Italian spas today: demand and offer evolution and trends
In postmodern society the search for wellness and a new concept of health have led to the emergence of new values and the growth of innovative purchasing and consumption models, involving a rising number of consumers and market segments. In Italy today the wellness market is in fact growing and no longer involves only the higher income classes but also middle income segments, and is thus growing markedly in terms of quantity. All this is not the result of some passing fashionable phenomenon, but rather of a profound change in the lifestyle of many Italians (Gregori and Cardinale, 2009), which has led postmodern consumers to be more careful about their look, physique and mental and physical wellbeing, and sees them looking for opportunities to relax in harmony with nature, and to demand accommodation facilities that increasingly act as wellness services. Ultimately, the concept of wellness has expanded, including not only wellness in a physical sense but also in mental, spiritual and social terms. Health can no longer in fact be considered as simply the absence of illness, or as prevention of illness, but rather as the individual attaining a general mental and physical balance and inner satisfaction (Smith and Laczko, 2008; Cohen and Bodeker, 2008).