The Olympic’s Closing Ceremony Raise Thoughts on China’s Growing Spa Industry
By Susie Ellis, SpaFinder Insider
The blog post I wrote for today about my weekend at Winvian
will have to wait and be posted tomorrow. It seems quite unimportant now as I think about the conclusion of the summer Olympics in China which came to a crescendo with last evening’s closing ceremony.
China has to be congratulated for the superb display of pageantry and its success in the sporting world. 100 medals and 51 of them gold compared to 110 medals for the U.S. split almost evenly between gold, silver and bronze. As Thomas Friedman wrote in his NY Times editorial
on Saturday – the U.S. can learn something from the focus and determination of the Chinese and the Chinese can learn something from the U.S. about the success that comes from diversity. I can’t help but wonder if the spa industry in China will develop along these same strengths.
I remember my first time in China – it was 1979 and all the people were still wearing blue Mao
suits. There were bicycle riders everywhere, food markets with strange foods and odd smells, and I found the entire experience a bit frightening. There was no feeling of openness or freedom at all – an unscheduled walk which was not-on-the-tour’s agenda resulted in authorities intervening. What a contrast to last year when I went to Shanghai to speak at the Turning Point Spa Conference. I found a vibrant city with stylish young people and a lot of smiles. I can only imagine how the pride of these successful Olympics will accelerate the change in China even more.
People worry about openness and freedom in China. I am no longer as concerned having seen the changes in the past twenty five years. And now, the Internet is there to help. I had heard a lot about Internet censorship before my trip to last year’s spa conference (my topic was Marketing Spas on the Internet) but found I was able to navigate through my entire online presentation with one exception – http://www.secondlife.com/
. This website, which I pointed to as a glimpse into the future, was censored likely because of some of the unsuitable content that finds its way there. I understand pornography is censored on the Internet in China (which I don’t consider such a bad idea) and while negative commentary about the government seems to be “monitored,” I understand that this is becoming more and more difficult to control.
I don’t think any of us can imagine the potential for growth of the spa industry in China. And after these Olympics, I am inclined to think it is going to be very exciting.
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