Spa business in Albania is booming

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 24, 2019 15:57

Spa business in Albania is booming

Story Highlights

  • “Another thing we can add is that with the dynamic life and stress we experience every day, the spa will be chosen as a detoxification service. We live in a time where pollution is high, food security is low, so there is a need to relax.”

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TIRANA, May 23- This year has found the Spa business on a strong competition between one another, which has led to an activity expansion on luxury hotels that provide all sorts of wellness related services. As being healthy is the new trend right now, the stress and mania relevant with being healthy are encouraging people to attend these relaxing centers more often, which on its hand has led to an oversaturated market on this business type.

Instagram is marketing the trend of food, fitness and treatments to get the full ‘being healthy’ package. The main success of wellbeing centers and races between them has created a new wave of ways to sell wellness services. Spa Centers are growing fast all over the country, risking market oversaturation. Comparing to last their number have risen again, counting more than 50. Main market and business actors give several reasons that encourages this business to grow, such as our dynamic life and the need to rest, Instagram's trend and the mania to follow a pattern; a form of entertainment, especially for a category of people who are no longer attracted to night life or similar forms. The price reduction from the competition has made these services more affordable for a substantial part, but more than anything there is a health need to receive such services.

“Another thing we can add is that with the dynamic life and stress we experience every day, the spa will be chosen as a detoxification service. We live in a time where pollution is high, food security is low, so there is a need to relax. These demands will come more and more on the rise,” said Emona Begolli who is administrator of Bamboo Spa & Hammam.

Spas are no longer luxurious, but are instead turning into a necessity. Aging, lifestyle related illnesses, and deficiencies in the traditional healthcare system in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, are driving more people into receiving wellness services as a form of prevention. According to some Spa executives in the capital, increasing attendance and awareness over the importance of wellness services over the years have spurred non-professionals in the field to open such businesses in Tirana, bringing the small Albanian market into an oversaturation.

Emona Begolli said the number of spa center in the capital has increased, both by professionals or not, who have simply set up a business. She said that the time has come to work with the star rating of the Spa centers, known in the hotel sector but which happens everywhere worldwide. Begolli is assured that this would be fairer for market players to be evaluated according to the services they provide and all the components together.

Manager to Nobis Alban Hamzaj, adds that embracing wellness services has come to Albania as a trend from the outside and is very demanded. He noticed a difficulty in the beginning, as a client would prefer to perform just one of the activities and did not consider it reasonable to make some simultaneously. The idea was that people to treat all the areas so as to receive the highest benefits for a better wellbeing. Hamzaj added that over the years the mentality changed and people realized what really gave wellness. After the 2000s the desire to switch from fitness to wellness services changed all around the world. He said that they initially trained the staff to persuade people to try out the three areas. Then they started noticing an increased over a seven-year period that allowed annual investments for improving infrastructure. Hamzaj said that this year they are linking this package of well-being with food, as they have opened a healthy menu restaurant to complement a full service.

Brikena Maloku who is manager to AS SPA, said that the self-care culture has been part of the lifestyle of every individual in Albania, with an expansion especially in the last two years. She said the costs of such a business is high. If one was to have a center with contemporary parameters, they will have to invest in giving the best, and finally get your return on investment. The Diplomat Spa manager in Tirana said that hotel guests who are mostly foreigners, are the main Spa visitors in their hotels. Moreover, their construction as part of the main activity came from the growing demand and development of this market. The manager said that their foreign customers always asked them about such a center, as a need to rest after a long day of business meetings. Over the past two or three years, a large part of Albania's coastline hotels have included the Spa center in their environment as a retreat for customers.

According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) which is a nonprofit education source for the wellness industry, the world wellness market grew by 10.6 percent to 3.72 trillion dollars from 2013 to 2015 (the latest figures available), while the world economy shrank by 3.6 percent over the same period. GWI senior researchers Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung said “the growth trajectory of the health industry seems unstoppable.” Among the key factors affecting the growth of this sector, the Global Wellness Report mentions the “growing consumer interest in all things related to maintaining and improving health, driven by aging, increased chronic illnesses and stress, the negative impacts of health due to atmospheric pollution and failure of the medical model for the care of the sick, to improve the quality of life.”


Thermal waters

According to a report by Global Wellness Tourism, there are about 26,000 counted centers built near thermal waters, in 103 countries around the world offering massages for well-being and tranquility, as well as cures and therapies. In total, all these centers in 2013 earned more than 50 billion dollars. Among these centers, 6500 provided only Spa services such as body and face massages, etc., most of which are located in large cities away from thermal springs. The study of the Global Wellness Tourism Economy points out that so-called wellness tourism anticipates the travels that are made for acquiring wellbeing services in other countries. This kind of tourism is growing, especially in the last decade, with the decision to visit a specific Spa arising as a need to be relieved of a busy week’s fatigue, or because of a doctor's recommendation. Spa facilities are a good place to take a new diet and exercise regimen, which fits a special lifestyle. Regarding the springs of thermal and curative waters in Albania, we can mention:

  • Bilaj Thermal Spas in Fushe-Kruja, rich in sulfur and mineral substances which have curative effects on rheumatism, skin, and nervous system.
  • Elbasan hot springs which waters have high therapeutic values ”‹”‹for treating respiratory, stomach and skin diseases. These hot springs also have cosmetic treatments values and have been used since the Roman period.
  • Peshkopi hot springs which contain potassium and sulfate. Advised for respiratory diseases, rheumatisms, skin diseases and gynecological problems.
  • Vronomeros thermal baths in Leskovik; Postenam steam baths, as well as useful curative waters such as Kroi i Bardhe (White Fountainhead) in the Selita Commune in Mirdita; Kroi i Nà«nà«s Mbretà«reshà« (Mother Queen’s Fountainhead) in the National Park of Qafe Shtama, etc..
  • The thermal waters of Benja, also known as Benja’s Baths. Located 14 kilometers from the town of Permet in the Petran Commune, where the six main springs are at the foot of massive rocks on both sides of the Langarica River. Benja's thermal springs have special values ”‹”‹for skin treatments.
Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 24, 2019 15:57