South Korea’s economy may be difficult, but the country’s spa and salon market is proving resilient as holistic trends take hold
Like its neighbour Japan, South Korea has a tradition of using public baths and spas, notably their 24-hour jimjilbangs, with hot and cold soaking pools, bathing and massage areas, saunas, entertainment lounges and communal sleeping.
As a result, the country’s spa and beauty salon sectors seem to be largely unaffected by the drastic decline in Chinese tourist arrivals amid retaliatory measures by Beijing over Seoul last year allowing US forces to deploy THAAD defence missiles on South Korean soil.
The sector’s resilience is reflected in businesses’ expressions of optimism, rather than hard data, owing to the fact that surveys by industry associations are only conducted infrequently. According to the Korean Beauty Wellness Association (KBWA), the country’s beauty services sector consisted of . . .
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