The first Global Spa Summit took place in New York. The front professionals from the global spa industry discussed problems the industry is facing. Among the major problems of the industry is for sure the shortage of labor. This industry lacks highly trained professionals like spa managers and directors, aestheticians, and therapists. There is a need for better education and standardization of credentials world-wide to face this problem. There is a survey of some 160 world spa and wellness industry leaders, which shows what do they see as major risks to the industry. Some 29 percent of delegates said, labor shortages was the most important issue, 22 percent of the professionals saw the lack of industry-wide standards for defining spa categories and best practices as the biggest challenge. Only some 12 percent of the delegates cited environmental sustainability as another top concern.
There were some keynotes presented by important visionaries from the spa industry. For example Steve Case, whose Revolution LLC is leading innovation in the health care, wellness, and resort industries, said: "We are at a tipping point, as consumers are seeking more than an environment to be pampered in, but also a place to achieve balance," said Case in his keynote address. "We have an opportunity now to take the idea of balanced living and bring it into the mainstream." The fact that the industry is growing very rapidly did not stay unnoticed: "The spa industry has grown 40 percent over the last three years and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon," said Spa Finder CEO Pete Ellis. This trend has also made investors thing about the spa industry as a good opportunity to allocate their money, and this approach will even speed up the industry’s growth. Delegates have agreed that the Summit should become an annual event and take place in different cities around the world to reflect the industry"s global stature.