Study Shows More than Half of All Spas Have Been Significantly Impacted by COVID-19

All businesses, including the spa industry, have recently faced unprecedented hardships due to COVID-19. In fact, according to a recent study from International Spa Association (ISPA), 52 percent of spas owners and operators reported their business has been significantly impacted, while 38 percent have reported a detrimental impact on business due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The 11-day Snapshot Survey that ISPA conducted in March features answers from more than 500 spa professionals who shared insights relating to their COVID-19 response efforts.

“The pandemic has hit the spa industry especially hard, and this survey shows us how the spa world dealt with those early blows. It also shows the resilience of those within the industry as they scrambled to serve their guests and staff as they faced something unprecedented, and that gives us a lot of hope for the future of spa," says Lynne McNees, ISPA president. 

"For ISPA’s part, we’re investing in research and working with a team of dedicated industry professionals to craft resources to help the industry reopen safely and communicate their already aggressive sanitation efforts when the time comes. We want our spa community to come back strong, and we want to do whatever we can to help that happen.”

The Snapshot Survey shows that 99 percent of all spas increased sanitation and cleaning efforts due to COVID-19. Common responses included increased frequency of sanitization methods, such as increasing from two to three times per day to every half hour, and the use of disposable items instead of reusable ones. Many spas also began screening guests for symptoms of illness.

Eighty-two percent of responding spas implemented new COVID-19 specific policies or procedures. Most procedures allowed staff to identify guests with symptoms of illness and ask them to leave or reschedule their appointments. In addition, 74 percent of all spas adjusted their cancellation policies. Changes were also made due to the overwhelming amount of guest calls. Many spas waived cancellation fees for those canceling due to illness or COVID-19 related concerns. In addition, 36 percent of all spas are encouraging guests who have traveled to specific areas not to visit the spa.


Eighty percent of all spas have temporarily closed their doors. At the time of the survey, at least 23 states had ordered non-essential businesses to close and at least 18 states had issued “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders. Overall, at least 45 states have required retail/business closures to some extent.  However, at the time of the survey, 27 percent of the spas were actually encouraging guests to visit the spa to reduce stress.

Inevitably, the effects of COVID-19 have taken major financial tolls on the spa industry. According to the survey, 66 percent of all spas’ gross revenue are down by more than 50 percent.

For the full results of the study, click here.

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