The Growth of Wellness Tourism

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Let’s imagine your next vacation going one of two ways. In the first scenario, you catch an early flight to somewhere warm and beachy, peruse the pool at your leisure and lie in the sun for most of your stay. You eat the food offered at the hotel restaurants or nosh on chips and salsa from the nearest beach hut, while sipping all the pina coladas you can consume in six days.

The second vacation is a little different. You arrive at your hotel greeted with a tray of healthy snacks and juices, a new workout outfit in your size and access to the in-room Peloton®. You are given a schedule of specialized healing services offered throughout your stay and a “sleep better menu” is lying next to your pillow.

Both getaways can be just as welcomed, but while we often crave an escape from our day-to-day grind, many of us could benefit from a wellness vacation. Taking a trip for our mental health is not a new concept, but the approach to how we view our break has shifted in recent years. While a week or two of holiday may have been enough to recharge our batteries in the past, the vacation itself seemed to be quite the job; with the planning, the organizing, the financial responsibility, it could be more work than working, so we return not feeling refreshed. Top that with many of us doing work, or at least some work, while on vacation, and the whole thing may leave us a bit disheveled.

These days we are seeking a bit more. Enter wellness tourism, travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing personal well-being. While it may be a trip scheduled for wellness purposes only, such as a weekend at a spa resort, it may also mean incorporating wellness-inspired activities into other trips such as business travel or family getaways.

Wellness resorts are a good place to start, as their aim is to leave people feeling rejuvenated by allowing them to fully indulge in self-care during their stay. Social media has helped wellness tourism grow in popularity, making retreat holidays a familiar and increasingly interesting concept. According to the culture website Thred, influencers and celebrities often endorse wellness destinations and activities, creating even more curiosity for this profitable and popular area of travel.

Health-forward hotels and resorts around the world now include more than spa days and fitness classes. Think high-tech or preventive care services such as comprehensive blood tests, nutrient injections, plunge pools and 3-D scans. The shift in wellness travel has boosted demand too. In a June 2022 report, Grand View Research, a firm that studies business trends, predicted that the global wellness tourism market is expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2030, increasing nearly 10 percent yearly over the next eight years.

After the pandemic and with the ongoing growth of technology, the lines between work and life have merged, and so have the differences between business and personal travel. In 2024, more than one in three business travelers will add a leisure element to at least one of their business trips, says research from the Global Business Travel Association. It’s not just entry-level employees or millennials enjoying the connection of work and play. Managerial positions are bleisuring as well, depending on if they’re traveling somewhere they want to take a peek at the pleasurable stuff.

How To Book Wellness Travel
The concept of wellness travel is a large canopy with a myriad of choices for all different types of stays, destinations and budgets. Momentum is building around wellness travel, and health-forward trips aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. There is no better time than now to test the waters on a getaway for the benefit of body and mind.

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Plan Now!
Many travel companies, agents and online vacation planners are waiting to lead us to a valuable health and wellness vacation, but our own research and hard work may get us to our wellbeing wonder trip. Here are a few tips on any budget when booking your wellness getaway.
• Decide your destination, whether close to home or far away.
• Is wellness your entire trip or would you like to concentrate on health for part of your vacation?
• What is your budget? How much can you spend toward your well-getaway?
• How adventurous do you want to be?
• Are you working during this trip? Will you work remotely and enjoy some healthy sidelines of fitness classes or is this trip focused on your total well-being?
• What do you like to do? What do you hope to learn? Figure out your goals for your stay.
• Enjoy! You may find that plans change and classes or services might alter once you reach your destination. Take the time to relax and figure it out.