Jobs   News   Features   Video    Products   Magazine   Handbook   Email sign up   Advertise  
Event Report
APSWC Round Table

Industry figures and representatives from spa associations across Asia contribute to APSWC’s third white paper. Catharine Nicol reports from Malaysia


The Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition (APSWC), an umbrella organisation for spa associations and businesses across Asia, welcomed over 50 delegates to its annual round table gathering this year. Their mission? To create the region’s third spa industry white paper which pinpoints on-going sector issues and potential solutions.

Association chairs, spa managers, consultants and specialists representing 10 countries in the region all convened at the Pullman Hotel City Centre Kuala Lumpur in March to contribute their ideas. The two-day event followed its tried-and-tested format of four main presentations to frame the topics, followed by breakout discussions and solution brainstorming. Bringing a Malaysian touch to the event, days started with silat melayu (an indigenous martial art), local snacks punctuated discussions and evening events celebrated the community over feasts of Malaysian cuisine.

Topic by topic, table by table, APSWC’s 2019 White Paper gradually came to fruition and was officially released in June.

Employee empowerment
Andrew Jacka, APSWC chair, initiated the organisation’s inaugural round table event in Bangkok, 2017, with the goal of creating its first white paper. He describes the release of the paper, with input from 20 countries, as a “watershed moment – never before has it been attempted to bring industry leaders together with a singular objective of facing up to some home truths”.

Florence Jaffre, founder of Ytsara spa products, was at her second APSWC event. She said: “I attended this year to get a sense of where the wellness world is moving, for the insights and connections, and also to participate. What I really appreciated was the friendship, the lack of competition, and the common belief and wish to move in the same direction.”

Unsurprisingly, workforce issues and the lack of trained therapists has dominated previous white papers with suggested solutions focusing on career journeys and mentors. This year the topic was tackled at grassroots level, focusing specifically on recruiting and talent empowerment.

Spa consultant Barry White, founder of White Living and an APSWC board member, kicked off the first panel on Team Empowerment, discussing approaches that could be used to instil therapists with a sense of passion and pride in their job.

Panellist Patrick Wee, CEO of True Yoga in Singapore, and Healthland Family Wellness Centre in Kuala Lumpur, is widening the scope of the traditional models by collating various wellness providers under one roof. He commented about industry recruitment, “We must make changes [to the traditional spa format] to see how we can collaborate with our resources and our talents to achieve a win-win-win.”

Resulting table discussions looked at new business models such as his, which offers exciting career pathways and fairer salaries to attract and empower talent. The continuation of government-led therapist qualification requirements to ensure standards and insurance for therapists (to raise credibility) were suggested, and it was noted that all these could support turning around the still pervasive negative reputation of a therapist’s job among some countries and therapists’ families.

Faheem Ebrahim, founder of Xin Performance, which collates data for spa and wellness intelligence, attended to reconnect with the industry and understand its current needs. He said: “Team empowerment is a constant struggle but so fundamental. I believe relationship is the core value for success in this industry.”

Ayu Mudiasih, founder of spa supply company Cemara Ayu and APSWC board member, said: “The discussions increased awareness of the recruitment problems being faced by many of us and provided a useful stepping stone for future discussions.”

Additional solutions include: adhering to spa service standards outlined by pan-Asian body ASEAN; committing to minimum therapist qualifications set by government bodies, encouraging professional knowledge, self-pride and respect; and committing to open-door communications across borders to share best practices, recruitment flow and overall industry intel.

Energy healing
Leading on from therapist empowerment, practitioner Lisa Hare gave an overview of energy modalities, such as chiron, kinergetics and sufi. “Energy healing heals the parts hands cannot reach. It’s not about products, it’s about the healer’s relationship with the client. The essence of who you are as a healer is the core of the business, the whole foundation for success,” she said.

Her talk provided insight for the white paper about energy healing – seen as the next wave in wellness – and how it can bring added respect to therapists and value for customers. In turn this could feed into spa marketing campaigns and the bottom line. Yet, Hare warned that because of its potential power, energy healing should be properly introduced – no adding reiki to a massage without informed client consent.

Marketing 2.0
Following a short talk on what influencers, micro and macro, could do to help industry businesses, Jojo Struys (@jojostruys), a renowned wellness personality and lifestyle influencer, spoke about her experience working with wellness entities. The crowd proved hesitant to embrace influencer marketing – while table reviews expressed cautious interest, discussions revealed there was a marked preference for the known quantities of traditional and direct marketing.

