Relax away the crisis
The Hotel Show organisers urge $630 million regional spa industry to offer escape from stress of economic downturn
The Middle East’s $630 million resort and spa industry has been urged to offer customers an escape from the stress of the economic crisis.
“The Middle East has invested heavily in hotel development in recent years which means it is better placed than many other parts of the world to remain sound during the current challenging times,” said Maggie Moore, Exhibition Director of The Hotel Show.
The first Middle East Spa Summit will be part of this year’s show that takes place from May 24-26 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
“As part of their product offering, many hotels have spas which will help them emerge faster than other regions when there is an improvement in the world economy,” she added. “But many hotel based spas are under-utilised.”
Unlike in Europe, Asia or the United States, around 60% of spa revenue in the Middle East is generated through hotels with an estimated turnover in excess of $630 million annually in the Arabian Gulf. The United Arab Emirates alone makes up more than 40% of this figure.
“In today’s economic climate hotel operators cannot afford to have facilities that are not productive,” said Moore. “The Summit will help them by addressing the different types of spa and the reasons for choosing them; the benefits of managing a spa in-house or franchising; how to market a spa; and spa trends.
“In times of economic downturn, the hospitality industry has to try harder to maintain and grow profits. Now is the time to review business basics and become more competitive and that applies to spas as well as their core room and food and beverage businesses.
“Hotels in the Middle East are by no means immune to the global downturn but many continue to attract spa-goers from all over the world. Luxury properties will no doubt continue to benefit from their appeal to the super wealthy who are not necessarily as seriously affected. Generally, however, hotel spas will need to maintain a positive focus moving through the economic crisis.
“Hotels can use this opportunity to raise awareness of the wellness and healthful aspects of spa-going to a wider audience. If they do so at reasonable rates, they will benefit. After all, what better time could there to persuade customers to take care of themselves than during a stressful economic crisis?”
The Hotel Show showcases the latest products, services and technologies for all aspects of the hospitality and leisure sector. In 2008 the show featured 1,050 exhibitors from 46 countries.
This year the show will have four major product and service sectors:
- Interiors & Design for furniture, furnishings, accessories and design services;
- Operating Equipment & Supplies, with food and beverage, housekeeping and back of house products and equipment including the corporate catwalk;
- Security & Technology;
- The Resort Experience, covering all things outdoor (furniture, accessories and design) and including Hotel Spa will bring international spa, design and equipment companies to this region, many for the first time.
Alongside the Middle East Spa Summit is The Seven Star Conference, an established event running at The Hotel Show, will emphasise design trends, sustainability, future technologies and marketing for profitability.
For more information about all aspects of The Hotel Show, please visit