NEW YORK — Spa visits and the money they generate reached record highs last year in the US with $18.3 billion in revenue driven by 190 million pampering trips, according to the International Spa Association.

The leading industry group for spa professionals recently held its 25th annual event for media to show off trends and services among its 2,300 members. Garrett Mersberger, the association’s board chairman, broke down a few highlights for The Associated Press:

A march of men

“We’re seeing a lot more men going to spas,” Mersberger said. “It used to always be a female-driven thing. We’re now seeing 50-50, if not swinging more toward the males.”

The trend took off as long ago as 2017, when the association reported 49 percent of spa customers were men, up from 29 percent in 2005.

“They’re much more aware that it’s not just a thing I go to to get pampered. It’s an actual lifestyle choice with benefits to my body, to my wellness. It’s part of my routine now. It’s not just about going for relaxation,” Mersberger said.

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