APSWC’s 2019 White Paper suggests influencers could be extensions to rather than replacements of traditional marketing, noting creating genuine relationships with influencers is key. For smaller businesses, micro influencers are likely to be more useful for targeted organic reach, and the influence of existing customers and their personal social media status can also bring local exposure marketing wins.

Synergies and partnerships
Lastly, partnerships and strategies for the wellness industry came under the spotlight. Jacka said his “personal highlight” was listening to insights from Centro Holistico in Manilla and the Agricultural and Food Marketing Association for Asia Pacific (AFMA) about possible endorsement for industry operators who comply with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Jacka himself has been instrumental in linking the APSWC with companies for mutual benefit. Expo company Cosmobeauté’s, sponsorship of the 2019 round table, for example, is balanced by a schedule of on-going industry education by APSWC members at seven of its events across the region, resulting in mutual exposure and goodwill.

White paper directives on the subject include suggest industry operators look to leverage mutual strengths for branding and marketing awareness, and revenue enhancement.

Discussions also suggested spas look local to create interesting partnerships across industries, while government ‘partnerships’ may offer tax incentives or funding of which companies were previously unaware.

Looking forward
Jacka reports scant accountability or concrete action following the 2017 and 2018 white papers. After all, volunteer-run organisations are only as proactive as their members. White has also called for more participation, especially from the bigger spa operators and suppliers.

Recent APSWC partnerships are, however, already beauty fruit including discussions with AFMA for SDG endorsement and the use of insurance providers to raise credibility of therapists throughout the region.

APSWC will also be involved at VietBeauty in August, Termatalia in Spain in September, Malaysia’s Beauty Expo in October, Cosmoprof Asia in Hong Kong in November, World Spa & Wellness Asia in Phuket next May and many more regional and global events.

“In an ever changing industry on-going education is vital, and the educational involvement of the APSWC in an increasing number of industry events is essential to ensure all segments of the industry are afforded every opportunity,” concludes Jacka.

HCatharine Nicol
Catharine Nicol is an Asia-based spa, travel and hospitality writer and editor [email protected]
Spa consultant Barry White led panels and discussions
Nicol (second right) takes part in silat melayu, a martial art used to focus delegate’s minds each morning
APSWC chair Andrew Jacka led panels and discussions
Wellness influencer Jojo Struys (centre) and Jacka (back row) with spa attendees
Discussions focused on employee empowerment, energy healing, marketing and industry partnerships
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Smiley Poswolsky to deliver keynote speech at ISPA Talent Symposium in April
Smiley Poswolsky did everything by the book. He studied attentively in high school, attended a prestigious university and landed a job working for the government. [more...]

Spa Vision and Spa Guru Consulting team up to bring combined expertise to Asia PacificRegion
Leading spa and wellness consultancies Spa Vision and Spa Guru Consulting are set to collaborate to bring exceptional expertise and insight to projects across the Asia Pacific Region. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
Vagheggi Spa

Established in 1975, Vagheggi is an Italian professional skincare company. Our headquarters and pr [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

Book4Time Overview
Book4Time is a global leader in cloud-based wellness and activity booking software for Spas, Hotels & Resorts and the Beauty industry. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

19-21 Feb 2020

ForumPiscine - 12th International Pool & Spa Expo and Congress

Bologna Exhibition Centre, Bologna, Italy
24 Feb 2020

Global Beauty & Wellness Exchange

Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, United States
+ More diary  
 
ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
 
SPA BUSINESS
SPA OPPORTUNITIES
SPA BUSINESS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020
Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
Event Report
APSWC Round Table

Industry figures and representatives from spa associations across Asia contribute to APSWC’s third white paper. Catharine Nicol reports from Malaysia


The Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition (APSWC), an umbrella organisation for spa associations and businesses across Asia, welcomed over 50 delegates to its annual round table gathering this year. Their mission? To create the region’s third spa industry white paper which pinpoints on-going sector issues and potential solutions.

Association chairs, spa managers, consultants and specialists representing 10 countries in the region all convened at the Pullman Hotel City Centre Kuala Lumpur in March to contribute their ideas. The two-day event followed its tried-and-tested format of four main presentations to frame the topics, followed by breakout discussions and solution brainstorming. Bringing a Malaysian touch to the event, days started with silat melayu (an indigenous martial art), local snacks punctuated discussions and evening events celebrated the community over feasts of Malaysian cuisine.

Topic by topic, table by table, APSWC’s 2019 White Paper gradually came to fruition and was officially released in June.

