Expected trends for wellness tourism

May 07, 2024 | 23:12
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Wellness tourism globally is now worth $651 billion annually and has a forecasted average annual expenditure growth of over 16 per cent until 2027. The sector provides sustainable benefits to both local regional and urban economies as well as improving the visitors’ mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. The Global Wellness Institute shares the top trends for wellness tourism this year for travellers to better select their destinations worldwide.

Wellness holidays with kids - it’s all about child enrichment

Families are increasingly valuing travel experiences that support their child’s wellbeing via education, personal development, and world view expansion. This trend goes beyond traditional family holidays aimed solely at entertainment, focusing instead on immersive experiences that offer both fun and learning moments. 

Programmes include creative and hands-on workshops that focus on local traditions and foods, learning about local biodiversity and marine life conservation as well as personal growth elements that expose children to unexpected situations, teaching them to adapt to new environments and overcome challenges.  

Expected trends for wellness tourism
Expected trendS for wellness tourism

Recovery retreats shift their focus from sport to burnout

The rise of “recovery” as a trend among individuals with busy lifestyles reflects a broader shift towards prioritising wellness and self-care in response to the fast-paced, often stressful nature of modern life. This trend encompasses a range of practices, products, and philosophies aimed at helping people recharge, rejuvenate, and heal from the physical and mental stresses of their daily routines.

Technology now plays a significant role in this trend, with wearable devices and apps that monitor stress levels, sleep quality, and physical activity to help optimise your downtime. We are also seeing an increased accessibility to methods like hyperbaric chambers and red-light therapy, which all contribute to improved cell recovery via increased circulation, reduction in inflammation and enhanced performance of normal cells. 

In search of calm

Mental wellness as a travel trend has been gaining significant traction over the past few years, reflecting a broader societal shift towards valuing mental health and self-care. This trend encapsulates a range of experiences and destinations designed specifically to promote emotional, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing.

This trend is driven by two perspectives, the modern-day pace of life leading to stress and burn out, and a desire for more authentic experiences that has created a deeper connection to self. Wellness retreats that integrate yoga, breathwork, meditation and more intensive therapy retreats continue to be in demand. Purpose crafted activities allow participants to gain profound insights into their emotions, communication styles, and behavioural patterns, learning to build trust, assert boundaries, and embrace vulnerability.

The growing exploration of wellness travel for men

While wellness travel historically may have been more commonly associated with women, recent data and trends indicate that more men are recognising the importance of and investing in their holistic wellbeing. Millennials and Gen Z are at the forefront advocating for a more integrated approach to wellness and also destigmatising mental health issues.

The trends show that men are gravitating more towards travel focused on executive health checks, adventure and fitness, but are now also exploring mindfulness, breathwork and meditation retreats to reduce stress and reconnect with themselves. This growing interest is also supported by wellness tourism businesses and destinations developing offerings that appeal to a male demographic, promoting activities and environments where men can feel more comfortable engaging in wellness practices. 

Diagnostic boom in wellness travel

The rising trend of diagnostic booms in wellness travel reflects a growing preference for tailored and proactive health approaches among travellers. Many health and wellness operators now offer comprehensive diagnostic assessments alongside traditional wellness activities, enhancing the overall visitor experience.

The offerings empower individuals to gain profound insights into their health status and make informed lifestyle choices while indulging in the rejuvenating benefits of travel. As travellers increasingly prioritise preventive healthcare and holistic wellbeing, the diagnostic booms in wellness travel are set to continue to reshape the tourism industry by seamlessly blending medical expertise with luxury hospitality.

Art and wellness: the perfect pairing

The emerging trend of art and wellness signifies a harmonious fusion of creative expression and holistic wellbeing, offering travellers immersive experiences that nourish both the body and the soul. Destinations and local communities around the world are embracing this trend by integrating art-centric activities and therapies into their wellness offerings.

By integrating art into wellness travel experiences, these destinations provide travellers with enriching opportunities to reconnect with themselves and the world around them, offering a perfect balance of inspiration and rejuvenation. 

Celebrating cultural traditions and healing

Indigenous healing offerings have gained prominence as part of the broader trend towards holistic wellness and the search for authentic, transformative experiences. These experiences draw on the wisdom and practices of indigenous cultures around the world, offering healing techniques that have been developed and passed down through generations. The interest in and drive behind these retreats are linked to an acknowledgement of indigenous healing practices, the holistic approach, and reconnection with the land. 

Each experience is thoughtfully crafted incorporating local healers and wellness practitioners, herbal medicine practice, and ceremonies that honour the community and the land. As the world becomes increasingly globalised and homogenised, the unique, rooted, and deeply spiritual practices of indigenous cultures offer a powerful counterbalance to other competitive wellness travel offerings.

It’s all about a good night’s sleep

Did you know that 58 per cent of people feel unsatisfied with their sleep, according to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine? This has led to sleep tourism emerging as a trend catering to the growing demand for quality sleep for overall health and wellbeing. As stress and sleep deprivation become more prevalent, people are seeking ways to improve their sleep.

The sleep therapy programme begins with a precise diagnosis done with state-of-the-art equipment and a detailed examination of your sleep phases. A dedicated sleep therapist then creates a bespoke sleep programme, heavily focused on the gut, relaxation, exercise training, and mental coaching.

The menopause revolution hits wellness travel

By the end of 2025, according to the North American Menopause society, it’s estimated approximately 1.1 billion women worldwide will either be experiencing or have already been through menopause. This hormonal transition and time has more than 40 different symptoms experienced by women.

Women across the globe are now actively engaging in menopause retreats to share and learn from each other and gain support from health and wellbeing experts for their symptoms, including brain fog, mood changes, fatigue, joint pain, and night sweats.

Hanoi promotes experiential tourism linked to heritage, trade villages Hanoi promotes experiential tourism linked to heritage, trade villages

Hanoi, home to a large number of cultural and historical sites and craft villages, is taking measures to develop experiential tourism to attract more visitors to the over-1,000-year-old capital.

Hau Giang to turn tourism into top spearhead sector Hau Giang to turn tourism into top spearhead sector

The Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang is sparing no effort to best avail of bountiful local resources to drive its development.

Ba Ria - Vung Tau joins in on green tourism trend Ba Ria - Vung Tau joins in on green tourism trend

Various measures are being taken by authorities and businesses in the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau to keep up with the green tourism trend to attract more travellers.

Travel for the future Travel for the future

Greening tourism and prioritising sustainable experiences is helping to preserve the environment and tourist resources for the next generation.

By Global Wellness Institute

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