Behind the scenes with Jan Freitag of Smith Travel Research

Jan Freitag is Vice President of Global Development for STR Global, leaders in market share analysis and data collection for the hospitality industry.  Jan has spent the last few years getting to know the spa industry and encouraging us to examine our data!

How many years have you been involved in the spa/hospitality industry?

I started presenting spa data in 2006, so that was probably the start in the spa industry.  I did an apprenticeship in a Moevenpick hotel in 1989 and have been in the hotel industry ever since.

What was the path that led you into the spa industry?

Mary Tabacchi invited me to a Cornell Spa Symposium and talked me into presenting, although at the time we had no data on spas at all.  But, you can never say no to Mary, so I went and came up with a presentation that got the dialogue going.

What is your favorite place in the whole world?

Toss up between Mii Amo in Sedona (for the scenery) and Miraval in Tucson (for the experience).

If you could have any profession in the world, other than what you do now, what would you be?

I always wanted to go into space, so astronaut would be my choice.  Thanks to Virgin Galactic, this may come true after all . . .

What is your motto or concept that you live by?

"Life is Service. The one who progresses is the one who gives his fellow man a little more, a little better service." E.M. Statler

What is your most treasured possession?

Memories from my trips.  And signed pictures of The Wrapped Reichstag by Christo.

What’s your go-to spa treatment?

Gentlemen's Facial.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Staying in shape.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to remember names more easily, I am having a really hard time with that.

Tell us two things about yourself we don’t know.

My last name means "Friday" in German and that is what my car license plate says, "Friday."

I try to start each day with a 6:00am, 20 lap swim, even (especially) when I am on the road.