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Research: North America

Forging ahead ISPA’s 2016 US Spa Industry Study shows a healthy growth in revenue, spa visits and profit. Research author Colin McIlheney outlines the findings


he US spa industry showed continuing growth, profitability and confidence during 2015 and into 2016, according to the 17th annual International SPA Association (ISPA) US Spa Industry Study, conducted by PwC. The industry’s buoyant performance in 2015 was reflected in a 5 per cent growth in total revenue, along with a 2.1 per cent increase in spa visits compared with 2014. Total revenues passed the US$16bn mark. More than three in four

spas reported a profit percentage of 10 per cent or more, while the location count topped 21,000 for the first time since the pre-recession peak in 2008. A majority of spa operators reported plans to take their businesses forward in 2016. Drawing on the findings from a large-scale nationwide survey of spa operators conducted in spring 2016, the Industry Study provides a picture of the spa industry in 2015. Spas were asked to provide detailed data on their

Table 1: 2015 US Spa Industry Study – The Big Five Statistics 2014 (year end)

2015 (year end)

% change


$15.5 billion

$16.3 billion


Spa visits

176 million

179 million






Revenue per visit




2015 (May)

2016 (May)

% change

Total employees
















Source: ISPA 2016 US Spa Industry Study

138 spa business HANDBOOK 2017 – 2018

performance in 2015, encompassing five key business indicators. The ‘Big Five’ consists of the number of spa visits by clients, client spending per visit, revenues, staffing and profitability.

Forging ahead In 2015, the US economy continued to expand. The growth in the level of economic activity nationwide averaged 2.4 per cent in 2015, unchanged from the 2014 rate, with a corresponding rise in personal consumption expenditure, up by 4.7 per cent in cash terms. The story was similar within the spa industry. Total revenue grew by 5.0 per cent – up from US$15.5bn in 2014 to US$16.3bn in 2015 – driven by a rising number of spa visits (+2.1 per cent), combined with increased revenue per visit (+2.9 per cent) and expansion in the number of spa locations (+1.8 per cent). Visits reached a record 179 million. New spa openings exceeded closures by a margin of 360 in 2015, bringing the total number of locations up to 21,020 from 20,660 in 2014. This marks the first year that spa locations have topped 21,000 since the pre-recession peak of 21,300 in 2008. Clientele are spending more per visit too; revenue growth

Spa Business Handbook 2017 - 2018  

The global resource for spa professionals

Spa Business Handbook 2017 - 2018  

The global resource for spa professionals