Homepage of Spavista.com
Spavista is an online marketplace for spa starting from Bali, a well-known place for spa and wellness. It found that Chinese and Japanese really like spa treatment while language is a problem with some of the travelers from the two countries. And a lot of Chinese customers have booked spa treatment with it in Bali. So the team behind it decided to build a Chinese version which is expected to be launched in December.
No wonder. It is expected 95 million border-crossings from mainland China will be recorded by the end of this year, a record high, according to China Outbound Tourism Research Institute. It is reported that Chinese has passed Germans and Americans to become the biggest spenders abroad.
Apart from the growth in total border-crossings, increasingly more Chinese don’t enjoy group tours organized by travel agencies any more but prefer to travel on their own — they’s book hotels, flights and other services with online travel agencies like Ctrip or directly with services located in their destinations like Bali.
It’s no surprising Chinese investors have started chasing startups working on self-organized outbound tourism. Alibaba invested in such a startup. Even Jerry Yang, the Yahoo! founder, showed interest and invested in such a Chinese service.
Spa and wellness must be a very niche market in somewhere else but it’s not the case in Bali. That the number of spas has been increasing in other Southestern cities like Singapore and Bangkok is the reason that Spavista plans to expand to those areas soon.
Suriafur Ken, founder of Spavista, reckons that, as many see it a niche, spa and wellness won’t be like the markets of hotel and other travel services full of big players. Also he thinks the topic of wellness can have customers gather together and form a community. “We will have a community where our members can ask any question related to health and wellness to our spa manager, Fitness Guru, Yoga Master or Beauty expert”, he said.