Study Medical Spa and Wellness Management at SSTH

Future Spa Manager: All you need to know to be successful

What will you learn following our medical Spa & Wellness Management curriculum? Discover our spa courses within our hotel management studies and your career perspectives with a spa management degree.


What is medical Spa & Wellness Management?

Medical Spa's combine medical applications, which are normally conducted in a medical practice, with the experience of a day spa.

While Western medicine primarily treats symptoms, it is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that has helped connect medicine with spa or wellness providers. CAM treatments and cures can include chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal teas and lotions, dietary changes, water cures, as well as meditation.

Some hotel operators are establishing themselves as spa destinations that are primarily medically oriented and have the best specialist staff. The guests stay there for some time, in order to recover for instance after a cancer treatment, to detoxify the body, to optimize the metabolism or to strive for a medical weight loss. To properly integrate these medical applications into spa settings, well-trained professionals and managers are needed.


Read more: What is a medical Spa?



Spa & Wellness Industry

The Medical Spa & Wellness Industry


An industry in growth

In times of high strain, stress and constant digital availability, the need for one's own well-being and self-care becomes more and more important. The demand for medical services in the hospitality and tourism sector is rising accordingly.

The global medical spa market was estimated at $11.1 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $27.6 billion by 2025, representing an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2% over the entire period, according to an Allied Market Research.

According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.5 percent through 2022. Wellness accounts for 58 percent of global health spending - a market that deserves attention.




A global view on the spa market

Aesthetic medicine and cosmetic beauty treatments as well as the increasing wellness trend in highly developed countries are driving the medical spa and wellness market. However, the high cost of medical spa treatments is limiting market growth, particularly in developing countries.

In 2017, North America was the dominant sales driver, fuelled by the growing wellness trend and the early introduction of new technologies in this area.

However, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to reach the highest CAGR between 2018 and 2025 as incomes increase in populous countries such as India and China. In addition, medical tourism will also stimulate market growth. India is the fastest growing country in the Asia-Pacific medical spa market and will grow at an average rate of 14.2% between 2018 and 2025.


Read more: Medical Spa Trends 2019

the dolder grand is one of the swiss medical spa champions

Swiss hotels are medical spa champions

Switzerland can look back on a long history of a medical host culture. This goes back to the times of tuberculosis sanatoriums, where guests from all over the world have recovered in the fresh mountain air and with water cures from bubbling mineral springs.

Today's ultra-modern luxury medical spas in Switzerland are the result of this long-standing tradition of relaxation. To this day, Swiss hotels and spa resorts are leaders in the field of luxury medical spas. Since the founding of the first palace hotels around 150 years ago, Switzerland has been a worldwide reference for luxurious hospitality.

Read more: Switzerland is a Spa Champion

Trends in the Spa & Wellness Industry

What drives the medical spa & wellness industry?

Today's guests expect a balanced package - from preventive approaches in the interest of general health such as nutrition and fitness, life coaching or stress management to a medical spa setting that enables a rapid recovery from a specific illness.


Age medical Check up Ragaz


Medical spas target an ageing population

The world is getting older and older, which is also reflected in the medical spa treatments. The UN estimates that by 2040 the number of people older than 65 will have more than doubled compared to the previous 25 years. Even more important is the fact that the population older than 65 is at home in the world's most developed and highest-income regions. Here, a significant portion of the population can afford medical spa treatment. It is the only age segment that will see an increase over the next 20 years.

The older population is therefore not only the most important target group, in fact most medical spa offers also consist of anti-aging treatments.


Important trends in medical spa & wellness treatments

These are the biggest trends on the medical Spa & Wellness market:

In 2017, the facial treatment segment accounted for one third of world market sales. Demand remains stable.

The Body Shaping segment contributed one-fifth to market sales. This segment was strengthened by recent medical advances, which include several non-invasive techniques that enable shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.

The hair removal segment accounted for one sixth of global market sales in 2017. The growth in this segment is attributable to innovations in laser technology that enable permanent hair removal.

