Spa industry under cost pressure

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The spa industry in the DACH region and South Tyrol is defying the current challenges and showing resilience, as shown by an extensive survey by the Spa Competence Circle (SCC) among 149 participants, predominantly from the hotel and resort sector. But despite solid performance in the last few months, the survey's numbers and answers contain worrying indications of too much persistence in the status quo, warn the experts in the commissioned survey.

The renowned industry experts Dagmar Rizzato and Karin Niederer are analyzing the results of the SCC Spa Sentiment Survey 2023 with concern. While the current results signal stable prices for spa treatments, they also provide alarming indications for the future of this industry if necessary innovation strategies continue to be postponed.

The needs of the staff are clear: training, further education, flexible working hours and commission models are in demand. However, only just under half of the companies implement these adjustments to a sufficient extent. Investing in spa and wellness infrastructure is hampered by high costs and rising interest rates, creating challenges for the industry.

There is not enough focus on the changing demands of guests. Outdoor activities, maintaining health on vacation, prevention, conscious healthy eating, mental health, use of modern technologies in the spa or in treatments or personal development offers are very popular with guests, but comprehensive, innovative concepts are still missing.

Dagmar Rizzato warns: “On closer inspection, the situation in the spa and wellness industry is alarming. There is not enough focus on the known needs of the guests. Companies must act urgently and, due to the cost and personnel situation, give more thought to strategic adjustments to the offer and the concept in order to remain interesting.”

The results of the Spa Sentiment Survey 2023 summarized:

  • Sales growth: In the first half of the year, 35% of companies stated that sales increased, while 23% of the companies surveyed reported a decrease in sales. But experts warn not to be blinded by this number and to keep an eye on the future.
    Cost Increases: A shocking 72% of respondents reported that operating costs, both overall and spa-related, have increased, which could have long-term impacts on the profitability of operations.
    Optimization potential
  • Capture Rate: Although 22% of guests are booking more additional spa treatments, when compared to revenue growth, it is clear that guest potential could be better exploited to achieve positive results.
    Treatment Increase: While 21,5% of guests are booking more treatments per stay, there is still uncertainty about future bookings per guest per stay.
  • Although 36,7% of those surveyed expect overall sales growth to continue in the second half of the year, 19% are already concerned about a possible decline. The survey also shows that 20,3% of respondents expect an increase in capture rates in the second half of the year, i.e. an increase in application booking guests, while 20,3% fear a decline, indicating fragile confidence in the industry.
Mallorca (Photo: Fincallorca).
Mallorca (Photo: Fincallorca).