The global spa industry is worth $US250 billion a year and is one of the fastest growing segments of a wellness industry already worth more than $1 trillion, according to a new study.
Professor Marc Cohen, Professor of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University, is on the Board of the Global Spa Summit, which commissioned the Stanford Research Institute to produce the global spa economy report. The report provides a snapshot of the 2007 global spa economy for 210 countries and was released at the Global Spa Summit in New York.
Professor Cohen said: “This study defines spas as establishments that promote wellness through the provision of therapeutic and other professional services aimed at renewing the body, mind, and spirit in a relaxing environment. Seen this way, the spa industry is much larger than it may initially appear – Stanford estimates it was worth $US254.8 billion in 2007.”
Australia was the 15th largest spa country in 2007, with 674 spas generating $US0.44 billion and employing 6,938 people. While the spa and wellness industry is expanding, experts at the recent Global Spa Summit concluded that the major constraint to future growth of the industry is a worldwide labour shortage.
Australia is leading the charge to address the labour issue, with RMIT announcing the launch of a new Master of wellness program.
Professor Cohen, the architect of the new program, said: “RMIT is aiming to produce practitioners and managers who will lead the wellness revolution and the global spa industry. This innovative Master of Wellness program can be taken fully online and is open to local and offshore students. It offers core courses on lifestyle enhancement, wellness assessment and positive psychology, which are supplemented with a series of electives in specialised areas including, nutrition, manual therapies and management.”
Professor Cohen played a leading role at the Global Spa Summit, chairing a panel on sustainability and participating in the panel on wellness technology.