Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION Business travelers who want to minimize jet lags, mothers who wants to spend time for themselves, persons with back problems seeking for relief, weekend warriors who are sore from overexertion, an obese man who needs help in controlling his weight, or a couple who wants to reconnect, all come to one place to seek help, the spa. Today’s spa is a center for healing and nourishing mind, body, and spirit. People go to spas for fitness, stress management, peace of mind, pampering and pleasure, and health and wellness. Spas are everywhere.
According to the International Spa Association (ISPA), the number of spas in the United States grew at an annual rate of 21% from 1995-1999 and continues to show strong growth. The size of the U. S. spa industry in 2001 was estimated at 9,632 locations; in 2000, that number was 5,689. (Register, 2008). Here in the Philippines, the demand for spa services continues to grow. According to Libarios (2006), as more and more people pine for inner-healing-this and alternative-lifestyle-that, the market for spas and wellness centers has ballooned over recent years.
These so-called health-hubs sprouted in the metro like wild mushrooms in the forest—from the most exclusive centers that cater only to society’s well-heeled set down to the modest hole-in-the-wall that offer services at affordable rates. Libarios further adds that even the Department of Tourism (DOT) has sunk its teeth into the trend. Sensing that the demand for spas is not a novelty that would later die a sudden death, it took the initiative to transform the Philippines into the “sparadise” of Asia. Despite the noticeable dip in the economy, the demand for spas has shown no signs of slowing down.
The demand for spa services is driven by personal income and demographic trends. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient resource use and effective marketing. That is why the profile of spa customers is very essential. This study is intended to determine the profile of spa customers in Bacolod City in order to effectively create an effective feasibility study in putting up a spa business in the future. Statement of the Problem This study tried to determine the profile of spa customers among the selected spa establishments in Bacolod City. Specifically, it tried to satisfy the following questions: . What is the personal profile of spa customers of the selected establishments in Bacolod City in terms of their: a. Gender; b. Marital status; c. Age; d. Employment Status; e. Educational Background; and f. Monthly Income. 2. What is the customers’ prevalence of spa visits in a year? 3. What are the factors that influence their choice of spa to visit? 4. What other information may be included in order to support the proposed feasibility study? Operational Framework In this study, the researcher wants to find out the profile of spa customers in the five selected spa establishments in Bacolod City.
The personal profile of these spa customers may vary from their gender up to their monthly income. Once their personal profile is established, the next step is to identify the type of spa that they will prefer to avail of once they visit a spa. The researcher is also interested in finding out the influential factors that controls their choice of spa treatments. And finally, the researcher would further sought to find out the necessary information that may be gathered that he deemed were necessary in order to support his proposed feasibility study on the establishment of spa business in Bacolod City.
Figure 1 presents the schematic diagram of the operational framework. Figure 1 Schematic Diagram of the Operational Framework Significance of the Study The study is deemed beneficial in the following manner: This study will provide necessary background for future spa entrepreneurs in putting up their own spa establishments. The profile of the customers may also help identify consistency, and repeat purchase and filter posers versus the people who will really come back for not only a 2nd and 3rd massage therapy, but to identify dependable, consistent, steady and reliable customers.
The additional information that will be gathered from this study may help ease the possibility that future spa businesses in the city may not suffer the same fate as those business establishments who closed shop early. This study may be replicated by other researchers who are envisioning operating other spa business outside of the city, but on a much wider scope, which may involve other variables not covered in this study. Scope and Limitations of the Study This study was only concerned in finding out the profile of the 5 selected spa establishments in Bacolod City.
The respondents of the study were limited only to the customers of the selected spa establishments. The personal profile of the spa customer only covered their age, gender, marital status, educational background, employment status, and monthly income. In the process of conducting this research, the following constraints were identified, namely: the non-participation of some identified respondents in the data gathering and the non-availability of some important respondents during the data gathering. Definition of Terms The following terms were defined operationally for better understanding. Age.
This refers to the stage of the life of the spa customers grouped in 6 categories ranging from 18 years and below to over 65 years. Gender. This refers to the sexual characteristics of the spa customers classified as male and female. Educational Background. This refers to highest level of education attained by the spa customers grouped in 4 categories namely: did not complete high school, completed high school, university/college degree holder, and post graduate degree holder. Employment Status. This refers to employment condition of the spa customers grouped in 4 categories: employed full-time, employed part-time, unemployed, and retired.
Marital Status. This refers to civil condition of the spa customers grouped in 3 categories namely: single, married, and couple/in a relationship. Monthly Income. This refers to monthly net earnings of the spa customers classified into 6 groups ranging from below Php 20,000. 00 to over Php 20,000. 00. Profile. This refers to personal description of the customers of the selected spa establishments in Bacolod City. Spa Establishments. This refers to five selected spa businesses in Bacolod City such as the Bacolod Spa, Grand Royal Spa, Body and Sole, and Quintessence Spa. Swedish Massage.
