Spa Trade

Writer Véronique Lo.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Writer Véronique Lo.


Mike Bruggeman sheds light on the latest trends and challenges faced by spa operators in Asia

According to the Global Wellness Institute, Asia-Pacific saw the greatest number of spa openings from 2013 to 2015, with China contributing US$15,721.6 million to 2015 revenues – second only to the US – putting it in second place in overall ranking of the top 20 markets. With such tremendous growth comes new challenges, and Mike Bruggeman, chair of the Beauty Initiative, Global Wellness Institute, believes the Asian spa and wellness industry faces a unique challenge.

“Today’s wellness tourist is seeking authentic experiences that are culturally relevant and historically grounded. Rather than viewing Asia as a homogenous whole, it will be important that each country develops a unique voice in leveraging what I call an indigenous identity,” he says, adding that today’s health and wellness issues, such as technology-induced stress, depression and sleep deprivation, must also be considered in finding this voice and creating bespoke treatments.

Spas have to provide evidence-based eatments that respond to these growing demands to stay competitive. “The changing demographic of the spa-goer requires spas to make a clear link between product and services offerings and wellness outcomes,” he says. “Those who make the leap are powerfully enabled to meet the health and wellness needs of today’s hyper-connected consume.”

According to Bruggeman, two emerging trends from the Global Wellness Summit that are particularly relevant are ‘Sauna Reinvented’ and ‘Silence’. He mentions a prominent study by the University of Eastern Finland, which found that frequent visits to saunas are associated with longer lifespan and less cardiac-related deaths. By offering innovative hot, cold and silent treatments that have evidence-based benefits and provide a sense of place, local cultural traditions and history, Bruggeman believes spas can not only “become the new venues for social change in public health outcomes, but also social change as incubators of evolved human consciousness”.

Bruggeman will be sharing his insights on new trends, happenings on the world stage and highlights from the Global Wellness Institute’s 2017 Global Beauty Meets Wellness roundtable discussion at this year’s Spa Conference. Visit the show’s website for registration.


Marking the milestone of its 10th anniversary, Cosmoprof Asia Spa Conference introduces a new format – instead of one full day, the 2017 event will take place over two half days on November 15–16 at The Forum.

“It will allow for more flexibility for participants to wander around the exhibitions and network,” says Melinda Yon, who will once again host the conference.

Having attended the annual event since its inception and participated in eight as speaker or moderator, Yon believes the conference serves as an important platform for industry professionals to meet, share and learn. “I find there is always something new to learn. Shared challenges are analysed, ideas are exchanged, fresh insights are given, and of course there are excellent networking opportunities.”

On this year’s conference, Yon reveals: “There is a great variety of topics and speakers to attract different levels of management and staff as well as some speakers outside of the spa industry, so that participants can gain a different perspective and learn about best practice from other organisations and industries.”

Covering a range of topics from trends forecast, design and retail sales to social media, the Spa Conference is not to be missed by industry players. This year, a new ‘Wellness & Spa’ zone located at Hall 3F will also showcase beauty products, equipment and furniture for spas.