Healthy Spa Industry Revives Interest In Management Courses

When deciding on a major, more students may soon focus on careers in healthy industries, such as spa management.

According to the International Spa Association, the spa industry generates over $12 billion in revenues each year and there are over 20,000 spas in the U.S. Despite the healthy growth of the spa industry, currently, only three universities provide bachelor’s degree programs with a spa management concentration.

At Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), the spa management program is offered in conjunction with the university’s Resort and Hospitality Management Bachelor of Science degree.

Students receive a traditional food, beverage and lodging hospitality education, as well as learn the complex management skills needed to operate the recreation facilities and services of high-end resorts and private clubs.

To receive the Spa Management concentration, students also complete five spa courses, including spa operations, wellness and healthy cuisine, treatments and services, and spa client experiences.

Beyond the coursework, each student will complete three internships in the industry before completing the degree.

FGCU’s campus is located on 760 acres in the heart of Southwest Florida’s hospitality playground of high-end resorts and private clubs. The University’s Division of Resort and Hospitality Management now has its own building, Herbert J. Sugden Hall. To enrich the student’s experience, Sugden Hall recently opened the first-of-its-kind campus spa laboratory. The lab is equipped with two dry treatment rooms, a wet treatment room, including a Vichy shower, hair and nail salon, locker facilities, retail space and a wet area, including steam, sauna and whirlpool.

Dr. Mary Wisnom, coordinator of the program, worked with spa industry leaders and professionals to create the working-model spa lab.

If you would like more information about FGCU’s Spa Management Concentration, contact Dr. Mary Wisnom directly at (239) 590-7854 or visit