The growing trend of wellness vacations

An increasing number of holidaymakers are trading in the traditional holidays “an abundance of food, sunbathing and drinking wine and cocktails” for holidays that truly revitalise and invigorate. A traditional holiday can often leave people feeling tired, lethargic and overweight – and the trends a showing that the more health conscious are switching to holidays with relaxation, health foods, nature, therapy etc.

Over the years, the annual vacation has often been about excess – excess sleep, excess food, excess alcohol and excess lazing around in strong sunshine.

The research shows that a new generation of holidaymakers are now seeking something more body beneficial and therapeutic. The are using their time away to become fitter, more relaxed, healthier and happier.

Wellness tourism is booming. Recent research from late 2015 reveals that $1 in every $7 spent on tourism goes on wellness activities. When you balance this out into perspective, this translates to a global market of about $480 billion. This is predicted to almost double and reach $750 billion by the end of this year 2017.

Susie Ellis, who is Chairman and CEO of Global Spa & Wellness Summit, thinks that this holiday evolution comes from the rise in illnesses, chronic diseases and obesity, a lack of work life / balance and people’s increasingly diminished and distracted time off.

What’s happening here?

On a local level, research suggests that even though Australians are seeking such experiences, the boom is more subdued within the domestic industry, which is likely due to our high Australian dollar.

With the demands of technology meaning that more of us are expected to be switched on more, the concept of wellness and rejuvenation holidays will continue to grow, especially as lifestyles become faster-paced and more technology driven.

Research has also indicated that wellness tourists are likely to be “higher-yield” travellers, with some reports suggesting they spend 130 per cent more than the average tourist.

Some major hotel brands are starting to jump on the wellness bandwagon. The Westin group, for example, has incorporated new health features such as a sports shoes rentals for guests.

Not too long ago, a luxury wellness resort Chiva-Som, in Thailand, was one of a select few of destinations they offered the intensive total wellness package. Nowadays, this type of retreat is dotted around the globe and these places are no longer purely in the reach of the wealthy.