JAN 2014

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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GLOBAL SPEAK Eastern Evolution China is on a growth upswing. But will that ultimately include the spa sector? By Lisa Starr 68 DAYSPA | JANUARY 2014 250 hotel and resort spas and about 200 day spa brands, many of which have franchised units numbering anywhere from two to a hundred. There are also an estimated 50 to 80 private club spas, which are not marketed to the general public. Last September the magazine held the country's 4th Spa Industry Awards, which coincided with the SpaChina Summit 2012. Businesses were recognized for achievements in innovation, popularity, product excellence and more. China also has several spa associations, but none have definitive data on what is happening in their market— and they don't deal with regulation. There is no licensing for therapists in China, although spa facilities require a license, which is obtained from the police department. CULTURE SHOCK All of this growth adds up to a tempting proposition for international spa and hotel operators. However, the business environment in China can be quite difficult. Foreign companies trying to do business there need to engage local human resource and legal officials, and still be COURTESY AMANRESORTS The world's most populous country—1.36 billion as of November 2013—has seen some amazing changes over the last 10 years, and forecasters say there are still more to come: • In economic development, growth from fifth to second largest in less than 10 years • 350% rise in per capita income • Almost 590 million active internet users • 100 airports being built • A predicted 600 million Chinese middle-class by 2022 As we know all too well, along with the new economic wealth come the usual trappings. Tourism spending in China was up 14% for 2012 over 2011, and these new tourists want to do all of the things that tourists the world over want to do: see the sights, stay in nice hotels (hundreds of hotels representing a host of major brands are in the pipeline) and, yes, visit spas. The spa industry in China is still in its infancy, but it's growing. Fifi Kao, editor in chief of SpaChina Magazine, estimates that China currently has more than

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