| Most Popular Article Of The Week:


Pandemic’s Impact Highlighted in 2021 ISPA U.S. Industry Study


Photo: Shutterstock

The International SPA Association has released the full findings of the 2021 ISPA U.S. Spa Industry Study, marking the 22nd anniversary of this research initiative. The ISPA Foundation commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct the study, which surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. spa professionals.

The 2021 study captured the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the U.S. Spa Industry in 2020, including its effect on revenues and spa visits, both of which fell by more than 35 percent. The total number of U.S. spa employees fell by just over 20 percent. The total number of spa locations, however, fell by only about four percent, while revenue per spa visit fell just two dollars to $97.50.

2021 ISPA U.S. Industry Study
2021 ISPA U.S. Industry Study

“As expected, this year’s study reveals the scope of the challenge spas have faced throughout the pandemic, but it also illustrates the industry’s resourcefulness and innovative spirit,” says ISPA president Lynne McNees. “Spas have worked tirelessly to continue safely serving guests, and recent indications of exceptionally high demand leave us confident in a strong recovery throughout 2021 and beyond.”

In addition to revealing the pandemic’s economic impact, the study’s findings highlight the many ways spas adapted as they strove to reopen and resume safely serving guests, including through the development of new spa menus (42 percent), outdoor or curbside treatments (40 percent), or “touchless” treatments (21 percent). The study’s findings also indicate that, despite the economic hardships endured by many spas in 2020, the average price per spa service actually increased by two percent, indicating that demand for spa services remains strong.

“This year’s edition of the study is critical not only to understanding the pandemic’s effects on the U.S. spa industry but also to measuring its recovery as we move forward,” says PwC global research director Colin McIlheney. “The study’s findings provide a clear picture of a challenging moment in time for the industry, but taken in context, they also suggest that the industry is in a position to recover well throughout 2021 and into 2022.”

Visit to download the entire study.

About The Author

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures,, E! Online,, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.