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LOOKING AT THE FUTURE - Interview with Riccardo Turri
After 2020, the time has come to discuss a year that has reserved numerous challenges. We talked about it with decision makers in the SPA, Beauty and Wellness market to whom we asked for suggestions and strategies for 2021.
Elisabetta Farneti - 10/02/2021

Riccardo Turri - Starpool

Since 1975 the company has been working with the aim of giving shape not only to wellness products, but to a real culture of wellness at 360 °, made of technology, innovation and design. The professional sector with the hospitality, contract and naval sectors is flanked by the home / residential sector.

It's been 6 months since the previous interview. How has the vision of the future of the sector changed since then?

The constant stop and go linked to the pandemic does not even help our sector. In this last period, however, people have become more aware of paying more attention to a healthier life, rich in all the ingredients of well-being: good nutrition, physical activity and continuous use of SPA equipment. I am of the opinion that all this is the real difference compared to the way we face our daily life. We are ourselves the main "drivers" to guarantee a longer but above all healthier life.

Will this pandemic change the concept of well-being and the places dedicated to it in everyday life and on vacation?

Of course ... we are all more predisposed to look for places where we can regenerate. However, we are also all more demanding and only the "wow effects" will no longer suffice, but a lot of expertise on the part of the experts will be needed. I believe that the accommodation facilities that want to ride this advanced request for well-being will have to invest to create a distinctive product compared to their competitors and above all invest in the training of their staff.

The Wellness & SPA "decision makers", like you, what will they have to invest in immediately to harness and manage the changes generated by COVID-19?

For me it remains a great opportunity. We tried to analyze everything we had, rethinking it in a more effective way. Fortunately, we were already ready on many issues, but at that time the market did not accept them. Certainly Covid-19 has not only temporarily changed our sector, but it has done so forever. Aspects such as hygiene, the simultaneous use of SPA equipment, staff preparation, the effectiveness of treatments and the combination of the various areas of well-being are all issues of primary importance. As far as hygiene is concerned, for over 10 years Starpool has developed effective and efficient solutions through research, because since then we were already aware that it was a delicate issue within every SPA. This year we have further investigated the system by adding to products such as steam baths, saunas and the like a software capable of eliminating the bacterial load over 97%. We did the same from the educational point of view. For years we have been offering a program of interesting and useful courses for every SPA manager. This year we have optimized the topics, we have implemented distance learning and created a rewarding system for our loyal customers and our future customers, giving them the opportunity to participate in training under favorable conditions. I add that, in the last 10 years, we have worked a lot on knowing the beneficial effects of everything we produce, this has only increased our knowledge. For Starpool, designing a SPA is never simply putting a certain number of products in a space. Today more than ever it is necessary to consider the flows, the contemporaneity of the guests present, but above all the way in which they will use the equipment to obtain the maximum benefit. Thanks to these 10 years of studies, which have led us to develop products such as "SPA System" and to confront ourselves with spa doctors, sports doctors, neuroscientists, physiotherapists and psychologists, we believe we have the skills to face the challenges of the future. For us at Starpool, the size of a SPA is not important, but it is essential to develop an offer and a management system of the same that perhaps works together with the other pillars of well-being such as movement, nutrition and regeneration practices.

Finally, same question as 6 months ago: optimistic or pessimistic and why?

I remain optimistic. Certainly it is not an easy time for anyone and not even for us. It has been a year of great investments because we believe that Covid-19 makes our sector increasingly concrete and therefore less vulnerable. This is a good omen for the future, but every actor will have to act without telling too many stories for this to become a thriving industry.

Elisabetta Farneti