The Spa Management dilemma

Around this time last year, I had an idea. We had run our Spa management courses for about 7 years and we are constantly getting queries from students on where they can find and compare spa management educations (such as candidate and bachelor) as well as shorter courses, such as ours, for those already working in the spa business.

We as employers had a huge challenge to find qualified spa managers, and so had all my colleagues in the business. And the ones that actually did graduate did not have the skillset that the industry want to hire.

Confused yet? You should be. Basically we are all over the place, as educational institutes, students and also the industry.

It had been lingering in my head for a long time that we have to do something about the spa management challenge, as spa managers are essentially those who build our future.

Beautiful Aspen

Beautiful Aspen

So we commissioned a study via the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS), where I happened to be on the board and we presented the result this week in Aspen,

In short (the long version can soon be downloaded at )

a)    educational institutes are not educating the spa managers that the industry wants to hire

b)   the industry is not investing in the spa managers they already have, and therefore many of today’s spa managers do not have the tools to lead a successful and profitable spa

The industry has a lot of responsibility in this, we have to communicate with the educational institutes and tell them what core competencies that we want them to educate in.

As Dave Ramsay says “ we can either chose to educate our staff and risk looking them OR keep them dumb and slow” – we as an industry has chosen the latter.

We had a very productive round table discussion about this, that I led and we agreed to that it is now time for the industry to step up to the plate, and although I promised myself that I would not take on a leading role in this (it took quite some time to get this research together with SRI International….), I found myself passionately saying that I would head the initiative up.

I hope that we will in one year have a website where students can find all spa management educations and courses, that we have a set of core competencies that we are all educating in and that we have an active industry where we are communicating with students and educational institutes

Stay tuned and I will keep you posted on new advancement as we go along!




2 thoughts on “The Spa Management dilemma

  1. Great issue to ponder and not surprising results. There are a couple of silver linings though and they are these:
    1- The Spa industry is not unique in suffering from finding it self in this position. Other industries are currently suffering the same or have inthe past.


    2- The industries who had suffered such malaise in the past and short comings in their management and other departments, areas of concentration or services have once the moment or awareness and awakening occurred been able to surmount their individual hurdles and shine…

    As G.I.Joe is fond of saying “now you know”….but also the rest of the quote is “…and knowing is half the battle”….the other half is resolve, commitment and innovative thinking outside the box!

    Let the work begin in earnest….regardless of what discomfort or uneasiness may be felt because we are going to change what we have done day in and day out..year in and year out in the past…individually or as an industry!


    • Loved your comment, Raad. Actually read it loud on our Spa Management course we are currently holding, today it was on leadership and it was perfect timing with the G.I.Joe comment, so true! Thx for the encouraging words, sounds as if we at least are on the right track. 🙂


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