According to the Global Wellness Institute’s report, the Global Wellness Industry was worth $3.7 trillion in 2015 and ‘Wellness Tourism’ contributed $563 billion dollars to that total.
World travellers went on nearly 700 million wellness trips in 2015 which was over 104 million more trips than in 2013. The guess is that wellness tourism will be an $800 billion industry by 2020.
In a world economy marred by instability and unrest, why does the global wellness tourism trend keep skyrocketing?
Stress & disease
Chronic illness and higher than ever recorded rates of stress – which are causing disturbingly high mental health statistics – are forcing people to seek wellness outside of their everyday lives. People are seeking travel experiences centred around wellness because they are unable to find it in their daily lives.
Education & knowledge
With the evolving global middle-class and the shift toward being a more informed society, there is an emerging understanding that wellness - or being “healthy” as the WHO defines it – is a key factor in happiness. People are seeking holidays and travel experiences that will enhance that feeling of happiness. More often than not, travellers are seeking therapeutic, authentic trips rooted in health and nature for that feeling of true wellness.
Time is money and many people who can afford to travel have a limited amount of leave days from their jobs or have limited budgets to spend on travel. Therefore, they are seeking tourism experiences that make the most out of the shortest time or smallest budget available. Choosing wellness travel experiences guarantees them the ability to gain experience, improve their health and return home without feeling burnt-out or run-down like they do in their normal lives.
2018’s top wellness travel trends
As more travellers seek holidays focused on wellness, certain trends have emerged in the global wellness space. These are the top four trends that took the travel market by storm in 2017; they’re certainly worth a try this year, don’t you think?
- Stop smoking retreats - Many travellers are choosing to quit the habit on holiday. The most popular travel trend for 2017 was the stop smoking retreat which offers medical care and specialised therapies centred around helping people to stop smoking.
- Recovery retreats - Focussing on post-operative recovery and often on post-cancer recovery, the recovery retreat offers highly specialised treatments focusing on rejuvenating patients who’ve been through tough medical procedures. These retreats often include alternative therapies like acupuncture and reflexology, psychological therapies and personal spa treatments too.
- Detox retreats - Detoxing from unhealthy eating and lifestyles has long been popular with many travellers needing to get away from bad habits. Detox retreats focus on getting rid of toxins in the body and can be tough and quite stringent, but they are always clinically supervised and nutritionally-balanced offering a tried and tested route to wellness. Travellers often feel invigorated and like they’ve had a ‘real’ holiday after they return home.
- Adventure retreats - Wellness doesn’t always mean healthy eating and therapeutic treatments -for some it means adventure and the outdoors. Many travellers are choosing holidays that focus on activities like surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing and hiking for their wellness travel options. Wellness for them means a holiday focused on fitness, strength and fun.
No matter what your circumstances, lifestyle, income or preference, choosing a wellness travel retreat or trip is definitely on trend in 2018. And, the trend is set to just get bigger and bigger.