PRESS RELEASE (Singapore, January 2008)

“Singapore / Asia – Spa & Wellness Beyond 2008”

The spa and wellness industry has become the next big thing in the health sector as a corollary of everyone’s ardent desire for the golden grail of longevity. Staying younger means more than just looking at the physical attributes of beauty but much greater importance is now placed at maintaining fitness while at the same time keeping a balance between one’s physical condition and inner well-being.

In a response to the growing popularity of the Spa and Wellness industry and the need for up-to-date information and expert opinions for spa and beauty businesses and beyond; the Spa and Wellness Association of Singapore (SWAS) provides leadership for this region and in Asia as a whole. Always on the pulse of what keeps the industry ticking, SWAS champions the need for relevant and crucial information that healthcare, medical and wellness establishments eagerly seek and anticipate.

SWAS has noted the immense interest garnered by mega projects in the form of the integrated resorts and the growth of medical spas around the region. The unique ways in which they have showcased their creation of memorable spa experiences and how they have tailor-made treatments to suit individual preferences have made spa practioners sit up and take stock of their own practices. Never has the marketing buzzword, Mass Customization rung so true!

The past year has been an exciting one for SWAS. To increase the networking opportunities and enhance the business viability and visibility of its members it has to date organized 11 monthly networking nights and participated in three international trade exhibitions. Listed below are a few of the notable events that SWAS has participated so far:

1. Cosmoprof Asia 2007, Hong Kong
2. Beautyworld Middle East 2007, Dubai

And the few lined up so far are:

1.    Cosmoprof Shanghai 2008, Shanghai
2.    Beautyworld Middle East 2008, Dubai
3.    Beautyworld India 2008, Mumbai
4.    Cosmoprof Asia 2008, Hong Kong

Further, following its strategic planning meeting, SWAS is fired up by its plans for a vibrant calendar of events and activities for 2008. Certainly, a much anticipated event would be SWAS first ever exhibition in Singapore focusing on wellness and holistic healing therapies targeted to take place.

In place of its networking nights, workshops and seminars with strong educational elements and which are focused on providing real solutions to members’ operational problems and issues will be addressed. A strong membership drive has also begun and SWAS will be creating a free membership directory as well as stepping up the global networking opportunities for its members. In this regard, SWAS has strong ties with the Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Council (APSWC) and SWAS’ President, Dr Theresa Chew sits on its board as one of its councilors.

“The Singapore Government will invest a total of more than $360 million through a TOurism TALent (TOTAL) Plan to train 74,000 tourism workers and enhance the professionalism of the tourism industry in the next three years.” ( 12 December 2007.)

This is in anticipation of the spike in manpower demand which will result when the two Integrated Resorts (IRs)– the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa come on stream.

Yet even before the IRs are up, Singapore has recorded very encouraging tourist arrival figures as a result of which growth in its tourism and leisure sectors have also been boosted. Coupled with the rising affluence of locals and the increasing expenditure on lifestyle and luxury items and services, the growth in the local spa sector also looks set to be nothing short of spectacular. This positive outlook has been affirmed by spa operators who estimate that the industry will grow at an annual rate of between 11%-25% in the short to medium term. These are in the main driven by the expected increase of up-market tourists and the increasing number of local spa goers.  Affluence levels and a bias towards better health are combining to build the mass appeal of spa treatments as a way to preserve health and appearance.

With the spa industry reaching new heights in the coming years, the need to raise professionalism amongst its operators and to introduce standards has led to a public and private sector initiative where regulators such as the Singapore Police Force (SPF), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) work hand in hand with the Spa Association Singapore and Spa & Wellness Association of Singapore (SWAS).  A corollary of this initiative is the emergence of a firm foundation on which the spa industry’s continued growth is based.


“Total Beauty & Wellness” Business For Spas – A Paradigm Shift

The often accepted traditional concept of Spas seems ready for a radical make-over. New entrants to the market have changed the skin-care and massage concept that have long defined spas these past 20 years. They are now taking the world by storm and transforming long established beliefs about the global beauty business.

Indeed, the last ten years have seen a worldwide emergence of new types of beauty businesses, services, procedures and technologies together with spa buzzwords all in the name of maximizing customer satisfaction by catering to individual consumer profiles.

As the spa sector develops, further variations on the spa concept, both in terms of facility type, and treatments offered will emerge. We see this evolution taking place in the “ medical spas, medispa and medspa ” markets.

Increasingly, we are seeing a merger of the Spa Concept with that of the provision and practice of Aesthetic Medicine; Non-Invasive Cosmetic Treatments; Wellness and Fitness Regimens and Total Beauty Regimens. It is now not uncommon to find, the inclusion of beauty; dermatology; hospital based clinics and weight loss centres in medspas, spas in hospitals, dental practices, and resort medical spas.

The democratization of medical aesthetics has fuelled the strong growth in Med Spas for aesthetic laser treatments and physician skincare brands. According to US medical Spa Managers, “ordinary” people are increasingly buying aesthetic treatments and services. Med spas are seeing a wider range of new clients, not bound by gender, ethnicity or age. More men, different ethnic groups apart from the predominantly white consumer and younger consumers have begun to demonstrate that they are a growing force to reckon with. Although the older, affluent woman remains the most important medical-cosmetic customer.

Cosmetic or non-invasive procedures generate most revenues because clients want fast treatments, effective results, and no down or recovery time. Skincare, which removes or reduces the signs of ageing such as age spots and wrinkles, is driving this market while hair removal for both men and women can account for more than 50% of business in US Medspas. (Medical spa articles extracted from diagonal research)


High Growth Rates In The Asia Spa Sector To Continue To Rise

Co-organised by SWAS, the success of the Spa Seminar at Cosmoprof  2007 in Hongkong has led to SWAS being invited to co-organize a bigger event at Cosmoprof Asia 2008 focusing on the mega spa trends and growth  in Asia.  SWAS intends to bring in renown spa gurus from US, Europe and Asia to be part of this important event where SWAS can be the resource centre with global spa players, world spa associations and spa authorities.

Growth rates in the spa market are much higher than in traditional and long established beauty and hair salons due to the demand in spa tourism.  Spa treatments meet a demand that has not been satisfied in more traditional business models. Spas are multiplying exponentially across Asia, Europe and US and cover the whole gamut to include day spas, hotel spas, and resort and destination spas.

The “cosmeceutical” industry has entered into the spa market and is often represented by large, corporate players. These new entrants possess the resources to roll out their business plans not only nationally but globally as well through spa seminars and exhibitions.

In January 1, 2007 the ASEAN Harmonization Act came into force and its impact on spa industry members who either import or export spa products or cosmetics is evident. The Act is welcomed by all in the region; some 500 million consumers can be assured of a wider range of safe products which is more easily regulated through one system and one open ASEAN market.

(Cosmeceuticals may contain purported active ingredients such as vitamins, phytochemicals, enzymes, antioxidants, and essential oils)