From sleeping at spas to health-focused hotels, the top 10 wellness travel trends for 2013 offer insight to massage therapists looking to expand services and clientele.
The forecast from market-research company Wellness Tourism Worldwide is based on factors including consumer and B2B surveys, site visits, feedback from travel suppliers, destinations and sellers, as well as extensive research.
1. Wellness takes flight
To draw more passengers and increase revenue, airport renovations are featuring sleek designs incorporating natural light, art installations, high-end dining and shopping venues—as well as a plethora of health-and-fitness offerings, ranging from spas to swimming pools, gardens, walking paths, private napping cabins and cultural centers.
2. Health-focused hotels
There is an unmet need for guests to maintain health during travel that goes beyond gyms, pools and spas. Now hotel rooms are designed to alleviate altitude sickness, reduce jet lag, induce better sleep, eliminate bacteria, waterborne chemicals and allergens and purify and humidify the air.
3. Digital detox
The World Travel Market Global Trends Report listed digital detox as one of the next big trends to hit the hospitality industry in 2013. A survey showed that 80 percent of smartphone users in the US almost never leave their home without their device. Surrendering laptops, tablets and smartphones at check-in are a part of several hotel un-plug programs. Some destinations are also creating technology-free vacation campaigns.
4. Reconnecting through nature
Natural assets are the most critical component to wellness tourism product development. Destinations are beginning to fully leverage their landscape in response for the human need to explore and relax outdoors.
5. Sleep at the forefront
Lack of sleep impacts immune, brain and metabolic systems. With spas, hotels, airplanes and airports, sleep has risen from the ignored to the significant. Micro-naps in urban spas create a respite from the frantic pace of cities. Private napping cabins offer respite for weary inter continental travelers.
6. Spiritual seekers
The interest in non-religious spiritual practices is growing around the world. An increasingly secular global society seeking meaning and purpose opens the doors to spiritual pilgrimages, retreats, temple stays and workshops.
7. Indigenous healing traditions
Placing a spotlight on authentic healing traditions is important on two levels. Exporting a region’s traditional healing practices gives consumers the opportunity to experience them first-hand at their place of origin; and travelers seeking health and healing traditions at their place of origin contributes to cultural conservation and sustainability, in some cases stimulating economic growth.
8. Rewarding wellness travel
In light of the economic downturn, companies seek peak performance and maximum efficiency. Meeting planners are seeking destinations that align with corporate initiatives for maximum return on investment.
9. Celebrity instructor retreats
Yoga, Pilates, meditation and fitness gurus have been elevated to rock stars with their own following, and are taking their expertise on the road to exotic locations and regional weekend workshops.
10. Intergenerational family travel
Grandparents are connecting with grandchildren in a distinct way—by traveling. Grandparents are more active and fit, and have sympathy for their own grown children, who often are required to have two working adults to pay the bills. Vacations create memories and are taking their family relations from cyberspace to real space. The travel industry has designed programs to bring families together to learn, love and play.
For a free download of the “Top 10 Wellness Travel Trends for 2013”, click here: www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com