Booming Spa Market: Bali

The spa industry in Bali has experienced a growth period in the last couple of years as spas — incorporating beauty salons, hair dressers and luxury treatments — have emerged into one of the island’s main tourist attractions. At the same time, the world has started to acknowledge Bali’s tourism operators as providers of world-class spa services. In 2005 and 2007, the AsiaSpa magazine named the island its “Asian Spa Capital“.

“Actually the spa industry has existed for a long time, but the mushrooming of spa businesses in Bali has only taken place in the last three or four years,” said Lulu Susiana Wijaya, Head of Bali Spa and Wellness Association.

Lulu said an increasing demand from tourists was a factor and that Bali had become a tourism destination with more than just culture as its attraction according to Irawaty Wardany.

She said most tourist packages for the island now incorporated at least one visit to a local spa and the island would be a major player in the global spa industry in the near future.

“We have all it takes to become a spa destination, from skilled therapists, facilities, culture, techniques and the surroundings,” she said.

The Bali Spa and Wellness Association was established three years ago and has some 45 members.

“But the actual number of spa operators is higher than that because our association doesn’t cover the spas operated by hotels,” Lulu said.

The spa business has grown rapidly, she said, but operators were still able to maintain a healthy business and competitive atmosphere on the island.

“We have open competition through quality, products and techniques and many spas have their own market niche, which is dependent on the kind of treatments they offer,” she said.

The Kriya Spa at the Grand Hyatt and the Nusa Dua Spa at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa provided examples of how established spas must compete with new players.

General Manager of Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa, Reto V. Torriani, said Nusa Dua Spa was a pioneer in combining hotels and spa.

“We have continued to preserve our characteristics as a traditional spa,” Torriani said.

The hotel’s spa facility provides traditional Balinese and Javanese treatments.

Torriani said he did not feel threatened by the mushrooming of spas in Bali because his hotel had an advantage as the first hotel and spa in Bali .

“Our business is still good even though there are thousands of new spas out there,” he said.

Grand Hyatt Bali public relations executive Marianne F. Budihardja said each spa had its own advantage, but their spa used in-house designed and produced products.

“All the spa products used in the hotel are formulated by our physician, so you won’t find the same product everywhere,” she said.

The Hyatt’s spa won the 2007 AsiaSpa award for best interior and follows a policy of always recruiting fresh, inexperienced therapists rather than experienced ones, Marianne said.

“We don’t want to get a therapist who had been contaminated by other massage techniques,” she said.

“Our new staff are trained for six months in every aspect of the Kriya Spa techniques.”