WELLNESS / SPA/RESORT

The Sustainable Spa Association to launch Spa Sustainability Diploma shares Lucy Brialey Co -Founder Sustainable Spa Association

What do you think are the six things that have changed in the spa industry?
The spa industry seems to be ever evolving, as an industry we are great at adapting and changing fluidly with consumer demands or needs.

• Quality of space and time
This year has seen big challenges that need attention and change.


Spas have had to quickly re-think and re-open, leaving behind some trusted and loved treatments and enhancing some aspects that they can offer to be attractive to consumers post Covid-19 lockdowns. Spas have always been clean and healthy environments but now more than ever spas are taking responsibility to make this far more visible to guests. Gaining the confidence of guests and communicating the quality of the experience they can have now is a priority.Many spas have areas of relaxation that can be further enhanced by giving consumers more personal space and extra time to relax after a period that has been very stressful, brining about a sense of well-being.

• Health
It seems the most significant change is the reason consumers will be visiting spas. Spa have been seen as a luxury treat or an additional well being activity. In the light of Covid-19, consumers are looking at spas as part of their own long term well-being plans. Visiting a spa is something an individual can choose to do, to take responsibility for their own health. They are integrating spa into their lives as a way to stay at their best, reduce their stress levels and boost immunity.

• Holistic experience
Many years ago the spa industry seemed to fragment into specialist areas such as advanced clinical treatments, health focused therapeutic treatments, nutrition and finishing treatments such as hair removal and nail care. It seems many spas are now taking the approach to bring this diversity back under one roof in a way that links all types of treatments for a holistic experience.

• Environment
Being environmentally friendly is an important aspect for many spas. Consumer awareness of environmental issues has increased and consumers are now asking many questions about this subject when visiting a spa. The recognition that human health and the health of the planet go hand in hand has had an important part to play in this. Consumers are looking further than their own health and well-being and into the consequences this may have on the health and well-being of the planet.

• Travel
In recent years wellness travel has been on the rise. Predictions show that many spa goers will not be travelling like they used to for the near future. This gives an opportunity for spas to attract and retain new local customers for a close-to-home experience.

• Non-contact treatment
In response to new safety measures, I believe we will see a rise in the adaptation of treatments and a new wave in the popularity of non-contact treatments and facilities.

What are the new benchmarks that the UK Spa and Wellness industry will set as businesses restart?

I believe the priority will be safety of staff and guests, guest comfort and confidence. This will be the safest and most effective way for the spa industry to grow back.

Share some of the safety measures a Spa goer should think of in a post pandemic era.

Spas are dutifully putting in place every safety measure they can to make sure guests feel confident and comfortable when visiting. It can be hard for guests to adapt to a new journey through the spa, particularly if they are used to it being a certain way pre Covid-19.

The spa goer can help this process greatly in a few simple ways:-
Call ahead with any questions and ask for advice before visiting. This ensures that all new guidelines for the visit are known and there are no disappointments or unexpected requests on arrival. Each establishment will have their own ‘new’ journey and visitor requirements.

Respect for space and privacy. Everyone who is sharing the spa space will be conscious of the new social distancing rules and the restriction on numbers of people allowed in one area. Be patient and understanding when using facilities, this is a learning curve for everyone.

Cleanliness. Spa teams will be extra vigilant on cleaning but it will help them greatly if each guest takes responsibility for their impact on moving through the spa and using facilities. Where you can please make sure you keep areas or equipment you have used clean and tidy and of course keep up good levels of personal hand hygiene.

Understanding. Spa teams have been very enthusiastic about getting back to the jobs they love, however some people still feel anxious about the consequences of lifting restrictions on certain treatments and close personal contact. Be kind to therapists and know they are doing their best to give a quality experience.

What is the vision of the Sustainable Spa Association? How many members are part of this?
We believe the spa industry should be a leading industry for environmental causes. Spa is about the essence of wellbeing, and this begins and ends with the natural world. It is our responsibility to ensure we are using the world’s natural resources as responsibly as possible, and not leaving a footprint for future generations. Wellbeing is the ultimate message, and we believe this should extend to wellbeing of the world around us.We are an established network that is growing internationally.

What are some of the up-skilling programs you are doing, share some details on the same.
The Sustainable Spa Association is very much focused on education and up-skilling teams within operating spas.

Members benefit from bespoke branded education from The SSA.
We have a detailed 12-part sustainability impact assessment designed to bring environmental practices into sharp focus with the aim of improving and developing a strong culture of environmental awareness into daily operations. An accreditation can be gained from a successful assessment and audit, which shows a high level of sustainable practices within the business. Advice, guidance and education are all part of the membership.

Spa teams will have access to up-to-date information and resources from The SSA, our Brand Partners and guest contributors, to help them achieve this.Coming soon we will be launching a Spa Sustainability Diploma which can be used to educate existing teams and also be used as part of an on boarding process for new team members too.Members and Non-members will be able to take part in initiatives and access educational information throughout the year. We will be focusing on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Circular economy and Global spa sustainability audits.

Share a brief profile of the association
The Sustainable Spa Association is a non-profit organisation established to assist the spa industry in becoming an environmentally friendly force for change. We believe the spa industry has a responsibility to protect the world in which we live, and to take care of the natural resources which we rely so heavily upon. The natural world is at the heart of our industry, and by becoming a member of the Sustainable Spa Association, you are joining some of the world’s leading spas to commit to making change, maintaining best environmental practice, and being pioneers in the continued fight for environmental consciousness and sustainability.