China’s efforts to further standardise the industry.

China – August, 2017, the China National Spa Association is not active at this time as it undergoes a period of internal adjustment.   The Chinese Government is active and is currently making changes to further standardise the management of spa operations in the country, but China is a big country and distance is a challenge.

Overall the current prospects for the industry are not as optimistic as anticipated, especially for hotel and day Spas where the revenue is going down.  Owners have reduced the size of management teams or their salaries to reduce operating costs.  Some Spas are also starting to do medical services even though they are not licensed to do so.  Some hotel just like to rent out the space and collect rental fees with no control over quality of service.

There are a number of private SPA Association in China, set up by some business people, but these are not officially recognised by the authorities.

Korea focussing on healthier future lifestyles!

Spa wellness industry in Korea has been growing steadily, offering varied and unique programs for customers who want to cope with increasing stress. To attract savvy customers, spas or wellness centers have tended to pay attention to such trendy ideas as eco-ism, naturalism, indigenous culture on one hand, and high-tech treatment devices or science-based materials on the other.

As the words like wellbeing or wellness has become widespread, Korean government has been guiding and supporting for various plans in private sector, relative to healthier future lifestyles. The government initiated a couple of projects to link IT with wellness and healthcare industry. Recently, the Korea National Tourism Organization has designated 25 spa resorts and wellness centers across the nation as highly recommended wellness tourist attractions.

Small and medium-sized spas are still striving to survive the slow economy. Also, spas in Korea has long been suffering from legal restrictions which ban therapists to practice massages. They are only allowed to apply cosmetics or to use small devices. It is the same case for the skincare industry. Massages that give pressures on the body are allowed only to licensed healthcare practitioners and visually handicapped masseurs/masseuses. To grow their businesses, spas are actively seeking for collaboration with cosmetics, healthcare, fitness, nutrition, tourism, or others.


Summarised by Ha-young Song (Mr.), President of the Korean Spa Wellness Society.

Singapore’s Beauty and Wellness industry is facing a serious challenge concerning manpower.

Singapore – 23 August 2017, the biggest challenge facing Singapore’s Beauty and Wellness industry is manpower. Highly educated young Singaporeans are not interested in laborious work resulting in an increasing shortage of Singaporean workers. At the same time, government measures taken to benefit the local workforce which include higher salaries, more benefits; reduction in employment permits, imposing minimum salaries and higher levies for foreign workers, aggravated the manpower issue to a precarious level.

Environmental factors have sharply increased operational costs while reducing productivity due to the shortage of competent workers and business opportunity loss. Income for a therapist in Singapore is higher than those of most white collar workers. Although Singaporean workers hold qualifications recognized by government agencies, many do not have the skills competencies and/or experience of foreign workers.

The most urgent task of the Spa & Wellness Association of Singapore (SWAS) is to develop and enhance competency and professionalism of therapists. As the representative organisation for Beauty, Slimming, Nail, Hair, Spa, Massage and Fitness businesses and practitioners, SWAS’ long term goal is to work closely with various government institutions to support and promote productivity and growth in the industry. The SWAS Registry of Complementary Therapists (SRCT) is setup to promote personal development, higher competencies of individual therapist base on benchmark of qualifications, knowledge and skills, continuous professional development while educating consumers on standards and capabilities within each segment of the industry to enhance value and safety in purchasing services.

SWAS works closely with all education institutions through industry partnership. Attached is a picture of the MOU ceremony with Republic Polytechnic, a Corporate Member and Industry Partner of SWAS.

For more information about the Spa & Wellness Association of Singapore contact