A kind of massage offered in most spa businesses in Bacolod City. It is a system of therapeutic massage and exercise for the muscles and joints, developed in Sweden in the 19th Century. Shiatsu Massage. A kind of massage offered in spa businesses in Bacolod City. It is a traditional hands-on therapy originating in Japan. Spa. A place of treatment, or is associated with water treatment, which is also known as balneotherapy. Facial. A facial is involving a variety of skin treatments, including: steam, exfoliation, extraction, creams, lotions, masks, peels, and massage.
Normally performed in a beauty salon but it is also a common spa treatment. Chapter 2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Related Literature According to the Spa Signature (2008) website, the word and concept of spa actually originates from the time of the Roman Empire when battle weary legionnaires tried to find a way to recover from their military wounds and ailments. They sought out hot wells and then built baths so that they could heal their aching bodies; calling these places ‘aquae’ and naming the bathing treatments undertaken there ” Sanus Per Aquam” (SPA) which means health by or through water.
During this period, the town Spa in Belgium was founded for this purpose, rising to fame in the 14th century and still existing today. Having originated from this time, the culture of Spa developed in different ways throughout Europe, from the ongoing use of mineral water, through to using sea water and marine substances (Thalassotherapy) and a wide range of body and other therapies. Yet even today, the concept of health or healing forms the basis of the spa culture worldwide and hydrotherapy is seen as its defining feature.
A spa differs from all other beauty businesses principally through the implied promise that the total experience of being there–everything from the initial greeting to checkout–will be exceptionally serene. The spa is a respite from the pressure and rigors of routine life, a genuine escape, and customers can and do expect almost flawless treatment and care ( Preston, 2008) The Spa Book: The Official Guide to Spa Therapy). According to SpaBoom. com, website, spas are booming due to a surge in stress. The International Spa Association (ISA) says this shows that people feel they should reward themselves for working hard.
It is expected that specialized spa services that help people quit smoking, lose weight and treat depression will be a big growth market. In the U. S. , 40 percent of spa customers are men, and spas just for men are emerging in many corners of the nation (English. Chosun, 2007). These days spas come a dime a dozen, and massage parlors are as prolific as muscle aches. If before getting a spa treatment was a luxury only few could afford, the times have changed to adapt to the indulgent desires of an evolving status quo. Today spa treatments come in a range of prices, the spas themselves catering to particular markets.
There is bound to be one in your neighborhood, just as likely as there is one off-shore in some fancy beach resort. Student prices now apply to the service of Swedish or Shiatsu, and body scrubs can either polish your resources and leave you dry, or keep you satiated without stripping you clean of your budget. The key is finding the right pressure points without pressuring you with the prices. Because at the end of the day, regardless if you’re rich or poor, everyone could do with a little rest and relaxation (Yu, 2009) www. discoverspas. com/book_store/books. shtml).
Get the Best from a Spa According to eHow fashion website (n. d), in order to get the best from a spa, a series of steps must be conducted of which the first is to look at the spa facilities – ideally, the spa must be clean and is up to date with the latest technology. The next step is to pick a spa that has a relaxing atmosphere – an ideal spa must have soft lighting and plays relaxing music. The next thing to do is to get the best package since most spas will offer package deals to their clients. The fourth step is to ask for experienced therapist and talked to them during the session.
And finally, relax during the treatment since your body will respond much better if you relax your muscles. How to Enjoy Spa Experience According to Ritajo (n. d), so as to enjoy a spa experience, the following procedures must be followed: first, research the type of spa you are interested in visiting; then, decide what treatments you want to experience; third, plan to take advantage of all that the spa facility offers; next, arrive early (at least 30 minutes) before your first treatment; and finally, enjoy the treatment and ask questions if you need to about what is being done. Related Studies
In a 1997 spa-goer market study conducted by Health Fitness Dynamics (HFD) Inc. , clearly indicated women become less stressed as they age and that each age group seeks different results from a spa. Female spa-goers comprised 74% of the 2,332 spa-goers who used a spa while staying at a resort, an increase of 5% since HFD’s landmark 1992 study of the spa-goer. This study further revealed the following account: 59% of the women under 30 years of age go to a spa at a resort when they are stressed; 34% of women over 60 visit spas to exercise and get fit; 48% of the younger women go to a spa at a resort when they feel like splurging.
