Over 2000 years ago, the philosopher Hippocrates was the first person to detect the curative properties of certain types of water. More recently, there have been discoveries of important techniques for using water – along with mud and natural clay applied with massages. The medicinal benefits of some of these techniques have been proven to prevent, improve and cure a wide range of health problems affecting humans, in particular arthritic pains, respiratory problems and indigestion.
These days water is used to combat people’s most frequently occurring health concerns at the start of this new century: depression, stress, anti-ageing and weight control – and also to improve people’s spiritual wellbeing.
A large number of countries (including Argentina, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Spain and Uruguay) around the world offer spa services for recreational and curative purposes, taking advantage of water’s chemical, geological and medicinal properties.
Mexico is no exception. We also have a number of locations, particularly in the states of Coahuila, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla, Morelos and the State of Mexico among others where these kinds of waters can be found. Mexico has waters that have more chemical and physical properties than other countries which are perfect for recreational activities, relaxation and for the human body to recover and be restored.
In Mexico, water sources (and thermal springs in particular) have been used traditionally as Water Parks and Pools, as well as for Spas which have developed in line with international standards for service and quality.
SPAs in Mexico
This age-old industry has resurfaced once again, readapting and redefining itself to suit the demands and needs of modern-day consumers. This trend is not only evident in the United States but also Western Europe. By looking back to spas’ origins and seeing them for what they really are, one can see how they have constantly evolved and renewed themselves.
They represent a tradition that dates back millennia. The word Spa itself derives from Roman times with the Latin expression ‘Salute per Aqua’. The word was used to designate places with mineral and thermal waters where people enjoyed bathing therapy to be cured of various afflictions.
Nowadays spas do not necessarily offer thermal springs but instead offer a range of services to meet customers’ aesthetical requirements and to provide preventative measures for their health and wellbeing.
The main reasons for visiting spas is now focused more on relaxation and beautification. However, the new trends focus on offering services that promote physical and mental health through natural means and a holistic philosophy.
Women are the most frequent users of spas. However, there is an increasing tendency for men also to visit, due to their newfound concern with their health and physical appearance. A common denominator for all visitors is the paramount importance of quality and excellence, and feeling pampered and well cared for are two factors that will encourage them to make a return visit.
Mexico has a new Spa Regulation
The Ministry of Tourism, with the support of the Mexican Institute of Norms and Certifications (IMNC), have joined forces to establish the Mexican Spa Norm called "Essential Requirements for Service and Installation Quality (NMX-TT-009)". This aims to give spa service providers an instrument to guide them, clarify and simplify their compliance with international standards of quality in their services and installations to make them more competitive.
The application of this Norm will standardize the quality of spa services and installations. It will also allow spas to have their own distinctive seal, thus ensuring a genuine development of the service.
Businesses can use the Norm to quickly and objectively evaluate the modernization needs for their premises, so that they can meet the expectations of both Mexican and foreign visitors, who have a clear understanding of the types of installation and services that a spa should offer.
Importantly, the Mexican Spa Norm ""Essential Requirements for Service and Installation Quality" is the first of its kind in the world. No other country has such a norm, so Mexico has a very important competitive advantage especially considering foreigners’ attitude toward and awareness of health matters.
Spa Marketing Strategy
The Cultural and Spa Tourism Development Department has also developed a "Manual for Designing Spa Marketing Tools" (see publications). This manual will help spa businesses develop a marketing culture so that they can understand their current and potential markets – as well as their own businesses from the point of view of their mission, vision, aims and goals and the proper organizational structure.
Mexico Spa Directory
Places of interest
For more information about the Norm, please contact the Mexican Institute of Norms and Certifications on 5546-4546 and 01 800 201-0145.
For more information on any topic in this article, please contact:
Cultural and Spa Tourism Development Department (Dirección de Desarrollo de Turismo Cultural y de Salud)
Presidente Masaryk 172, piso 7º, Col. Chapultepec Morales C.P. 11587, México, D.F.
Tel. (55) 3002-6300, Ext. 6311, 6306 and 6307
Fax: (55) 3002-6357