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‘Lead the charge’: UKSA issues rallying message of support to inspire industry for 2021

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During a turbulent 2020, the spa and wellness sector banded together as a community to survive and adapt.

This year, the UK Spa Association (UKSA) served as a central voice for the UK industry and launched an invaluable lobbying campaign for reopening, as part of the beauty industry task force with the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Spa Business spoke to UKSA GM, Helena Grzesk, and UKSA chair, Adam Chatterley, to hear their reflections on 2020.

How do you feel the industry has triumphed this year?

Due to COVID-19, the spa and wider beauty industry was forced into the government’s spotlight.

But, while that landed us with a host of challenges and frustrations, it served to catapult us about three years ahead of where we would’ve been in terms of government recognition and understanding of the sector.

As a result, we’ve significantly raised awareness of the sector at government level and helped secure a relationship for the long-term lobbying of the industry.

It's thanks to this hard work and the sector’s incredible professionalism that English spas and beauty business are reopening with no treatment restrictions and full use of sauna and steamrooms across all tiers.

Now, we have a perfect platform to begin to showcase the benefits of our industry and demonstrate that we’re a professional sector that must be taken seriously.

How did 2020 change the industry?There’s been a heightened appetite for self-care products and experiences, which brings great opportunity for the sector, because as wellness experts we can ‘lead the charge’ in supporting the improvement of physical, emotional and mental health in our communities.

There’s also been an astounding digital shift as spas and suppliers pivoted to adapt in the face of enforced closures.

Is there anything you think the industry could have done better?

There’s a sense of apathy and non-participation within the sector that needs to be addressed.

There are a few too many spas and related businesses that are prepared to sit back and reap the rewards of the UKSA and its stakeholders’ hard work but who aren’t willing to contribute financially or to provide essential survey data to support their sector.

Much of the industry has been collaborative, and as we heard Caroline Nokes, MP, say at Spa Life UK, collaboration is what’s needed – so we must unite to speak as one voice.

It’s time for those comfortably benefitting as observers from the side-lines to step forward and join in.

What advice would you send out to spas for 2021?All businesses need to have a people-focused culture, look after and nurture your team and be true advocates of wellness.

We have a perfect opportunity to capitalise on wellness, sharing our knowledge and expertise to support our guests to improve their own health and wellbeing, beginning with our own people.

What trends do you think the industry will see in 2021?

Spas will need to embrace a 360-degree holistic approach to wellness, considering mind, body and soul in their offering.

Emotional wellbeing is as important as physical wellbeing, so the sector should try to be as inclusive as possible to enable real lifestyle changes, championing better health for everyone.

The UKSA believes we’ll also continue to see an increase in wellness tech and science-led innovation as consumer demand elevates for non-medical internal and external self-care alternatives.

What do you think spas can learn from 2020?This is only the beginning of our sector's journey and the lesson we all need to take away is that we should welcome and embrace change.

There have been some truly transformational concepts and ideas implemented across the industry, many of which we might not have witnessed had we not been forced to shake things up and adapt.

We can choose to limit ourselves with our own beliefs, but imagine what we could achieve if we allowed ourselves to dream endless potential.

So, while spas are reviewing the budget costs for 2021, UKSA membership should certainly be part of the core annual budget, and as affordability is at the forefront, we ask everyone to question, can you afford not to?

If you aren’t already a member of your trade association, join now and be part of the change, we are stronger together.

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During a turbulent 2020, the spa and wellness sector banded together as a community to survive and looked to its leaders for guidance and inspiration.
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