Skift Take

Wellness and luxury travel overlap in more ways than one — like when high-end hospitality companies start to offer more niche travel experiences. Expect more overlap in 2020.

January is an important time for wellness. It’s when people make health resolutions, start detox plans — whether that’s Dry January or Whole 30 — and brainstorm places they want to travel to in the year ahead.

It’s also a big month for Skift and wellness — as you may have read, we’re combining coverage areas to create our new Luxury & Wellness Travel Report. Now more than ever, luxury travelers want wellness experiences at the core of their trips. Wellness is already helping keep some luxury hospitality companies relevant, while a lack of wellness offerings may soon be leaving other brands behind.

Not every wellness story has a luxury angle, of course. Companies are, after all, looking to integrate wellness into all travel price points. And not every luxury piece is necessarily about good health. But the two categories overlap in enough meaningful and important ways to justify a combined newsletter.

Speaking of overlap, in this inaugural newsletter, Skift investigates the future of wellness travel and the shift toward more niche offerings. Consider, for example, an overnight stay at a monastery or a trip designed to help you deal with 2020 election stress (which we’ll all probably be needing soon!). While yoga retreats will always be a core offering in this space, luxury travelers want more tailor-made excursions that address their specific wellness goals while also providing unique — dare we drop the word “transformative”? — experiences.

We’re also looking at the luxury forecast for 2020 and exploring how transformational travel, often associated with wellness, will become its own trend in luxury. Families, for instance, can take bonding trips led by Brown + Hudson designed to help them discover themselves and connect with nature.

Wellness travel may seem like a new category, at least compared to luxury, but if 2019 showed us anything, it’s that this sector is here to stay — and businesses are making bold moves to attract wellness customers.

I look forward to covering luxury and wellness in the year ahead. I hope you join me on the trip.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @lesliebarrie.

Leslie Barrie, Luxury & Wellness Editor

Six looks at luxury & wellness

Is the Future of Wellness Travel in Going Niche? Wellness travelers don’t just want cookie-cutter retreats anymore. In 2020, expect more creative, specialized wellness experiences that cater to more of what this style of traveler really wants.

What Luxury Travel Looks Like in 2020: Change is constant and continuous. That’s why a listing of the new trends that will be impacting luxury travel during 2020 must, in addition to peering into the future, include a look back in time.

What Nobu Hotels Sees in the Ascendant Luxury Market in Warsaw: Nobu Hotels is testing out its restaurant-led hospitality strategy in a market where its luxury cachet is less established. Both Warsaw locals and Nobu’s global superfans will need to buy in.

Developers Open New Hotels in Hong Kong Despite Plunge in Revenue: Two of the city’s wealthiest families have each opened a new hotel even though protests have severely crimped revenues. Is the show of confidence enough to keep the spirits up this Christmas?

Thailand’s Lebua Hotels Plans Public Listing to Fund New Concepts and Overseas Expansion: Deepak Ohri positioned a brand on a global scale with just one hotel. The CEO of Lebua Hotels & Resorts thinks the time has come to grow the network. But each Lebua will be different. No doubt a common trait is that each will be audacious.

Still Waiting for Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels to Transform Hospitality: Richard Branson created Virgin Hotels nine years ago, promising to deliver about two dozen boutique hotels with flair. So far, only three hotels have opened. Will it be able to accelerate its growth in 2020?

Subscribe to the Skift Luxury & Wellness Travel Report

Leslie Barrie [[email protected]] curates the Skift Luxury & Wellness Travel Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.


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Tags: hong kong, luxury, nobu hotels, richard branson, Skift Wellness, wellness, wellness tourism

Photo credit: Wellness and luxury travel now overlap in unique and interesting ways, and the hospitality industry is adapting to the change. Jared Rice / Unsplash

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