NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – Kenya’s Spa and Wellness sector hit Sh5 billion in 2017 according to Spa and Wellness Association of Africa (SWAA) Kenyan Chapter.
Winnie Taylor, of Body Evolution by Winnie Welness Spa, a member of SWAA, says the sector is growing at 10 percent year on year attributable to increase of the middle class.
“The influence of wellness has become a new reality due to long or unprecedented working hours and the upward trend of nonstandard work schedules like in the evenings at night or weekend. Add the spread of a more globalized economy, and you have the perfect recipe for a considerably strained workforce and their families,” Taylor told Journalists at a press conference.
However, the sector continues to grapple with a need for skilled workforce who will raise the wellness industry to the next level.
Taylor who is also the founder of Body Evolution raised concerns over rogue workforce working as wellness professionals as well as an increase of sub-standard Spa and Wellness centres.
“We need regulation in the sector to drive its growth. Rogue workers could hurt consumers and hamper the sector’s growth,” she added.
According to market research and analytics firm, Euromonitor International, Health and Wellness Tourism in Kenya recorded a value growth of 9 percent in 2013 to reach sales of Sh2.5 billion.
“Kenya is waking up to wellness, and the diaspora has created a demand not only in the continent but also internationally. But spas in Kenya need to raise their standards to cater to the demand from well-travelled wellness tourists seeking international and indigenous treatments. We can’t continue with sub-par standards and expect to compete globally,” she said.
On her part, SWAA Executive Committee Chair – Kenya, Jasnil Danjal says Kenya needs more skilled people, citing that the country is far from the target.
“We need collaborations from governments and businesses to further develop these skills if we want to grow, “She noted.
The sector is seeking new regulations and is set to propose a bill in parliament that will see the sector well handled.
“We are currently collecting data, and soon we are going to put up a bill in parliament, that will bring an end to rogue professionals and raise the standards,” Hair Beauty and Barbers Association Vice Chairperson Lucy Mitambo.
According to the Global Wellness Institute there are about there are about 2,317 Spas in sub Saharan Africa as of 2015 with total revenues of Sh100 billion.
Sub-Saharan spas employ 28,911 people.
On wellness, about 5.4million wellness trips were taken in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 with their expenditure hitting Sh400 billion.