>She is actively involved in teaching, service and research. Her research interests include consumer behaviour, marketing communications and marketing education. Her research has been published in various journals and conference proceedings. The authors highlight current issues and trends in the US spa industry. Strategies and techniques for spa marketers to combat potential challenges are suggested under the headings of target markets, product, place, promotion and price: spa marketers, spa industry statistics, spa users, trends, opportunities
Baby-boomers who are female, married and over 50 represent the core market for spas. 11 The majority of spa goers consider themselves to be in good health; however, they worry about health concerns. Younger spa goers also worry about health concerns and are seeking preventive services for stress-related conditions. 12 Spa consumers are looking for a nurturing and healing place where they can enjoy community time, and have shared experiences with friends, relatives and spouses. 13 They want to feel protected and cared for and be able to make personal connections.
Less emphasis is being placed on physical appearance and more on inner balance and well-being. Spas are providing more opportunities for improving the mind and body. Another challenge for spa marketers is staying abreast of the changes in the spa consumer pro? le. Currently women are more prevalent in the spa market, but reports indicate that there are an increasing number of men seeking spa therapy. In fact, about 13 million men (29 per cent of all spa goers) visited a spa during the year ending June 2003. 14 In response to this increased interest by men, some spas have begun gearing services speci? cally towards men.