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Establishing/promoting sauna culture in the UK

 
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David
10 Badenkaart


Geregistreerd op: 7-3-2007
Berichten: 13
Woonplaats: Hampshire, UK

BerichtGeplaatst: Wo Mrt 21, 2007 1:33 pm    Onderwerp: Establishing/promoting sauna culture in the UK Reageer met quote

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas, based on the Dutch experience, for establishing/promoting the proper sauna culture in the UK.
What needs to be done in terms of changing the national viewpoints and habits regarding spa resorts and saunas? Any small contributions or food-for-thought welcome!
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prinses43
LŲylymeester


Geregistreerd op: 7-7-2005
Berichten: 939
Woonplaats: Kon. Paleis

BerichtGeplaatst: Ma Mrt 26, 2007 11:31 pm    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

snap t nie..... Rolling Eyes
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David
10 Badenkaart


Geregistreerd op: 7-3-2007
Berichten: 13
Woonplaats: Hampshire, UK

BerichtGeplaatst: Di Mrt 27, 2007 6:21 am    Onderwerp: Ideas Reageer met quote

Yes... I admit it is quite a big challenge!!
I have a few ideas, which could potentially make it a business opportunity. It revolves around the fact that it would need to promoted as a generally north European concept and the trappings of these cultural connections would be everwhere. For example, Dutch and Scandinavian languages would be more prominent than English, if indeed English was used at all. This would form the context and basis to encourage people to view sauna culture with a new paradigm. I think this is necessary as a starting point because the prevailing standpoint held by people in the UK towards sauna culture and in particular nudity would both inhibit to the prospect of effective spas/saunas.
Although there are one or two exceptions in the UK.
Any thoughts... anyone?
David
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David
10 Badenkaart


Geregistreerd op: 7-3-2007
Berichten: 13
Woonplaats: Hampshire, UK

BerichtGeplaatst: Di Mrt 27, 2007 6:26 am    Onderwerp: Ideas Reageer met quote

Sorry, grammar error...
... it would need to be promoted...
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Sarjenka
Jaarkaart


Geregistreerd op: 20-2-2005
Berichten: 351

BerichtGeplaatst: Di Mrt 27, 2007 9:08 pm    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

I suppose it will depend a lot on the culture in England... Are people in general not ashamed to go in the nude? In The Netherlands it is hardly an issue...

I suppose it falls and stands with that...
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kevin8
Master of Sauna


Geregistreerd op: 15-3-2006
Berichten: 1403
Woonplaats: Nijmegen

BerichtGeplaatst: Wo Mrt 28, 2007 10:30 am    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

I think here in the Netherlands it's also an 'own' culture, in the UK it's mostly categorized under the Naturist culture, if you understand what i mean. Then most of the Britains, a lot more than the Dutch people, have a shame to go nude in public.
Some years ago i read sometimes a magazine like Health&Efficiency (H&E) which regular published articles about the sauna-culture. I remember one article about "OibibiO", a smaller sauna near the Amsterdam central station, sadly a few years after that article it was closed due to some mismanagement by the owner, the son of a well known Dutch supermarket family Albert Heijn (Albert Heijn is like Tesco).
I think also that it's just a matter of time, because more Britains are joining nudist/naturist clubs and beaches and more Britains will throw away their shame to go nude in public. Then it also depends on bussines men/women and entrepeneurs to start sauna/thermen-centres. I read in H&E about Rio's in London but understand that it's not what's it's like here in the Netherlands and i read once about Silverleigh. I think the market in the UK is much higher than most people think.
And how is it in Dubai? I can imagine that with the difficulties of the islamic culture it's not easy to start/find a sauna over there.
May be Channel four or BBC three has to make a documentary in combination with some articles in well known magazines to extra pronounce (can't find the right word) the healthy effects of a sauna.
I surely hope for you that Britain will also get such a sauna-culture as we have. Wink Smile
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kevin8
Master of Sauna


Geregistreerd op: 15-3-2006
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BerichtGeplaatst: Wo Mrt 28, 2007 10:36 am    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

And i forgot to mention the succes of the installations by Spencer Tunick ( The US photographer of mass nudes), it shows that more people are throwing away their shame to go nude in public. Wink
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David
10 Badenkaart


Geregistreerd op: 7-3-2007
Berichten: 13
Woonplaats: Hampshire, UK

BerichtGeplaatst: Ma Apr 02, 2007 6:29 pm    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hey Kevin, thanks for that, I think you're exactly right. You said the potential demand in the UK is greater than people think. I agree. Although I think the standard of spas would need to increase - usage of today's UK spas would not be a good 'thermometer' of the potential market demand. I've been to Silverleigh and... let's just say the owners would learn a lot from a trip to the Netherlands or Belgium. The only good example in the UK is Centerparcs - a Dutch invention! - where swimwear is occasionally optional, but only twice a week.
You're right it seems that more people in the UK are enjoying naturist experiences, but there business people need some expertise on the issue before they can actually exploit the concept and I suspect this expertise is lacking. Exploiting the concept would in turn promote it. There was some talk of naturism being the next niche business venture to grow in the UK a couple of years ago but it never materialised.
I think comfort with nudity is an interesting comment on society. In the UK I think there is generally less cohesion in society and that this is one of many reasons why people in the UK have traditionally felt uncomfortable with nudity, although I wouldn't use the word 'shame'. I think the average nudity-averse Briton would feel a sense of embarrassment or vulnerability, and if they were naked by choice in public, a fear that others would be shocked because they're not used to it... although that's way too complicated an issue to get into!

Yes, Dubai is not the place to experience a sauna without clothes. There is a very different outlook over here, the culture is not comfortable with public nudity... there would be a jail sentence of perhaps three months for anyone attempting to be nude in a public place. I think the attitude of younger people from the region is possibly changing slightly in some respects but the legal framework is not changing.
I have used hotel saunas about four times without badkleding either on my own or with people who I know are comfortable with the idea. But it's not worth the trouble because you are constantly checking to make sure staff or other people don't see you, when a sauna is supposed to be a place to relax and clear the mind of troubles.

Anyway, the UK on the other hand is definitely ripe for the beginnings of a sauna culture - so 'fingers crossed'!
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