Pandemic’s Impact Highlighted in 2021 ISPA US Spa Industry Study

The International SPA Association (ISPA) 2021 U.S. Spa Industry Study marks the 22nd anniversary of the association’s research initiative. The ISPA Foundation commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct the study, which surveyed more than 2,000 US spa professionals.

The study highlights the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the US spa industry in 2020, including its effect on revenues and spa visits, both of which fell by more than 35 percent. The total number of spa employees in the US fell by just over 20 percent. However, the total number of spa locations fell by only about four percent, and revenue per spa visit fell just two dollars to $97.50.

“As expected, this year’s study reveals the scope of the challenge spas have faced throughout the pandemic, but it also illustrates the industry’s resourcefulness and innovative spirit,” says ISPA President Lynne McNees. “Spas have worked tirelessly to continue safely serving guests, and recent indications of exceptionally high demand leave us confident in a strong recovery throughout 2021 and beyond.”

The study also highlights the various ways spas adapted as they strove to reopen and resume safely serving guests. These innovations include:

  • Developing new spa menus (42 percent)
  • Offering outdoor or curbside treatments (40 percent)
  • “Touchless” treatments (21 percent)

The study’s findings also indicate that, despite the economic hardships endured by many spas in 2020, the average price per spa service actually increased by two percent, indicating that demand for spa services remains strong.

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