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Current Trends in The Day Spa Market: How To Keep A Fresh Face


Guest post by Michael Tompkins, CEO of Miraval Resorts.

Having been in this industry now for nearly 20 years, and having managed a couple of the best known destination spa brands in the world, people in spa used to ask me, “What do you think about Day Spas?” when they first came out into the marketplace.

I’ve always been a firm believer that the more our industry works together to get our message out, the greater our impact will be on society.  Therefore, my answer before and my answer now remains the same: Day Spas serve a very important customer base in our industry and will differentiate themselves, expand, create a stronghold, and evolve into a major player in spa.  Ultimately, we all know this is the current state of the Day Spa today, a successfully launched platform that has a stronghold in our industry.

If one were to follow the destination spa/resort spa model over time, the same process for them occurred previous to Day Spas and the properties that evolved their products survived and thrived. Other properties without that evolution did not.

With the number of Day Spa start ups and existing businesses in the world today, how does one think out of the box while keeping their core philosophy and evolve successfully into a new space, attracting new customers, and continuing to enhance their product over time?  To recall the old adage, “if you’re not new, you’re through,” thus challenging the best to keep their product fresh.

In my effort to step out of the box, I look at the similarities of the business models. First trust.  If your customer trusts your brand then ultimately they will come back. Building trust builds loyalty and it’s the components of the individual brand that must remain core to the business to keep that loyalty alive.

Treatments and trends however, are the areas that will help a business evolve. Evolution should be calculated and secure, and new offerings should have a process as to how they are added.  How do they fit my current business?  What ways can I assure success to the new offerings?  When is too new too much?  How do I rethink without having to redo?

In my ESI presentation, “If I Ran A Day Spa” the purpose is to explore and create through a brainstorm of idea trends that I might think about incorporating into my Day Spa business to earn new customers now if I ran one, and provide practical tips for remaining true to your current business model and customer base as it exists today.

Michael Tompkins

Michael Tompkins is the CEO of Miraval Resorts in Tucson, Arizona. A 20-year veteran of luxury spa hospitality, he is a Registered Nurse and massage therapist. His work has included the creation of the Andrew Weil, M.D. Integrated Wellness Center and the completion of The Villas at Miraval, one of the fastest selling luxury lifestyle real estate projects in the U.S. He was a founding member of the New York Spa Promotion Alliance, 2007 New York State Hospitality Association’s Executive of the Year, and currently is Vice Chairman of the Board for the International Spa Association (ISPA).

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