Wellness Travel: 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond
by Anne Dimon

This is the latest in an occasional column by the publisher and editor-in-chief of Travel to Wellness.

No surprise to those of us in the industry, wellness travel is poised for great growth.

Already a multibillion-dollar industry, the wellness travel sector will see a significant surge in coming years for several reasons:

•    Aging baby boomers are looking to extend their years of good health.
•    More people are realizing that the key to good health and longevity lies in their own hands.
•    There is more wellness product available in all price categories.
•    Globalization is opening the doors to wellness lifestyle philosophies.

As ever-increasing numbers of us adopt a wellness lifestyle, travel agents can expect to see more clients who want to incorporate wellness into their trip planning. They want to maintain their healthy lifestyles, including food and fitness, while traveling, whether for business or pleasure.

Others who have begun looking at their vacation time through a different lens are looking for a wellness vacation. Often traveling with a specific intention – such as losing weight, getting fit, managing stress, reconnecting with self or a significant other, communing with nature – they want a vacation that’s designed to maintain, promote or kick-start a healthy way of living.  

Here are 10 wellness travel trends and predictions for 2014 and beyond.  

1.    More people in all fields will recognize the value of the wellness vacation, including what it can mean for one’s overall health and sense of wellbeing and how it fits into disease prevention.

2.    People will begin to schedule wellness vacations annually, for the betterment of body, mind and soul. Just as we visit the dentist every six months, we'll take a yearly wellness vacation.

3.    Since food is the foundation of wellness, culinary vacation options will grow in tandem with the movement to eat more healthfully.

4.    Forward-thinking corporations will include wellness vacations as part of wellness-in-the-workplace employee benefit packages. Some businesses will offer wellness vacations as an incentive to motivate individuals and teams to reach performance goals.

5.    While many hotels already offer elements of a wellness lifestyle – i.e. food, fitness, spa treatments, sleep programs – we will see major hotel brands adopt a fully-integrated approach with wellness-themed hotel brands. One example: IHG’s Even Hotels, which launches in 2014.  

6.    For patients with certain conditions – weight gain, insomnia, eating disorders, depression and loneliness, for instance – doctors will begin prescribing specifically-designed and accredited health and wellness vacation packages before calling on “big pharmacy.”   

7.    There will be more, more and more wellness travel product available. Along with programs at destination spas and spa resorts, we’ll see a greater number of small companies and sole proprietors offering yoga/meditation getaways, healthy cooking classes and nourish-your-soul retreats.

8.    While the spa has long been a central focus of a wellness lifestyle, more spa marketing organizations will embrace and promote other aspects of a wellness lifestyle – fitness, food, sleep, community and wellness for the planet, for instance.   

9.    Taking a cue from Europe, the North American hospitality industry will see an emerging category where luxury-meets- wellness-spa-meets-sophisticated-medical-clinic. One prototype is the award-winning SHAWellness in Spain.

10.    Spas and anti-aging clinics will supplement existing menus with cutting-edge medi-treatments. How does this fit under the banner of wellness travel? Feeling good about the way we look increases our sense of wellbeing. Also, some of these new medical innovations will only be available in other countries.

The best news for travel agents? The wellness vacation is more bespoke than off-the-rack, so clients will be inclined to seek your assistance with trip planning.

Anne Dimon is founder and editor of Travel to Wellness Magazine. Published online for nine years, the magazine is launching a print/digital edition in mid-November; click here to subscribe.

  1
  0
Comment:
You must be logged in to leave a comment Login | Register
Tip of the Day
Remember that your travels, too, are part of this important aspect of provenance. Hard-copy photo albums or visuals on a smart phone can be part of the sales process where your photos, selfies, and home-made videos show where you've been and what you've done.
 
Steve Gillick
President, Talking Travel
Daily Top List

Popular Honeymoon Resorts in Hawaii

1. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

2. Sheraton Kauai Resort

3. Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

4. Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui

5. Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

6. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

Source: Condé Nast Traveler

Top Stories
Medical Tourism Poised for Continued Growth
Medical Tourism Poised for Continued Growth

Niche expected to reach $140 billion by 2022.

Age Matters: Different Ages Have Different Preferences In Wellness Travel
Age Matters: Different Ages Have Different Preferences In Wellness Travel

Outdoor adventure programs and ecotourism matter significantly more to Millennials and Gen X than they do to Baby Boomers.

Wellness Products Shape Up For Spring
Wellness Products Shape Up For Spring

From Spa Houses to healing therapies, from personal coaches to MDs, new wellness products are helping form a larger niche for travel agents to sell.

On the Right Track: Wellness Programs Roll Out as New Data Show Increasing Interest
On the Right Track: Wellness Programs Roll Out as New Data Show Increasing Interest

New data suggest suppliers (and employers) who add wellness programs are on the right track. No pun intended.

Fitness Companies Get into the Hotel Business and Other Tidbits from the Global Wellness Summit
Fitness Companies Get into the Hotel Business and Other Tidbits from the Global Wellness Summit

From Equinox to Rotorua to Sri Lanka’s Santani, new names in global wellness destinations.

Canyon Ranch Tops Wellness Travel Awards for U.S. Wellness
Canyon Ranch Tops Wellness Travel Awards for U.S. Wellness

Travel Awards names 99 winners.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Travel Market Report Spotlight: Celebrity Cocktails