If you haven’t already noticed, some of your favorite hotel spas have received a major facelift. They’re now bigger, providing more ameni- ties (cucumber and chlorophyll water), more interesting spa treat- ments (biomeditation massage, anyone?), and offering services that extend outside the spa parameters (rooftop yoga). But you shouldn’t be surprised. Hotels and resorts are putting a lot of money into their spas, which have been emerging as the biggest trend in hospitality infrastructure. In fact, according to SpaFinder, the largest marketing company for the well- ness industry, wellness tourism is a $2 trillion industry, already representing a $439 billion US market. With this growing demand, many experts predicts a nine percent growth through 2017, 50 percent faster than “regular” tourism.
Needless to say, health and wellness is a priority for vacationers. “The spa experience is now much more accessible to consumers than ever before,” says Michael Tompkins, openly gay spa enthusiast and chairman of ISPA, the International Spa Association, a global company that is recog- nized as the professional organization and voice of the spa industry. “In 1999, there were 1.5 spas for every 100,000 people living in the US com- pared to 6.4 spas per 100,000 people at the end of 2013. We love that trend—imagine the stats in 2015!”