Employee empowerment
Andrew Jacka, APSWC chair, initiated the organisation’s inaugural round table event in Bangkok, 2017, with the goal of creating its first white paper. He describes the release of the paper, with input from 20 countries, as a “watershed moment – never before has it been attempted to bring industry leaders together with a singular objective of facing up to some home truths”.

Florence Jaffre, founder of Ytsara spa products, was at her second APSWC event. She said: “I attended this year to get a sense of where the wellness world is moving, for the insights and connections, and also to participate. What I really appreciated was the friendship, the lack of competition, and the common belief and wish to move in the same direction.”

Unsurprisingly, workforce issues and the lack of trained therapists has dominated previous white papers with suggested solutions focusing on career journeys and mentors. This year the topic was tackled at grassroots level, focusing specifically on recruiting and talent empowerment.

Spa consultant Barry White, founder of White Living and an APSWC board member, kicked off the first panel on Team Empowerment, discussing approaches that could be used to instil therapists with a sense of passion and pride in their job.

Panellist Patrick Wee, CEO of True Yoga in Singapore, and Healthland Family Wellness Centre in Kuala Lumpur, is widening the scope of the traditional models by collating various wellness providers under one roof. He commented about industry recruitment, “We must make changes [to the traditional spa format] to see how we can collaborate with our resources and our talents to achieve a win-win-win.”

Resulting table discussions looked at new business models such as his, which offers exciting career pathways and fairer salaries to attract and empower talent. The continuation of government-led therapist qualification requirements to ensure standards and insurance for therapists (to raise credibility) were suggested, and it was noted that all these could support turning around the still pervasive negative reputation of a therapist’s job among some countries and therapists’ families.

Faheem Ebrahim, founder of Xin Performance, which collates data for spa and wellness intelligence, attended to reconnect with the industry and understand its current needs. He said: “Team empowerment is a constant struggle but so fundamental. I believe relationship is the core value for success in this industry.”

Ayu Mudiasih, founder of spa supply company Cemara Ayu and APSWC board member, said: “The discussions increased awareness of the recruitment problems being faced by many of us and provided a useful stepping stone for future discussions.”

Additional solutions include: adhering to spa service standards outlined by pan-Asian body ASEAN; committing to minimum therapist qualifications set by government bodies, encouraging professional knowledge, self-pride and respect; and committing to open-door communications across borders to share best practices, recruitment flow and overall industry intel.

Energy healing
Leading on from therapist empowerment, practitioner Lisa Hare gave an overview of energy modalities, such as chiron, kinergetics and sufi. “Energy healing heals the parts hands cannot reach. It’s not about products, it’s about the healer’s relationship with the client. The essence of who you are as a healer is the core of the business, the whole foundation for success,” she said.

Her talk provided insight for the white paper about energy healing – seen as the next wave in wellness – and how it can bring added respect to therapists and value for customers. In turn this could feed into spa marketing campaigns and the bottom line. Yet, Hare warned that because of its potential power, energy healing should be properly introduced – no adding reiki to a massage without informed client consent.

Marketing 2.0
Following a short talk on what influencers, micro and macro, could do to help industry businesses, Jojo Struys (@jojostruys), a renowned wellness personality and lifestyle influencer, spoke about her experience working with wellness entities. The crowd proved hesitant to embrace influencer marketing – while table reviews expressed cautious interest, discussions revealed there was a marked preference for the known quantities of traditional and direct marketing.

APSWC’s 2019 White Paper suggests influencers could be extensions to rather than replacements of traditional marketing, noting creating genuine relationships with influencers is key. For smaller businesses, micro influencers are likely to be more useful for targeted organic reach, and the influence of existing customers and their personal social media status can also bring local exposure marketing wins.

Synergies and partnerships
Lastly, partnerships and strategies for the wellness industry came under the spotlight. Jacka said his “personal highlight” was listening to insights from Centro Holistico in Manilla and the Agricultural and Food Marketing Association for Asia Pacific (AFMA) about possible endorsement for industry operators who comply with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Jacka himself has been instrumental in linking the APSWC with companies for mutual benefit. Expo company Cosmobeauté’s, sponsorship of the 2019 round table, for example, is balanced by a schedule of on-going industry education by APSWC members at seven of its events across the region, resulting in mutual exposure and goodwill.

White paper directives on the subject include suggest industry operators look to leverage mutual strengths for branding and marketing awareness, and revenue enhancement.

Discussions also suggested spas look local to create interesting partnerships across industries, while government ‘partnerships’ may offer tax incentives or funding of which companies were previously unaware.

Looking forward
Jacka reports scant accountability or concrete action following the 2017 and 2018 white papers. After all, volunteer-run organisations are only as proactive as their members. White has also called for more participation, especially from the bigger spa operators and suppliers.

