New data explores impact of COVID-19 on spa sector

The UK Spa Association has released new data looking into the wider impact that COVID-19 and lockdown has had on the spa industry, including businesses and people.

The not-for-profit and collaborative trade body representing UK spas, across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, has produced its "What's Next for Wellness" survey to explore the challenges that the sector is currently facing and what support is needed for locations to survive post-pandemic.

The participants included within the research were combined from a cross section of the spa and wellness industries including operators, suppliers, consultants and therapists.

The survey found that 92.3% of participants reported that COVID-19 has had a severe or significant impact on their business, with 87% reporting the majority of their staff are furloughed. In addition, 20% of participants stated there was a possibility that their business may not reopen at all following the lifting of restrictions.

The data also looked closer at the subject of reopening post-lockdown, including people's thoughts on personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitisation.

When asked if they would reopen immediately following the lifting of restrictions, 54% of respondents said ‘yes', but only 13% stated they anticipate to reopen in full. Indeed, 38.3% of participants plan to restrict the use of their thermal facilities, with 21.8% planning to phase the reopening of their pool areas.

On the topic of PPE, the survey found that 78.2% of participants believe that therapists should wear face masks “whether the government advise us to or otherwise”, yet over half (56.9%) were concerned around the cost and sourcing of this equipment. Plus, only 17% of participants strongly agreed with the fact they "feel adequately prepared to train my team in the use of PPE".

Over three quarters (75.7%) believe that spas should remove testers from their retail displays, with 78% stating that retail products should be merchandised in a non-contact way. The surveyed also showed that participants believe that training and supplier meetings should take place online where possible or in small groups with social distancing.

To view the full "What's Next for Wellness" report, visit

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