1.1 Definition and scope of study
It is important to distinguish thalassotherapy from spas, as they cover two different activities
The term thalassotherapy refers to all therapeutic and wellness treatments that can be provided with substances from the marine environment (e.g. sea water, mud). Generally recommended for those suffering from fatigue and arthritis, thalassotherapy should be located by sea or ocean (English Channel, Atlantic and Mediterranean).
A wellness center, on the other hand, has no such obligations. Synonymous with well-being and luxury, a spa offers the client a moment of calm through beauty treatments and relaxation sessions. While most spas are managed independently, some have been created in luxury hotels
However, this study will not include balneotherapy, also known as thermal care, which uses thermal water. Bathing stays, unlike thalassotherapy and spas, can be reimbursed by health insurance under certain conditions.
According to the Brazilian Association of Clinics and Spas (ABCSpas), the Brazilian market is among the ten largest welfare segments in the world. This market is characterized by receiving great support from the most diverse segments of interest: doctors, physiotherapists, clients, businessmen, the product industry and cosmetics, etc. In particular, there is a growing demand in the Day SPAs (or Urban SPAs). This happens as a consequence of the usual mental fatigue and stress more and more present in the daily life of the population of big Brazilian cities.
The service sector, especially the spas segment, experienced a good phase between 2010 and 2011. However, demand has been contracting recently, forcing players to find alternatives for billing. Thus, many companies in the sector have carried out several mergers between the range of services offered in spas, previously dedicated only to relaxation and wellness procedures, with those of aesthetic clinics, focused on beauty and appearance. Currently, 90% of the establishments in the country offer both types of services to their customers. Even so, Brazil has some of the most luxurious spas in Latin America, such as Rituaali, Lapinha and Kurotel.
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