Health and wellness travel is taking off in a big way, and moving beyond its niche and being incorporated into larger overall travel ecosystem, especially in the hospitality industry. How will the sector evolve over the next year and beyond? Wellness Tourism Worldwide, a wellness travel research and promotion business, has come out with its attempt at the top trends in wellness travel, some of which are smart and practical, others a bit too esoteric to be a tangible trend.
- Mind Matters: Consumers have caught on to mindful vacations that offer mental restoration through meditation, yoga, qi going and journaling.
- The Rise of Wellness Travel Agents: Wellness tourism has created a new niche for travel agents to grow or expand their business.
- La Local Vita: Consumers have developed a deeper appreciation for locally relevant and authentic experiences with an emphasis on living “la local vita” (the local life), true also of larger trends in travel.
- Breaking Bread With Wellness: Food tourism is a big trend intersecting with wellness travel: food tours, cooking classes, agriculture and farm-to-table experiences.
- Vacation RX: Physicians are now prescribing vacations as an antidote from stress. Doctor’s orders for physical activity in parks are also being written to help combat obesity and diabetes in children.
- Slow Travel: Slow travel advocates changing the pace in order to sip, savor and revel in the vacation experience.
- Affluent & Altruistic: Affluent travelers value experiences connecting them to charitable causes and local communities. Volunteering on vacation has become increasingly popular.
- Burgeoning Secondary Wellness Market: There is a large segment of travelers who may not opt for wellness retreats or tours but are committed to maintaining their healthy lifestyle on the road. Air transit and hotels are investing resources to attract these guests that are both business and leisure travelers.
- Spas on a Mission: Eager to shake the image of pampering for the affluent, spas are repacking and rebranding as wellness providers to attract a larger market.