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Industry insights (Africa)

Industry predictions International spa and wellness professionals, working in various industry sectors, give their views on the industry and report back on major trends Jane Kitchen, managing editor, Spa Business Handbook

“Many visitors are keen to experience what makes African spa and wellness facilities different” Dr Tanya Pergola, founder and trip leader, The Healing Safari

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assage therapists in Africa were traditionally recruited from Europe or Thailand, but in recent years, high-quality massage training schools have opened in South Africa and in Nairobi, Kenya, so while European trainers are still brought in to share consumer trends and expectations, more Africans – mainly women – are training to be therapists. There are now some highly skilled native African therapists who combine traditional intuition and healing massage practices with Western techniques, such as Swedish massage. Safaris are big business and are becoming more linked with wellness. To enhance relaxation, many safari lodges have massage therapists in-house or on-call to provide treatments in guests’ rooms or outside, often overlooking majestic landscapes. By its nature, a safari is healing – the word is Swahili for ‘journey’. Spending the day following the rhythms of nature, immersed in the habitat of awe-inspiring wildlife, de-stresses people in an instant. 68

SPA BUSINESS HANDBOOK 2017 – 2018

In addition, a growing number of yoga instructors from around the world are organising their own groups to take on safari in sub-Saharan Africa, creating ‘yoga safaris’ that integrate a yoga retreat with a wildlife safari. This trend is sure to continue, and lodge and resort owners might consider adding space to their properties to accommodate the needs of yoga and meditation classes. Some African skincare companies use traditional ingredients like African potato, marula oil, shea butter and rooibos, and their spa treatments incorporate ancient African rituals. For example, spas that are located in coffee-growing zones often utilise ground coffee in their spa treatments; African red clay is used for its healing properties; and traditional medicinal plants can be used for poultices. These authentic, local elements are all very popular with visitors, many of whom are keen to experience what makes African spa and wellness facilities different. The key is to marry these traditional medicines and rituals with the www.spahandbook.com

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Spa Business Handbook 2017 - 2018  

The global resource for spa professionals

Spa Business Handbook 2017 - 2018  

The global resource for spa professionals