Make no mistake about it, the stock of floatation systems in the hospitality industry is on the rise. Benjamin Tochtermann, founder of Munich-based float Med Tec, explains why more of today's hotel guests are looking to float and what makes his company's pools different to those presently on the market.
Benjamin Tochtermann: The market definitely has been growing in recent years. I am the founder of the German Floatation Association, and we have been looking at the development of the different Asian, European and American markets for a few years.
Right now, the strongest growth is taking place in the US and Canada, where it is estimated that more than 200 new floatation studios will open in 2017. Central European and Scandinavian markets are also growing, but Southern Europe, South America and Asia are relatively quiet.
Floatation has been offered commercially since the early 1980s, but a real growth in popularity has only taken place within the past five to ten years. As stress symptoms are increasing, and people are becoming more aware of similar relaxation practices like yoga and meditation, floatation is becoming of greater interest. Hotels, gyms and clinics are discovering the different positive effects and healing propositions of the method.
Since the first floatation device was developed for the National Institute for Mental Health in the mid-1950s, a lot of research has taken place. Most of it has been conducted in the US, but there has also been lots of scientific research in Sweden and Germany.
The studies range from pain management and stress reduction to creativity enhancement. More than 300 studies exist today, and several very promising research projects are ongoing right now. The ones that observe the changes in biochemistry and brainwave patterns in deep relaxed states are especially interesting.
Other studies show that floating can also improve the performance of athletes by treating the effects of sore muscles, while significantly lowering lactate production.
The floatOne floatation system offers highly sophisticated water treatment and is made for customers looking for the highest level of hygiene for their floatation pool.
All of its parts are manufactured in Germany, and it is built to last 30 years and longer. The floatOne is designed with knowledge derived from operating floatation studios for many years. Its water preparation and filtration system exceeds the high standards set by the German Department of Industry (DIN).
In comparison with other floatation pools, it offers a reservoir system that guarantees freshly prepared water for every new user. As a product, it offers complete automation, including the measurement and dosing of chemicals, and an automated filter cleansing process.
Previously, there was no regulation at all from the side of public health authorities, but this has changed recently, and the three most important markets - the US, Canada and Germany - now have to adhere to guidelines to secure a certain technical standard for floatation systems.
float Med Tec is a pioneer in this regard, having already fulfilled and exceeded these standards years before they were demanded by the authorities.
A hotel or spa can make between €10,000 and €15,000 turnover a month for each floatation pool. In comparison with massages and other services, there are no additional costs for employees or therapists involved. Running costs for salt, water and electricity are below €3 a guest.
We also have access to a global service network, providing maintenance and after-sales services, and can respond to problems in a fast and cost-efficient manner. Statistical downtimes of the system come to under one day within three years of constant operation.