Spa sales are rocketing by nearly 30% year on year as their offerings become increasingly complex, according to a new survey.
The latest market snapshot comes from The UK and Ireland Spa Survey Report 2006, which shows that gross annual sales went up by 26% in 2003 and 28% in 2004, driven by increases in spa and beauty treatment revenue.
The report also found that females constitute 70% of customers. Massages and facials are the most popular treatments and also turn in the biggest profit margins, followed by body treatments, manicures, pedicures and hair removal.
Todd LePage, spa manager at London's Renaissance Chancery Court hotel, said: "This survey confirms the trends we've been seeing at grass-roots level. The growth is largely from the opening of new spas, although I've seen at least 20% growth year on year.
"Spas are becoming part of people's lifestyles, and we're consistently breaking down gender barriers. The hotel industry now has around 40-45% male guests, with massages by far the most popular."
The survey also revealed that spas were evolving to offer more varied and interesting experiences, with hot rooms, water, relaxation and dry treatments, and spa cuisine supplementing the traditional sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy pools.
The survey also found that although day spa packages and retail sales were seen as a key offering, they accounted for a relatively low percentage of overall sales.
By Emily Manson