The Tattoo Removal segment accounted for around one seventh of the market turnover in 2017 and is expected to grow further from 2018 to 2025, reaching a CAGR of 11.8%.

injectables and facial treatments lead the medical spa growth

What treatments are leading the growth of medical spas?

Customers are primarily driven through the door of the medical treatment centers by the desire for injectables. Botox, dysport and fillers still dominate the industry.

"Injectable products are still the most reliable way to attract patients, and with the development of efficiency enhancements and increasing innovation, we see that practices make a lot of money with injectable products," said Alex Thiersch, founder and director of the American MedSpa Association (AmSpa).

Longer-lasting botulinum toxin injections that help stop muscle cramps when injected directly into the muscle also continue to be a cornerstone of the medical spa industry.

Surprisingly, Eyebrow Microblading (a tattoo technique where a semi-permanent pigment is added to the skin) is an increasingly important treatment that drives the growth of medical spas, according to a recent report published by the American MedSpa Association (AmSpa) in May 2018.

Discover the Curriculum of the Swiss Professional Degree*

* Dipl. Hôtelière-Restauratrice/Hôtelier-Restaurateur HF

Careers in the Spa & Wellness Industry

Cross-industry future potential

The global demand for spa and wellness applications is growing without limits. Know-how and talents in this field are in international demand across the industry. This is a selection of industries in which professionals with a spa and wellness background are sought after:

  • Hotel operations with spa & wellness applications
  • Spa and wellness industry
  • Cruise ships
  • Destination management
  • Operator of its own spa and wellness business
  • Production and distribution of spa and wellness products

Basis for further training and specialisation in the medical spa and wellness industry within the educational landscape

What career opportunities are there for graduates in Spa & Wellness Management?

The spa and wellness industry is a fast-growing industry with immense potential. While you may be thinking about jobs like Spa Manager, there are many more positions to discover in this dynamic industry. Find the job that's right for you with a deep insight into the career opportunities for employees in the spa & wellness industry.


Keep up with Spa and Wellness Trends and News

No matter what your career goal is with the medical spa and wellness industry, it's important that you keep up with trends, so you can adapt accordingly. By keeping up with industry changes and responding as necessary, you can pivot toward what customers want and ensure that your customers are happy with the services you provide, whether that's as a spa manager, spaowner, hotelier, or service-facing role.

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SSTH Programs

How can I study Spa & Wellness Management at SSTH?

The training in medical spa and wellness management is part of the hotel management education at EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (SSTH) in Passugg. Based on their interests and future prospects, students can choose between several specialisations.

Medical Spa & Wellness Management Specialization

Highlights of the medical Spa & Wellness Management major

The hotel management students at SSTH are introduced to the basic principles of Spa & Wellness Management. The major in medical Spa & Wellness Management pursues a holistic approach. In addition to the general spa processes and procedures, special attention is paid to the market environment and the tourism embedding. Not only operational and economic aspects are essential, but also the conceptual view.

NB: The course content is continuously adapted to new trends and can vary.



Affective Spa & Wellness Management

During the development of the Spa and Wellness Management specialisation, emphasis was placed not only on teaching operational management skills, but also on specifically training the necessary soft skills.

Michael Hartmann, CEO of SSTH: "People seek experiences and want all their senses to be stimulated. This is particularly relevant for health and wellness tourism, where guests have very specific expectations and needs. It is therefore important to combine the advantages of medicine and hospitality in order to offer patients and guests a high-quality experience in all respects".

The affective and scientific approach of the SSTH teaching method guarantees that students meet these expectations in practice: They practice self-reflection, gain independence, develop self-confidence and sharpen empathy and professionalism - before taking on their role as "directors" in this new hospitality landscape.

This is done by getting to know the sensory and emotional factors of the spa and wellness industry and learning to apply them authentically in the context of the hotel industry.


Focus of the specialisation Spa & Wellness Management

In the major of the hotel management studies at the SSTH, the following fields of study form a focus and introduce the students to the world of medical spa management.


