From
this unique vantage, Spa Finder has taken the spa industry and consumer
pulse and compiled a listing of the top-10 spa trends to watch in 2004—
covering everything from the new “it” spa products and treatments, to a
new spa consumer focus on health and wellness.

In short, if 2003 was the year spas made a splash, with record visitation
and broadening socioeconomic appeal, 2004 is shaping up to be the year
spas really make a difference, by improving the way mainstream America
eats, does business, and manages its health and stress.

Spa Finder`s Top-10 Spa Stories to Watch in 2004: * Medical spas provide a
prescription for health and wellness—Consumers flocked to spas for
medical services in 2003, albeit primarily for cosmetic treatments (e.g.,
Botox injections). In 2004, baby boomers will take advantage of medical
spas for truly medical purposes—namely preventative health treatments
and regimens, and education for long-term health. * America mixes business
with (spa) pleasure—Businesses will increasingly use spas to build
relationships, motivate employees, and manage employee health. Spas will
become fashionable business meeting places for metropolitan firms. Gift
certificates to spas will become the new gift basket—the ultimate
“thank you” to important clients and partners, and a compelling employee
incentive. Innovative businesses, including insurance providers, will
underwrite regular spa visits to promote employee health and productivity
and to lower medical costs. * The “Destination Day Spa” hits the radar—
According to Spa Finder, a hot new spa experience that`s going to get even
hotter in 2004 is the “destination day spa.” Moving beyond the itemized
beauty and spa treatments that are the focus of the typical day spa
experience, destination day spas offer a holistic mind/body/spirit
experience that`s more akin to a day at a destination stay spa, minus the
hotel room. Visitors check in for a one-day mini retreat that can include
education programs, fitness programs, and healthy meals, in addition to
spa/beauty treatments. * The spa experience becomes even more affordable
and inclusive—2003 was a boom for spa/beauty products, as millions of
Americans who couldn`t comfortably afford to go to spas sought to recreate
the spa experience at home. With the continued explosion of affordable
spas geared toward middle-income earners, however, more and more Americans
will now be able to forego the aromatherapy candles and bubble bath and
head to a nearby spa to enjoy professional treatments and wellness
programs. In short, 2004 will be the year the spas truly go mainstream—
with record participation across the economic spectrum. * International
spa tours replace international spa treatments—In 2003, international
spa treatments were all the rage (Thai massage, Balinese rituals,
Ayurveda, etc.) In 2004, with a revived economy and stock market, more and
more upscale consumers will opt to go straight to the source—i.e.,
people will move beyond the Thai massage and indulge in a “spas of
Thailand” tour. * Spa cuisine goes mainstream—Spa cuisine will continue
to break out of the spa and into America`s dining rooms, thanks to
hot-selling spa cookbooks and popular recipes. High-end spas will race to
enlist celebrity chefs, expand their menus, innovative branded diet
programs, and accommodate special diets (Atkins, South Beach, etc.). The
spa/cuisine crossover will play out at the opposite end of the divide as
well, as popular diet programs (for example, Pritikin) roll out spa
properties. * Spas become the primary consideration for more travelers—
For years, the fastest growing segment in the hospitality industry has
been hotels with spas. In 2004, that segment might have to be reversed to
read “spas with hotels” as the spa becomes an even bigger factor in
consumers` traveling decisions. In the year ahead, spas will become more
than just bullets on resort/hotel marketing collateral—they`ll be the
deciding factor, the primary draw. * Spas become even more accommodating
for pets—Spas will keep pace with the “empty nester” pet phenomenon by
investing in kennels and dog runs, offering pet treatments and programs—
in short, by encouraging spa goers to bring their pets (and leave the
guilt of vacationing without them at home). * ... and men—In 2004 spas
will continue to attract men with male-focused offerings—including
golf, outdoor adventure activities, male cosmetic treatments, and
high-octane fitness programs. Spa Finder predicts men—and not just
“metrosexuals”—will hit spas in record numbers, and that more and more
day and stay spas will offer equal facilities for men and women. * ... and
the entire family—Last year saw an influx of teenage girls at spas, who
were drawn by the beauty treatments and the glamour of a luxurious spa
experience. This year, Spa Finder anticipates even younger visitors,
including boys. But, unlike the teen girls of 2003, these young spa-goers
will hit the spa with the whole family, and the focus will be health and
wellness. Spas will keep pace by offering more family-oriented activities,
spas-for-kids, and/or kids-only spa programs.

As the spa industry`s only integrated marketing solution, Spa Finder
reaches millions of targeted consumers annually via Spa Finder Magazine,
the Spa Enthusiast, Gift Certificates & Incentives, and
http://www.spafinder.com/. Having assembled the world`s largest network of
spas and the world`s largest spa consumer database, the company connects
consumers with their ideal spa experiences, whether they are looking to
visit a local day spa or to embark on a vacation or retreat at a stay spa.
Spa Finder currently represents more than 1,200 of the world`s best spas
in more than 20 nations.
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