Recent APSWC partnerships are, however, already beauty fruit including discussions with AFMA for SDG endorsement and the use of insurance providers to raise credibility of therapists throughout the region.

APSWC will also be involved at VietBeauty in August, Termatalia in Spain in September, Malaysia’s Beauty Expo in October, Cosmoprof Asia in Hong Kong in November, World Spa & Wellness Asia in Phuket next May and many more regional and global events.

“In an ever changing industry on-going education is vital, and the educational involvement of the APSWC in an increasing number of industry events is essential to ensure all segments of the industry are afforded every opportunity,” concludes Jacka.

HCatharine Nicol
Catharine Nicol is an Asia-based spa, travel and hospitality writer and editor [email protected]
Spa consultant Barry White led panels and discussions
Nicol (second right) takes part in silat melayu, a martial art used to focus delegate’s minds each morning
APSWC chair Andrew Jacka led panels and discussions
Wellness influencer Jojo Struys (centre) and Jacka (back row) with spa attendees
Discussions focused on employee empowerment, energy healing, marketing and industry partnerships
LATEST NEWS
“Six Senses has great energy”, says Bryan Gabriel as he steps up to CCO role
The rapidly expanding Six Senses business, recently acquired by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in a US$300m deal, has appointed IHG veteran Bryan Gabriel as chief commercial officer (CCO).
House of Wisdom wellness space to open in London
A self-help studio marketing itself as a 'first-of-its-kind self-development wellness space' will open in the heart of London in March 2020.
VIE Hotel Bangkok partners with Thai-Danish celebrity Sririta Jensen
VIE Hotel Bangkok has relaunched its spa following a four-month renovation and partnered with Thai spa brand ORGANIKA, the organic spa brand created by Thai-Danish actress, Sririta Jensen.
Alpine alchemy: make your own natural cosmetics at Six Senses Gstaad
Guests at Six Senses Spa at Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland can make their own bath bombs and natural cosmetics in alchemy wellbeing workshops which harness the power of natural ingredients.
Jean-Michel Gathy channels Issey Miyake to create signature installation for Tokyo spa
Designer Jean-Michel Gathy has created a 3D origami-inspired feature wall for Four Seasons’ spa sanctuary in its upcoming hotel in Japan – called Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi.
Luxury hotel treatment rooms generate more than double the revenue
Luxury hotel treatment rooms generate more than double the revenue of "normal" rooms, according to consultancy firm HVS.
Flexology to open second site and stretching institute
Flexology, which markets itself as 'the UK’s first dedicated stretch studio', is planning to expand at a pace of two sites a year across London.
Arctic Bath floating spa hotel opens in Sweden
The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa, designed by Bertil Harström, Johan Krauppi and AnnKathrin Lundqvist, has opened on the Lule River near the small village of Harads in Swedish Lapland.
Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel reveals new Talise Spa
Hotel group Jumeirah has launched a new Talise Spa at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai.
Create a culture of ‘productive generosity’: ISPA keynote to explain how
American psychologist Adam Grant has been announced as a keynote speaker for the 2020 ISPA Conference and Expo, scheduled for 14-16 October 2020.
Clinique La Prairie launches first ‘city hub’ in Madrid
Swiss health and medical spa operator, Clinique La Prairie, has opened a new medi-spa in Madrid as part of an international development roll out.
Icelandic Prime Minister calls for ‘alternative future’ based on wellbeing
Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, has urged for wellbeing to be given greater priority than GDP and economic growth.
+ More news   
 
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Smiley Poswolsky to deliver keynote speech at ISPA Talent Symposium in April
Smiley Poswolsky did everything by the book. He studied attentively in high school, attended a prestigious university and landed a job working for the government. [more...]

Spa Vision and Spa Guru Consulting team up to bring combined expertise to Asia PacificRegion
Leading spa and wellness consultancies Spa Vision and Spa Guru Consulting are set to collaborate to bring exceptional expertise and insight to projects across the Asia Pacific Region. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
Vagheggi Spa

Established in 1975, Vagheggi is an Italian professional skincare company. Our headquarters and pr [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

Book4Time Overview
Book4Time is a global leader in cloud-based wellness and activity booking software for Spas, Hotels & Resorts and the Beauty industry. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

19-21 Feb 2020

ForumPiscine - 12th International Pool & Spa Expo and Congress

Bologna Exhibition Centre, Bologna, Italy
24 Feb 2020

Global Beauty & Wellness Exchange

Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, United States
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS