Set up ratings system for spa, massage parlors—execBy Aileen Garcia-Yap
Cebu Daily News
A Cebu spa industry pioneer called for a rating system for spa and massage parlors in Cebu.
The system should be adopted by spa and massage operators to set the standards and expectations of customers of both sectors, said Johnny Siao, director of the Spa and Wellness Association (SWAC), in an interview last week.
Siao, who owns The Spa at Cebu, suggested a ratings system similar to those used by government agencies with hotels and other accommodation establishments in Cebu and cities and provinces in the country.
“Perhaps we can adopt a rating system like what we have in hotels. A five star for a high-end hotel. We can also do that in spa and massage parlors,” said Siao.
He said the system would also help differentiate a spa and a massage parlor especially with many massage parlors opening in Cebu bearing the name of a spa, which could often mislead people.
He clarified that a spa and a massage parlor were different businesses.
“A spa offers relaxation which includes the ambiance and feel of the whole establishment. A spa also has the facilities that will help you relax and unwind like the steam and sauna and all that which entails a lot of investment. A massage parlor, on the other hand, is where people go to get a massage,” said Siao.
A rating system could help make people understand and manage their expectations of the establishments they go to.
He said through the system, the whole industry could be protected better from people who tend to generalize and condemn the whole spa and wellness industry players in Cebu when they would experience something bad or inappropriate.
Siao said he hoped that the SWAC would push for this initiative and work with different government agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Health and the Department of Tourism.
Siao cited SWAC’s earlier goal of making Cebu a top destination for spa and wellness.
“This should help if we set a rating system because establishment owners will be forced to comply with set standards that we can benchmark with others in places like Bali in Indonesia, Thailand and other countries known for their quality massage and spa services,” said Siao.
Siao remains optimistic of Cebu’s spa and wellness industry’s potential especially since Filipinos were naturally hospitable people, skilled, and easily trainable.
With Cebu as a known tourism destination, the influx of tourists provides a ready market for spa and massage parlor operators.
“We have the market and what we need to do is improve our quality so that they will talk about how they enjoyed it here and make our services another reason why Cebu is still the best place to go for vacations,” said Siao.
Siao recently opened another spa in J Center Mall called The Spa at JMall and is already catering to the wellness enthusiasts also enrolled at the Golds Gym also in the mall.
“We are seeing a lot of people now becoming more conscious of their health. That should be another opportunity for us and more reason to uplift our standards,” said Siao.