Facets of the global spa industry

Learn more about the global history and development of the Spa & Wellness industry. Where does the major have its roots? And where do experts see future trends and opportunities?

Wellness Impressionen

Authentic historical health rituals

To create authentic spa experiences and wellness rituals, future managers must first understand the basic concepts of body, mind and soul. In the spa major, you will learn the backgrounds and benefits of wellness and spa products and services that have evolved from traditional concepts that have evolved over thousands of years.

The students will be introduced to the following health rituals:

  • Feldenkrais & TCM Workshop
  • Introduction to Aryuveda treatments
  • Hydrotherapy, body wraps, aesthetic treatments
  • Physiotherapy: understanding the human body and applying different massage therapies

Layout of spa architecture, design and equipment

For the guest to feel comfortable, architecture, design and equipment must be coordinated with each other. Colours, shapes, textiles, smells, music and many other elements must be harmoniously coordinated and tell a coherent story.

As a student of hotel management, you will get to know the central elements in order to address and stimulate not only the visual, but also the physical, emotional and sensory senses of your future guests.


Spa branding, financing and marketing

Learn how to create sales and marketing concepts for spa and wellness companies and how to secure financing. How can you best place your spa products and services on the market?


Spa HR Management, Quality Management and Audit

A spa operation stands or falls with the right and well-trained staff. Learn all about the importance of recruiting and developing staff. In addition, reliable quality management, regular checks and audits ensure the satisfaction not only of your guests, but also of your employees.

Interested in joining the Swiss Professional Degree* program?
Start your application now!

* Dipl. Hôtelière-Restauratrice/Hôtelier-Restaurateur HF

Spa professionals

The experts and partners behind the spa study programme

On excursions and by experts the hospitality management students get to know selected best practice examples in the specialisation of medical Spa & Wellness Management.

Frau in Wellness Bad im Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Stephan Wagner - Director of Spa and Wellbeing at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Stephan Wagner has almost 20 years of international spa experience he brings to the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, which is dedicated to wellness and health.

Most recently, the German-born spa manager spent almost six years at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. He studied spa management at the Chiva Som Academy in Thailand and holds a Hospitality Management Certificate from Cornell University in cooperation with Nanyang Technical University in Singapore.


Learn more about Stephan Wagner here


Spa und Wellness im Bürgenstock

Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence - Bürgenstock Resort, Switzerland

In the Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence an interdisciplinary team of experts takes care of the health and well-being of the guests at the highest level.

The expertise includes diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation services, supplemented by prevention programmes. Swiss hotel hospitality of exceptional quality, state-of-the-art medical concepts and outstanding architecture combine in the Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence to create a place of healing and relaxation.

spa management at lanserhof germany

Lanserhof in Lans, Germany

For more than 30 years, Lanserhof has been setting standards in modern medicine, paving the way to a healthier life.

In decades of research, the Lanserhof team has developed a future oriented and unique health concept: The LANS MED CONCEPT is an intelligent symbiosis of modern medicine, naturopathy, validated therapy methods and the latest scientific research, all based in a pleasant atmosphere. This sensitive combination is intended to help guests to regenerate physically and mentally and rid themselves of unnecessary ballast. Thanks to this concept, Lanserhof is now Europe's leader in regenerative and preventive medicine.

therme vals in graubünden schweiz

7132 Therme in Vals, Switzerland

The bath, built by architect Peter Zumthor from local quartzite, is located where the only thermal mineral spring in Graubünden originates. The work is of timeless quality and simple elegance. It recalls the original experience of bathing: the contact with the stone and the differently warm water.

The 7132 Therme in Vals opens the senses to scents and sounds, to the ritual of bathing.

hamam erlebnis im hotel schweizerhof lenzerheide

Hotel Schweizerhof in Lenzerheide, Switzerland

The majestic mountain peaks attract magically. The Heidsee sparkles in the valley. Here, in the heart of the Grisons mountains, is the Hotel Schweizerhof with its Mountain Spa.
Those seeking relaxation will find the largest hotel hamam in the entire Alpine region.