Portrait of Tammy Strobel

November 13-15

What Answers can be Found at This Year’s Cosmoprof Asia? Keynote speaker Andrew Jacka shares his burning questions

The last five or so years may have appeared to be game-changing for the industry. Growth has moved the notion of the spa sector way beyond the traditional oils, massage and facials. Now, at the spa, you may just as well opt for your teeth to be enhanced as much as your tension swept away. Your focus may have moved from facial peels and whitening to issues below your bikini line. You may have swapped a long, luxurious and, well yes, expensive, day of retreat, for a quick lunchtime pick-me-up (needles and all). The idea of what a spa is has most definitely morphed. Most would agree, though, that change is a must.

But, are things moving fast enough? That’s the big question industry figurehead Andrew Jacka is posing at this year’s Cosmoprof Asia, running 13 to 15 November.There’s no better place to pose it. With over 3,000 annual exhibitors flocking to Hong Kong’s exhibition centre, and close to 90,000 international visitors, “Anyone who’s worth their salt is there,” says Jacka. “It’s the leading event in the region.”

Jacka, chairman of the Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition (APSWC) is excited to be hosting the keynote presentation: Opportunites and Challenges: Spa and Wellness Market in the ASEAN regions. And there are many, he says. How can spas diversify? What opportunities does the US trade war open up in Asia? When will technological innovation impact the industry? And most importantly, in what timeframe can we expect these opportunities to unfold?

Due to the strength of the exhibitor and visitor list Jacka is just as thrilled to be meeting organisations able to push the industry. Diversification offers one route for development. As hot stones, once revolutionary, have become “old hat,” says Jacka, spas have diversified offerings. “We’ve seen jade stones, hot shells. You’ve got the salt version of hot stones,” he says. But the true potential for innovation sits at larger scale diversification. As spas expand and begin to offer IVs, and medicinal healing, for instance, or as sleep centres enter the wellness realm, Jacka imagines technology will impact and inform on a wider scale, and in meaningful and costeffective ways. The public’s proliferation of phone use is another a massive indicator of where the industry could react and adapt too. “While the spa sector has always and will always be a high-touch industry, I see lots of opportunities,” he says.

Wider sustainability is another key issue, with many of Jacka’s clients now asking for 100 per cent sustainable or organic products. This poses challenges. Product formulations can be found, but plastic packaging surrounds them. Organisations with solutions like these will be a welcome addition to this year’s fair, since currently supplying those client requests isn’t readily available. “It would be wonderful to find alternatives at Cosmoprof,” he says.

At the event Jacka will also be musing on more questions, hoping discussion will solve some confusions and bring answers. Among them will be how far we’ve come in delivering on a long conversations around serving ageing populations, how to elevate the entry point for spa staff and why we should pay more reverence to the ancient therapies that are a sector cornerstone. With the varied range of talks, workshops and events on the programme we can expect many new answers to emerge.

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October 15-17

The future of tourism, hospitality and wellness travel is under the spotlight at this year’s Global Wellness Summit, taking place at Grand Hyatt Singapore. With the theme ‘Shaping the Business of Wellness’, emerging business and investment trends across all global wellness markets is a key focus. Expect talks and workshops on purpose and leadership, energy medicine, aspirational ageing and meditation from a who’s who of highprofile speakers. Joining them are Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses, who will be talking about shifts in travel and Bill Bensley, the world-renowned architect and creator of the award-winning Four Seasons Tented Camp in Thailand, who shares his vision for hospitality design, sustainability and conservation. The inviteonly conference is expected to draw over 600 wellness industry leaders from over 50 nations.