When East Meets West

Asia’s leading beauty trade event and global networking platform for industry professionals, the 19th Cosmoprof Asia will once again welcome visitors at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre between 12 and 14 November.

07.Andrew Gibson HeadshotContinuing to be “the meeting place for the Asian beauty, spa and wellness market”, as Andrew Gibson, Vice President, Spa and Wellness of FRHI Hotels & Resorts, puts it, this year’s fair will showcase the latest in every facet of the industry, providing a platform for leaders from different fields to exchange ideas and information on upcoming trends.

As part of the fair’s education events, the Spa Conference will be back on 13 November. This year, Gibson will be a keynote speaker among a panel of industry insiders for the conference, where spa operators and experts can share their insights into various issues and market trends.

While discussions will focus on the Asian market, Gibson will highlight some of the issues brought to light when Asian spas play an increasingly prominent part in the global market, including the problems the Western conglomerates encounter when they attempt to “transplant their vision of spas onto an Asian population”, as well as the factors that contribute to Asian hotel spas’ success on the world stage.

“Asian Spas are at the forefront of the industry,” notes Gibson, who also points out that Asia has quite a few advantages compared to other regions, such as interesting treatments inspired by local traditions, great climates for outdoor spas and a natural movement towards sustainability.

At the same time, some Asian spa operators are faced with challenges stemming from the speedy development of the Western concept of spa within the region. “Countries such as China and Southeast Asia that are assimilating Western concepts are challenged with the cultural divide between expectations,” Gibson remarks.

Other major concerns include regulation and labour, but Gibson emphasises that the industry is at various stages of maturity throughout the region, and areas where rapid progress is taking place naturally “ brings both hope and setbacks”. He adds, “Asia has plenty of room for development and will continue to excite the rest of the world with creativity.”

As the Asian spa and beauty industry carries on to expand and evolve, Cosmoprof Asia offers a platform that’s crucial for the exchange of ideas between regional and international players and hence the advancement of the industry.

Look out for Andrew Gibson at the upcoming Cosmoprof Asia Spa Conference on 13 November, where he will be delivering the keynote address on “An overview on trends: East meet West”. 

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By Véronique Lo

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