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RESEARCH


Thai spa consumers


The Thailand Spa Consumer Report 2012, the first survey dedicated to spa-goers in the country, highlights how the industry has generated a strong consumer following with many visiting spas multiple times a year. Julie Garrow reports


T


he first-ever report focused on spa-goers in Thailand was released by industry research specialist Intelligent Spas at the


inaugural World Spa and Well-being Con- vention held in Bangkok (see p26) last September. The Thailand Spa Consumer Report 2012 was sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and conducted on behalf of the Thai Spa Association. The bi- lingual survey offered in Thai and English was completed by 316 people via a self-fill, online survey during July and August 2012. This convenience sample was used to better understand actual spa-goers’ recent behav- iours, current preferences and forecast spa visits. The analysis covered spa visits near where the respondent lived, as well as their spa experiences while travelling, providing very interesting comparisons.


SPA HABITS AT HOME It’s promising to see Thai spa-goers vis- ited spas near where they lived 6.6 times on average during the 12 month period before completing the survey. Also interesting is that almost 18 per cent visited a spa more than once a month near where they lived during the same period.


102 spa business handbook 2013 Graph 1: How Respondents Heard About The Spa


Received gift certificate Hotel/resort promotion Saw building passing by Been to the spa before Internet search Word of mouth


0% 5% Spa Near Home Source: Intelligent Spas, Thailand Spa Consumer Report 2012


Surprisingly in this digital age, the most common form of awareness is still word of mouth, with 24 per cent of spa-goers hear- ing about the last spa they visited from friends and family (see Graph 1). The inter- net was the second most popular channel mentioned and 17 per cent of respond- ents found a local spa via online searches. Seven per cent learned about a spa after they received a gift certificate. The majority of respondents visited a spa for relaxation (79 per cent) compared with just 8 per cent who went for beautifi- cation and 7 per cent for a reward or to spoil themselves. The treatment most commonly


experienced during the last spa visit was a body scrub/exfoliation, with about a third of spa goers selecting this (see Graph 2). Twenty-six per cent chose a Thai massage. Over 50 per cent of respondents went to the spa with someone including their friends (32 per cent), their spouse (11 per cent) or their family (10 per cent). Seventy- one per cent took time to enjoy the spa’s public water-based facilities such as plunge pools, whirlpool, steamroom and/or sauna. Average prices of spa treatments in Thai- land are relatively cheap and 80 per cent of spa-goers spent less than US$100 (¤76, £64), with 30 per cent of that allocated to


www.spahandbook.com 10% 15% Spa Whilst Travelling 20% 25% 30%


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