The UK spa market is estimated to be worth over £1.5 billion including retail and treatments, with UK consumers making an estimated 6 million visits per annum to spas throughout Britain.
The various associations involved with the UK spa market believe it will be important to raise the skill levels of therapists and supporting staff to achieve the demands of the spa savy consumer. The 6 million spa treatments purchased per annum will remain at this level with double digit growth expected to return in 2013.
It is estimated that there are over 4000 treatment rooms available for treatments, with average therapist and room occupancy levels of 65%-75%. The average treatment room income is £50,000 per year per room. Larger spas are achieving in excess of £100,000 per room per year operating at 85% - 90%.
Hotel spas account for 41% of the market, and spas within fitness clubs account for 27% and yet they attract, on average, 12,600 and 10,900 consumers per annum respectively. Day spas only account for 12% of the total number of spas but obviously work hard attracting twice the number of consumers that spas within fitness clubs do: on average, 20,400 consumers every year.
Many UK spa towns are recognizing the potential in the spa market and are developing spas. There are 12 spa towns and cities. Much depends of the success of Bath Thermae Spa and its efforts to provide a leisure-oriented contemporary spa that meets current demand. Initially this spa was to be opened for the millennium but hit by building delays.
The significance of the hotel resort spa market is the increase in operators developing treatment room capacity. Hotels are recognising the benefits of using the spa to increase hotel bedroom occupancy 'wellness tourism'.
The spa has been operating for a number of years and has begun to demonstrate the relevance of spa tourism and is leading the way for other spa towns. Buxton Spa is one of the next significant spa town developments being developed in conjunction with Derby University.
There is a large variance across the UK in the value of a spa visit; in London visitors will consider spending between £150-£400 for a spa break experience. Nirvana Spa the UK's leading day spa have a range of packages that start from as little as £45 excluding treatment sales.
Average prices vary dependent on location and type of facility. The average treatment in the UK day spa sector is £60 for 60 minutes. Typically a UK Spa package in the north of England will retail for £75-£150 including F&B.
The UK spa industry has shown the ability to weather the challenges of a weak economy. Despite the economic downturn, the industry has continued to grow. With spa visits and treatment and retail sales showing a small growth rate over the past two years it is predicted that the spa sector will return to double digit growth from 2013 and beyond.
For more information on the UK spa market, see the latest research: UK Spa Market
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