Industry group the Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition is relaunching, and the new board, led by chair Andrew Jacka, is planning a roundtable in Bangkok from 16-17 March, 2017.
The organisation went through a period of “uncertainty” in 2014 and 2015
, said Jacka, and the board at the time decided to “to wind down the activities of the coalition,” it said at the time.
“This change is no different from what other national spa industry associations have experienced across Asia, and while some have come out the other side stronger, some have yet to find a meaningful role for themselves and risk being disbanded,” Jacka told Spa Opportunities.
A new, paid membership model has emerged, where individuals or organisations can join directly for a US$50 joining fee and US$100 annual membership, or can join with no fee through their national associations. The model was developed after consultation with national associations to try to help them drive their own membership, said Jacka, while still building a financial footing for the APSWC to grow from.
Rhett Pickering, former chair of the association, has moved to a more “behind the scenes” role, and Jacka was approached to head up the organisation.
Other board members include Phattiraporn Khiewsanun from Thailand; Edward Wong from Singapore; Vikki Aquino from The Philippines; Sharon Menzies from Thailand; Donald Cha from Nepal; Kevin Maes from Thailand; Faridah Ahmad Fadzil from Malaysia; Dorcas Cheung from Hong Kong; and Dr Manish Partwardhan from India.
The APSWC aims to encourage industry development by sharing resources; support national organisations; identify and establish standards and best practices, and to be a united voice for the region.
The first annual roundtable set for March will have a theme of technology, and will culminate in a white paper that seeks to be an authoritative guide on industry issues and the APSWC’s philosophy.
“APSWC has not held an event since 2013, so we have some momentum to rebuild,” said Jacka. “Having said this, we have just launched a paid membership programme, and have received strong feedback from across Asia Pacific for this, so we are hoping to build on past success.”
Jacka said he expects upwards of 100 key industry leaders to attend the roundtable.
“With the APSWC seeking to operate across borders and represent almost 50 countries – with spa and wellness industries from non-existent to extremely developed – the challenges for APSWC remain,” Jacka said.
The organisation is getting involved with global industry events, such as Termatalia, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, and the Professional Spa & Wellness Convention to help build regional industry strength, he said.