After an unprecedented health crisis, European spas are timidly reopening. Country by country, protocols and new labels have been issued to reassure the public and prevent the propagation of COVID-19. The wellness sector hopes that these regulations will be enough to relaunch the business. Intelligent initiatives which prove that spas have not said their last word!
Labels about spa regulations to rebuild consumer confidence
To reassure the public after the health crisis, the World Travel & Tourism Council – the reference organization for the tourism and travel sector – had a lot to do! The “Safe Travels” label, its latest innovation, guarantees travelers that the spa they are visiting complies with strict hygiene and security rules. These sanitation rules mirror the directives of the World Tourism Organization and the recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention organization.
Several tourist destinations have already been awarded this international label, and others go even further and invent their own label like Portugal, where tourism generates 8.5% of GDP (1). By creating its “Clean & Safe” label, the country encourages everyone involved in tourism to respect health regulations and government recommendations. These not only cover site hygiene but also staff training, public information and service organization within these structures. 20% of the country’s tourist structures were labeled within two weeks.
New sanitation protocols have appeared
In June 2020, the French National Council of Spas published a Sanitation Charter for Spas which not only concerns wellness establishments, but also addresses all the surrounding services like restaurants, doctors and accommodation providers… It goes further than the existing legislation applicable to all establishments receiving the public.
In Italy, the Italian Scientific Research Foundation for spas set up a health and self–test protocol to protect spa clients and personnel. A special COVID unit was created to check that these measures were effectively applied.
In the United Kingdom, the government, anticipating the return of clients to “close contact” structures, has published a guidance specifying distancing, cleaning and protection measures. Simultaneously, the U.K. Spa Association issued its own guidelines which go further than the British government’s directives.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the wellness sector which now has to make a major effort to recover its clients still frightened of catching Covid–19. In addition to these regulations, innovative spa designs are sure to emerge, just like the total rethink of shop interiors to enable social distancing and limit contacts. New trends to add to those we listed at the beginning of 2020!
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