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The International SPA Association and Resort Hotel Association Develop Code of Conduct Detailing Rights and Responsibilities
of Spa Guests
LEXINGTON, Ky. – January 19, 2007 - With one in four American adults having visited a spa and more people working in the spa industry than ever before, the partnership between the spa professional and the spa guest is more important than ever. There are potential risks inherent within spas, yet few, if any, risk management tools to address them. The International SPA Association recognized this, and in partnership with the Resort Hotel Association, took a proactive approach and created a comprehensive risk management program for spas.

“ISPA has responded to today’s challenges by creating the new risk management program. Because the spa paradigm is more than just treatments – it’s a lifestyle – we wanted to make sure that the livelihood of spas, their staff and guests are well protected.,” said ISPA Chairman Jim Root. “As spa owners, operators, as well as product and service providers, this new program will help ensure a safe, nurturing yet still valuable environment for the entire spa community.” 

The program’s objective is to provide spa professionals with information to manage safer and effective spa operations while reducing their risk as well as those of their clients. The first tool in the program is The Code of Conduct. ISPA President Lynne Walker McNees described this initiative, “The Code of Conduct is a list of rights and responsibilities of spa guests. It ensures that each spa experience be professional in communication, confidentiality, privacy and spa treatment. The code is especially helpful for those who are new to the spa industry because it describes spa etiquette and helps to manage a guest’s expectations. Spa managers are urged to post the code in visible places for spa guests, include it in communications such as newsletters and guest orientation materials, as well as communicate it to employees.” 

Code of Conduct

Although there are many spas around the world, each offering a unique experience, they are all devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind,body and spirit.To enjoy your spa experience to the fullest,observe the Code of Conduct, act responsibly and be aware that common sense and personal awareness can help ensure your satisfaction,comfort and safety,as well as that of others.

As a Spa Guest, It Is Your Responsibility to:

  • Communicate your preferences,expectations and concerns
  • Communicate complete and accurate health information and reasons for your visit
  • Treat staff and other guests with courtesy and respect
  • Use products,equipment and therapies as directed
  • Engage in efforts to preserve the environment
  • Adhere to the spa ’s published policies and procedures
As a Spa Guest, you have the right to:
  • A clean, safe and comfortable environment;
  • Stop a treatment at any time, for any reason;
  • Be treated with consideration, dignity and respect;
  • Confidential treatment of your disclosed health information;
  • Trained staff who respectfully conduct treatments according to treatment protocols and the spa’s policies and procedures;
  • Ask questions about your spa experience; and
  • Information regarding staff training, licensing and certification.
Officially endorsed and prepared in partnership by: International SPA Association and Resort Hotel Association.

Know the Code Before You Book Your Next Spa Experience

When you walk through the doors of your favorite spa, sit down in the massaging pedicure chair and stick your feet into the water that isn’t quite the right temperature, do you say anything to your therapist?  What about if you walk into a treatment room for your Hot Stone massage and the music is too loud? Or, the stones are too hot? Do you just lie on the table and grin and bear it? 

“Spa experiences are your time to relax, reflect, revitalize and rejoice. The spa is meant to de-stress, not stress you,” said International SPA Association President Lynne Walker McNees. “Not only should you say something, you actually have the right and responsibility to do so. You have the right to control your spa experience no matter what type of spa you wish to visit or treatment you choose to enjoy.”

Spas are for everyone. Just like diet and exercise, they are part of the modern healthy lifestyle.  One in four American adults have been to a spa and 15 percent of spa-goers are new to spas each year. With these numbers only expected to grow, it is more important than ever for spa-goers to be aware of their rights and responsibilities once they enter a spa. As the authoritative voice of the spa industry, ISPA created the Code of Conduct in partnership with the Resort Hotel Association to enhance the level of comfort for spa-goers.

“Consumers want to be free to express their expectations and concerns and feel safe in the process,” said ISPA Chairman Jim Root. “With the development of this new code, both parties are able to share in the responsibility of creating an engaging and empowering spa experience.” 

About the Resort Hotel Association
The Resort Hotel Association is a not-for-profit, member-managed insurance association that specializes in providing insurance programs specifically designed to cover the risks unique to independent destination and ranch resorts, spas and historic and luxury hotels. 

About the International SPA Association
ISPA is recognized worldwide as the leading professional organization and voice of the spa industry. Founded in 1991, ISPA’s membership is comprised of more than 2,700 health and wellness facilities and providers from 75 countries. ISPA advances the spa industry by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities, promoting the value of the spa experience and speaking as the authoritative voice to foster professionalism and growth. 


Debra Locker
International SPA Association
T 1.859.226.4374
F 1.859.226.4445

Also See: Bernard Burt's Recap of the 16th Annual International SPA Association (ISPA) Conference & Expo / November 2006
How Spas Can Increase Revenue by Tapping the Male Market / Richard Warnick / July 2006

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