Spa Centers – A Critical Link & Crucial Service in the Wellness Industry!

Essential oils for spa

Have an Insight into Application of Essential Oils in Multiple Spa Treatments and Growth of the Global Spa Economy!

Wellness is an active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles to attain holistic or optimal wellbeing that aligns physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental aspects. People opt for alternative medicines, aromatherapy, massages, yoga, meditation, and other natural ways to enhance their well-being besides medicinal treatment.

The importance of the global wellness industry is growing day by day as the health-conscious population has begun to spend on wellness (healthy living, fitness, nutrition, spiritual practices, diet, and alternative therapies) besides medicines, medical treatments & medical consultation.

The wellness industry contributes 5.3% to global economic output. As per International Monetary Fund data, it is growing twice as fast as global economic growth – at 6.4% annually. Among the 10 wellness sectors, the spa industry registered the highest growth rate during the last few years and holds a bright future. 

The global wellness industry comprises the following sectors (in the order of highest to lowest revenues).

  • Personal care, beauty, and Anti-aging
  • Healthy Diet, Nutrition, and Weight loss
  • Wellness Tourism
  • Fitness of Mind & Body
  • Preventive and Personalized Medicine and Public Health
  • Traditional and Complementary Medicine
  • Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate
  • Spa Economy
  • Hot or Mineral Springs
  • Workplace Wellness

What is a Spa Center and Spa Economy

According to Global Wellness Institute, a spa center is an establishment that promotes wellness through the provision of therapeutic and other professional services aimed at renewing the body, mind, and spirit. The broader spa economy comprises not only spa centers but also the related sectors that support spa businesses in capital investment, consulting, training of spa therapists & education of managers and media houses, and events businesses that promote spas. 

Its growth is driven by key factors such as rising per capita income, the fast growth of wellness tourism, and an increasing inclination of consumers towards wellness spending. The growth of spa centers and demand of essential oils are positively related as spa centers use diverse aromatic oils for different purposes.

What is on offer in Spa Centers?

The spa centers typically offer different kinds of massages, facials & makeup applications, spa manicures & pedicures, aromatherapy,  exfoliation treatments with wraps and packs, and hair coloring, styling, and cutting. They extensively utilise different essential oils in an herbal body wrap, paraffin body wrap, full body massage, full-body cleansing similar to facial, and Ayurvedic, Burmese, Thai, Turkish bath, & Ashiatsu Japanese massages. The style of treatment, degree of customization, and essential oils & quality of essential oils vary widely among spas.

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Typically, the following aroma combinations are used in spas

  • Grapefruit, Mandarin, and Mint
  • Mimosa, Thyme, and Basil
  • Eucalyptus, Pine, and Lavender
  • Jasmine, Green tea, and Lemon balm
  • Lavender, Grapefruit, and Bergamot
  • Cedarwood, Violet, and Lavender
  • Basil and Lemongrass
  • Chamomile, Frankincense, and Geranium
  • Clary Sage, Neroli, and Rose
  • Ylang-ylang, Lavender and Vetiver 
  • Lotus Floral Absolute and Amyris

Each combination causes different effects for the person in care. And, each essential oil has its unique aroma and blends differently with other essential oils. It also differs in its effect on skin, hair, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, and digestive systems. The combination of essential oils used in spas depends on professionals and individual consumers. More than 60% of professional therapists develop their products and put them for re-sale besides their professional use. More than 75 % of spa professionals use natural fragrance as opposed to synthetic ones

Most market research consultancies project the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global essential oil market between 5 to 10% coupled with an 8 to 10% growth rate in the spa industry during forthcoming years. Based on these estimates as well as the inclination of the global population towards wellness therapies, the demand for essential oils is poised to augment in the spa economy.

Essential Oil Usage in Spas of Different Parts of the World

Europe – European spa centers use nearly 80 essential oils in their treatments. The popular essential oils include lavender, bergamot, helichrysum, chamomile, peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, frankincense, and black pepper. The healthy living trend, renewed interest in aromatherapy and stressful lives.  Leading essential oils suppliers to this market are Brazil, the US, India, India, and Madagascar.

North America – Spa and wellness centers hold a lion’s share in the US aromatherapy market. Besides, the households and clinics also employ aromatherapy for various purposes. They use single or blended essential oils and classify them into herbaceous, floral, earthy, woody, citrus, camphoraceous, spicy, and others based on fragrance. Prevalence of anxiety & stress, preference for natural and herbal treatments, and  increasing skin treatment requirements are likely to boost the growth of the essential oil market in North America, coupled with more demand from spa centers.

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Asia-Pacific – India, Thailand, Maldives, Japan, China, Philippines, Hongkong, Bali, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Korea have some of the best spas in the world. The spa centers are also top destinations for wellness tourists. They innovate and apply different techniques for natural wellness and use aromatic essential oils extensively for diverse purposes. Lavender, orange, lime, ylang-ylang, peppermint, vetiver, chamomile, and rosemary are the most preferred aromas among spas in Thailand and other Asia-pacific countries. Rising income levels & health consciousness and preference for natural products are the key drivers of the usage of essential oils.

Latin America – Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, and Peru countries are home to many spas and aromatherapy centers. They offer massages & facial treatments, and different exfoliating scrubs along with yoga and meditation classes in large natural spaces. They make clay and algae wrap by blending myrtle, lemon, and juniper berry essential oils. Besides, they offer detoxifying body massage with tea tree, lime, rosemary, peppermint, sandalwood, allspice, black pepper, and other essential oils. The number of spas has been increasing year over year, seeking more volume of natural essential oils.

Middle East Africa – Many luxury spas offer beauty-oriented wellness spa treatments and fitness retreats in Dubai, Beirut, Oman, Jordan, and Turkey.  They use Indian essential oils extensively in their massages, diffusion, wraps, and masks. The wellness trend in the region has induced growth in spa centers and their revenues. Middle East countries are the first to absorb a surge in medical tourism along with spa services and are expected to witness rapid growth in spa centers and, in turn, usage of essential oils.

Global Spa Economy Scenario

As per the data of the year 2017, the number of spas was estimated to be more than 149000 in the world. It accounted for revenues of $93.6 billion and employed about 2.6 million workers. The spa support sector added $25.2 billion to make it a $118.8 billion global spa economy. The spa industry has grown by more than 9.9 % in the last few years and it is likely to continue the growth. 

Geographic Distribution of Spa Facilities

Global spa economy is segmented into five geographic regions named North America, Europe, Asia-pacific, Latin America, and Middle East Africa. The Asia Pacific is home to the highest number of spas, with as many as 48,679 spas earning $26.5 billion revenues in 2017. However, Europe was ahead in value with 46282 spas registering $33.3 billion revenues. North America was at 3rd place with 30394 spas recording $22.9 billion revenues. Latin America, Middle East Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa followed in that order in terms of the number of spas and revenues.

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The United States, China, Germany, Japan, and France are the five major countries fetching  nearly 50% of the global spa revenues, while the top 20 countries capture more than 3/4th of the global market. However, the spa economy is expanding in more and more countries. Indonesia and Australia are examples of such development as they crossed a $1 billion threshold in 2017.

With growth of the spa economy around the world, the usage and demand of essential oils are expected to rise. To meet the increasing requirement of the essential oils, the spa centers may need to explore different avenues for sourcing the same. South Asia is a tropical region blessed with a variety of natural fauna. In this region, India is home to various natural essential oil manufacturers and suppliers. Aromaaz International is a leading essential oil exporter in India, that offers more than 300 essential oils, 70 carrier oils, floral absolute oils, exotic oil dilutions, therapeutic massage blends , oleoresins and organic oils.


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