Spa Industry Brain Dump
by Susie Ellis
I had someone in my office yesterday who is a big-time investor (billions of dollars in a fund). He wants to learn about the spa industry as quickly as possible. Someone told him he should begin by getting in touch with me – I am flattered.
Sitting here among my bookcases which house my very extensive library of spa books and magazines from the past 30 years, and my file cabinets which contain copies of spa industry research from around the world that I have archived for as long as there has been spa industry research, I thought to myself….where to begin?
It appears as if he wants to be brought up-to-speed on our industry within about two weeks. Yikes. Tall order.
Since we had only about 30 minutes of time together, I figured the best thing I could do was point out some good resources and let him take it from there. I guess these investor-types are quick studies (hopefully).
Fortunately at that very moment I had three resources on my desk which I thought would be the best place to begin. SpaFinder’s Global Spa Directory, often referred to as the “the Bible of Spas” (not my words, but others) which is always a good overview, and the following new publications:
Lucky guy….I wish those resources had been available when I began my career a few decades ago.
While the SRI report might be a tad pricey for an individual ($1495), it is a solid investment for companies or anyone who will be entering the spa arena. It’s certainly a smart move for someone deciding where to put significant investment money.
The second resource is affordable (although not cheap) but wow….what a valuable read. This 450+ page global spa industry book is actually a spa management text with 25 chapters. Each chapter was written by a different spa industry expert which is why I think it is so interesting. You don’t just get one person’s viewpoint, you get 25 different frames of reference. That’s important because in my opinion our industry is too new and too global to settle for one author’s account.
Now just for full disclosure, the reason the book was on my desk (it doesn’t come out until July) is because I authored one chapter (the one on spa trends) and this was an advance copy. Lest you think I am “selling” the book on my blog, I should add that none of the authors got paid to write our chapter and none of us (except maybe Marc and Gerry) will make any money from sales. Like so many things in a young industry….it was a labor of love. My guess is that it will turn out to be just that for Marc and Gerry as well since, let’s face it, outside of our industry it won’t likely make the New York Times
Best Seller List.
What I like most about the book is that the authors do not agree on everything. In fact, it’s obvious that different people see things differently. That is reality for the current global spa industry and that is where investors can seize opportunity.
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