Newton, MA – Questex Media Group, Inc. heated up its position in the booming spa industry by acquiring SpaTrade, organizers of the SpaExec networking events and two industry portals.
SpaTrade will be added to Questex’s Beauty Industry Group portfolio which includes the International Beauty Shows, the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conferences (IECSC) and the SPATEC appointment events.
Questex has built a portfolio that also includes American Spa and American Salon magazines to compliment its events. SpaTrade has two industry web portals with 15,000 registered members representing spa owners, operators, practitioners, and suppliers from 94 countries.
Terms of the acquisition were not revealed in the August 20 announcement. Questex President & CEO Kerry Gumas stated that Nancy Griffin, the founder and president of SpaTrade, would continue to run the company. “Nancy and her team have built great resources for the industry,” Gumas said. “We’re very excited to have an executive of her caliber and stature in the industry as an integral member of our organization.”
SpaTrade was launched in 2000, in time to catch a developing bull market in the spa industry. A study release in May at the 2008 Global Spa Summit in New York estimated the worldwide spa was valued at an estimated $250 billion in 2007, including core revenues of $60.3 billion.
The study conducted by SRI International placed the U.S. as the highest-earning spa nation with revenues of more than $12 billion, well above the $5.7 billion for second-place Japan.
The spa marketing company SpaFinder, Inc. issued a survey of travel agents on August 19 in which 58% expected bookings for spa visits to continue to grow in 2008 despite the economy. The survey concluded that spa access was the top consideration for travelers looking for resort options, and that the client demographic was shifting from Baby Boomers to the 35-to-45-year-old age bracket.