Visiting Australia to recruit the next generation of on board spa therapists, Ashleigh Sharman spoke with Debbie Weaver, Head of International Recruitment for Steiner Training on how the growth of the cruising industry is changing beauty demands.
The cruise industry is big business. Ships are bigger and better than ever, carrying more passengers and catering to savvy travellers who want everything they do on land…and more!
“There is such expansion in Australasia at the moment and this has fuelled our major treatment growth areas, hairdressing and medi-spa,” explains Debbie.
“Beauty remains our core business, along with fitness, and we still want CIDESCO trained, ITEC trained therapists, but electrical has now become very important.”
Alongside traditional beauty services for the face and body, Debbie has seen increased demand for medi-spa treatments, from machine-based to Doctor-only injectable procedures, and holistic therapies, from nutrition to acupuncture.
“Different modalities are very important to us and they need to be available on all our ships; and every cruise liner wants to offer the best treatments, with the best products and with the best staff.
“It’s competition time between the cruise brands and so service is paramount,” Debbie says reminding us that a large number of guests cruise for the spa experience alone and therefore set their expectations high.
And it’s not just baby boomers who are cruising, Debbie says she is surprised to learn how many young people have been on cruises in Australia — our market providing easy access and affordable travel options.
“Fitness training, orthodics, acupuncture, pilates, yoga; this generation aren’t just after standard beauty treatments but rather a holistic approach. They want wellness, inside and out, and not specifically anti-ageing,” she adds.
With such a holistic approach to the on-board spa, Steiner then face the challenge to recruit a new generation of therapist but it’s a challenge the Australian beauty industry is likely to assist with.
“Our job is to find the right candidate to do the right job. Everyone is qualified but you are looking for someone who can self-promote, can sell, can deliver great service, and is driven. I look for personality!”
Joining Steiner in 1992, Debbie believes that a nine month contract on a cruise ship is equivalent to two years on land simply because of the diversity of clientele and treatment modalities. An experience therefore not to be missed and one that can only enhance your value on return to the local beauty industry.
“On land you are cultivating a long-term relationship, on board you need to understand your client’s needs immediately and deliver them efficiently, recommending at-home products and re-booking whenever possible.
“On board you want your client to have the best time possible and your primary aim is to enhance their overall cruise experience.”
With six cruise partnerships launching before May 2016 and Steiner training commencing for the first time on Australian soil next year, it’s a booming time for spas on the high seas. And with a US dollar salary on your side, it could be just the change you’ve been looking for.