ISPA Foundation releases consumer research focused on COVID-19’s impact
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ISPA Foundation releases consumer research focused on COVID-19’s impact

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This new research offers clarity at a time when we know it’s in short supply

The ISPA Foundation has released the 10th volume of its Consumer Snapshot Initiative, which examines the behaviours and expectations of US spa-goers and non-spa-goers during the coronavirus crisis.

Conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of ISPA, the survey focuses on how the pandemic has altered respondents’ behaviour in the present and how it will affect their expectations for returning to ‘normal’ life as restrictions are lifted.

The initiative surveyed 1,019 people with 75 per cent of respondents defined as spa-goers (people who’ve visited a spa in the last 12 months) and 25 per cent marked as non-spa-goers (people who haven’t visited a spa in more than 12 months).

“This new research offers clarity at a time when we know it’s in short supply,” said ISPA president Lynne McNees, “providing key insights into real-life consumer attitudes as our members make plans for reopening their spas in an unprecedented climate.”

Findings reveal that only 25 per cent of all respondents said they’d feel very nervous about visiting a spa after the crisis ends while 60 per cent of spa-goers noted they will likely ask about hygiene and sanitation practices when they next visit a spa.

The results suggest consumers will likely be most concerned about communal spaces such as locker rooms, wet areas and lounges, ISPA proposes this means these areas may need to be temporarily closed or adapted during the initial reopening phase.

“Following an event like the COVID-19 crisis, consumers are going to have concerns, and it seems clear that ‘business as usual’ won’t fly,” said Colin McIlheney, global research director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“But having these insights into specific consumer concerns and expectations gives spas the opportunity to be proactive in addressing them and making guests feel more comfortable from the moment they arrive.”

The report highlights the increased consumer focus on at-home wellness and that consequently, spas may need to address this by emphasising the value and quality of the professional treatments and services they can provide.

The report claims: ‘If spas can communicate that value, the data suggests consumers will respond, as more than 80 per cent of respondents say they plan to spend as much or more on spa visits once the pandemic ends, indicating that demand for spa services may be high upon reopening.’

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The ISPA Foundation has released the 10th volume of its Consumer Snapshot Initiative, which examines the behaviours and expectations of US spa-goers and non-spa-goers during the coronavirus crisis.
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