The Ageing Consumers article in Spa Business magazine (see SB15/1) was an excellent read about the importance of spa design, treatment, service and products that are age-friendly to the 450 million (and growing) population of baby boomers.
It highlighted to us that as global spa designers, we must occupy two places at once: the present and the future. Baby boomers are resistant to being categorised as becoming ‘elderly’, so more subtle, discreet design and programming in spas which emphasise vitality and wellness will be key.
We recommend following the Seven Bes of Spa Planning to cater to this market:
1. Be Bright: light up areas where reading is required (menu of services, signage, lounge/relaxation areas)
2. Be Easy: simplicity is key. Focus on slowing down and deep healing treatments such as those incorporating breathing, stretching, massage, yoga and acupuncture all in one peaceful session
3. Be Clean: infuse areas with plants to scrub the air and inject more oxygen. And, of course, use low VOC paints, antimicrobial finishes and non-slip surfaces
4. Be Clear: the path of travel around the spa should be made obvious and kept free of obstacles with few inclines and no steps
5. Be Balanced: design movement programming to begin at the feet, not only to enhance balance, but to remind guests to take care of their feet and posture and to guide them in getting ‘earthed’ from the ground up, becoming present and renewed
6. Be Real: it’s important that staff are sincere, compassionate, patient and kind
7. Be The Change: the spas of the future should be places of inspiration, where health, wellness and personal growth merge and thrive
So, are spas ready for this demographic shift? The answer can be yes, especially if they act decisively and embrace change. Watch out for a global spa evolution.
Contact Cary Collier
Email: [email protected]