Here is what the study found women want from their resort-based spa experience: Women younger than 40 feel higher stress so they want to exercise and be pampered; In the 40-49 age group, a slight shift occurs since pampering becomes more important and exercise is of secondary importance; the 50-59 year olds are the most vulnerable group in terms of considering leaving spas as this group appears to have the least interest in most spa services, whether these services be exercise and fitness oriented or beauty and pampering oriented. In a study conducted by the International SPA Association (2006), in both the U.
S. and Canada, about one quarter of adult consumers (26% of Americans and 25% of Canadians) has visited a spa. These percentages translate into roughly 57 million U. S. adults (aged 18 and older) and 6. 3 million Canadian adults. More recently, 15% of all Americans and 14% of all Canadians have visited a spa within the previous 12 months. These active spa-goers, representing 3. 7 million Canadian consumers and 32. 2 million U. S. consumers, are the focus of this study. When presented with a list of possible benefits sought (or highly valued) on most spa visits, U. S. nd Canadian spa-goers concur on the top five benefits they seek: relaxation, calm/quite/peacefulness, pampering, time out for themselves, and refreshment. When seeking information on which spas to visit, consumers (in both countries) are most likely to trust friends, followed by family members and coworkers. In another study conducted by the ISA’s (2007), it revealed that of the 70% of U. S. spas that offer packages, the most commonly offered are those for men, couples, pregnant women and teens. According to firstresearch. com, Demand for spa services is driven by personal income and demographic trends.
The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient resource use and effective marketing. Larger companies have some economies of scale in marketing and purchasing. Small companies compete by offering unique services, serving a local market, and delivering a superior customer experience. The spa industry is labor-intensive: average annual revenue per employee is less than $80,000. An industry study by Walter Walsh, author of the Book, “The Spa Apprentice, Major providers of spa services are day spas (70 percent of industry revenue); resort and hotel spas (20 percent); and medical spas (5 percent).
Other providers include club spas, mineral springs spas, and destination spas. About 80 percent of the spa facilities in the US are day spas. Medical spas are similar to day spas, but focus on services by healthcare professionals, such as Botox injections and laser hair removal. Destination spas offer lodging and a specific health regime, such as weight loss or detoxification programs. The most popular spa services are full body massages, manicures and pedicures, and facials. Other services include movement classes, body scrubs or wraps. An article from the Sun Star Cebu, (courtesy of their website- www.
Sunstar. com. ph,) ,The health and wellness industry in Cebu is expected to grow further this year as more people seek out services offered by local spas. However, Spa and Wellness Association of Cebu Inc. (Swac) president Johnie Lim warned that small establishments and those with less dedicated owners will not survive as competition becomes stiffer this year. “The industry will explode with growth in the market but many small spas will close,” said Lim, also owner of Body and Sole. “Those who will survive are those that have captured their own markets. Lim said growth in the industry will be caused by an increase in the number of people who seek the services of spa and wellness centers. “More people have realized the benefits of going to a spa, even those in the lower middle income (bracket). The trend can be seen even among people who have never been to a spa before,” he said during the first anniversary celebration of Body and Sole Minglanilla, a franchised outlet. Lifestyle “It’s becoming a part of the lifestyle of many Cebuanos. (With the growth), Cebu is becoming wellness island,” he added.
He said this year’s growth will surpass that of last year, which saw the number of registered spa centers rise to 160 from 90 in 2006. The competitiveness of a spa center would depend on its services, he said, adding that Body and Sole has a good following because it offers value-for-money services. Body and Sole has 41 company-owned and franchised outlets in the Visayas and will be opening another one in Toledo City, Cebu on Jan. 18. It also has three branches in Luzon. While more people now have enough money to pay for an occasional visit to a local spa, Lim said upscale spa centers in Cebu would not have a lot of room for expansion. The middle-end spa centers will expand but (the) high-end (ones), not so much. Cebuanos will still be price-conscious,” he said. Accreditation With this expected growth in the industry, Lim said Swac will ask the Cebu City Council to require new spa and wellness establishments to get an accreditation from the association. “The accreditation would ensure that spa and wellness centers in Cebu would follow the same standards,” he said. This is in line with Swac’s goal to promote Cebu as a spa and wellness center in the country, he added.
Lim said he disagrees with the notion that Cebu’s spa and wellness industry cannot compare to those in Thailand. “Thailand has been offering spa and wellness services for more than 20 years. We’ve only just started,” he said. He said that while he is “very positive” about the local industry, the sector could grow further if government, particularly the tourism department, provides more support. “We in the private sector have been doing most of the promotion on our own. The government should be more supportive instead of critical,” Lim said. (LAP) Related Literature Sources: 1.
www. researchandmarket. com/reports/spa_industry_profile 11.
www. willenbooks. co. uk
www. firstresearch. om/