Global Massage & Relaxation Industry
The global massage and relaxation industry (a major part of the wellness services business) is benefiting from an expanding consumer base eager to de-stress from high-pressure jobs and busy home lives. Treatments are available in salons and spas, with massage proving to be the most popular treatment. The tourist industry is fuelling the global massage and relaxation industry, with high-end resorts offering a range of spa services. Clients can also opt for less-expensive massages in smaller local beauty salons.
The massage market segment encompasses not only tourist and relaxation clients but also gains business from physical therapy patients looking to rehabilitate after surgery or physical trauma, using massage to tone muscle and encourage movement and flexibility. Massage therapists work in both the private and public sectors through various facilities, including fitness centers, shopping malls, spas, hospitals and private offices. Massage therapists can also operate on a mobile basis, travelling to patient’s homes and workplaces.
The relaxation market segment encompasses activities undertaken in an effort to promote a general state of well being including yoga, pilates, meditation, outdoor activities, organic living and nutrition.
The global yoga and pilates market has recorded strong growth in recent years, according to research from IBIS World. Traditionally popular with younger women, these activities are now attracting increasing numbers of male practitioners and baby boomers. Dedicated yoga and pilates studios are being forced to compete with fitness clubs offering yoga and pilates classes.
Global Industry Analysts forecasts the US chiropractic care market will generate close to $13 billion by 2015. Market growth is fuelled by favorable public perception, an aging world population, and growth preference for non-surgical, non-medical treatments.
The US spa industry generated almost $13 billion in 2010, according to research figures from The International SPA Association. The industry is in a period of recovery following the economic recession, which saw people curb discretionary spending. Though customers are venturing back to the spa, they are opting for less-expensive treatments. Demand is likely to grow as economic recovery continues. Meanwhile, industry players continue to coax clients back to the spa through promotional efforts such as internet offers, package promotions and enlisting social media to communicate with clients in local communities.
The number of spas operating in the US has declined 3% as the rate of economic recovery has been inadequate to support the number of spas in operation. Though employment levels within the spa industry have been rising, there is an urgent need for qualified therapists to meet demand for high-quality service.
Massage Industry Trends
The global massage and relaxation industry has seen a positive shift in perception over recent years. Whereas in the past, massage and relaxation may have been regarded as a luxury for a niche market, these services have now become far more accessible to a wider customer base. The growing number of beauty salons opening their doors also provides less expensive massage and relaxation treatments for customers on tighter budgets.
Over coming years, the industry is likely to grow if the world economy recovers sufficiently, which would spur higher employment and more disposable income among the target customer base.
Meanwhile, massage and relaxation service providers must continue to diversify and concentrate on innovative marketing approaches. Many spas and salons will attract increasing numbers of clients by offering promotional packages and/or discovery options whereby clients can bring a guest at competitive prices.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of massage therapists employed in the US is expected to grow 20% between 2010 and 2020, a faster average rate of growth than most occupations. This is a good indicator as to the growth to come in the massage industry over the next decade.
Leading Industry Associations
- American Massage Therapy Association
- Sports Massage Association
- General Council for Massage Therapies
- International Massage Association
- International Spa Association
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