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The Skift Wellness newsletter is our weekly dispatch focused on what’s happening in wellness from a global business standpoint. Skift Wellness lives where wellness meets commerce, mindfulness meets technology, the yoga studio meets the boardroom, and health meets business.
Whether you’re a wellness traveler seeking a luxury experience — such as a celebrity-hosted summit or an exclusive spa getaway — or seeking the ultimate eco-adventure, worry not: There’s now a trip for you.
More affluent travelers are looking to spend their cash on trips centered around their physical and mental well-being, like high-end retreats complete with in-house therapists, wellness coaches, and personal trainers, or luxury events like the Goop Wellness Summit hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow. Recent research shows this trend as well. In Skift’s U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey 2019, 78 percent of respondents said they are interested in incorporating wellness into their travels in some way.
The industry has taken notice, as more companies get creative on how they can appeal to this high-end traveler. Peloton, for example, fans can now search its hotel finder tool to see which hotels offer the upscale bikes and streaming workout service.
There are some brands already getting wellness travel right, but as more high-end travelers book these types of trips, it would be wise for the luxury travel industry to take a closer look at what they can offer this growing demographic.
In other travel news, wellness adventure seekers have all sorts of new experiences to tack on to their bucket lists, thanks to the launch of Airbnb Adventures — whether that’s a cliff camping trip in Colorado or a slow food tour in the Galapagos. The company is aiming to expand its experiences to include multiday trips, and the launch is likely a way to diversify as the company eyes an eventual initial public offering.
Boil it all down, and it’s easy to see why wellness tourism has become a $639 billion industry, as the wants of this group of travelers vary from intense hikes to relaxing massages to personal training. Thus there should be room for a number of companies to find success — as long as they carve out their wellness niche.
— Leslie Barrie, Wellness Editor
Wealthy Travelers Are Spending Their Money On Wellness Trips: All-nighters in Ibiza may be losing their appeal to wealthy travelers. Instead luxury vacationers are increasingly spending their money on high-end self-care experiences, whether that’s a wellness summit hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow or a stay at a resort and spa with plenty of relaxing amenities. Because of this, hotels and retreat providers would be wise to create inventive ways to draw in this clientele. Read more here.
Airbnb Dives Further Into Wellness With Adventure Trips: Curious about camping on a cliff in Colorado? How about going on a slow food safari in the Galapagos? Wellness adventure seekers can now sign up for experiences on Airbnb that go beyond a simple walking tour with the new Airbnb Adventures. The launch could be making traditional tour companies nervous — but it’s too soon to tell if it will take off. For one thing, critics question the reliability of some offerings. Read more here.
SoulCycle Finally Arrives in the United Kingdom: The spiritual spinning company is heading across the pond to open its first studio in London. The move to expand its footprint comes as its rival Peloton recently filed paperwork for an initial public offering. SoulCycle founders said they spent months analyzing what Londoners want in a spin session. Classes cost £24 — a steep price — and only time will tell if they did enough research. Read more here.
Outdoor Voices Wants to Tech Up Its Retail Stores: Proving that physical retail isn’t dead — or at least not all of it — athleisure brand Outdoor Voices is throwing money into the technology in its stores. The goal is to improve inventory, speed up checkout, and help the shopping experience run smoothly overall. The brand, which is a favorite among millennials, is making a statement with the investment: It’s here to stay, even as competitors flounder. Read more here.
Food & Drink
Why Natural Wine Is the New Trend Among the Health Set: Even though natural wine has been around for thousands of years, the traditional style of making wine without additives is coming back into fashion. Whether it’s better for you is debatable, but that hasn’t stopped thirsty customers from pouring the wine made from solely fermented grape juice. We’ll see if the movement can give conventional vino a run for its money. Read more here.
Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.