Wellness Travel

by Alyssa Fate

According to a Market Analysis Report by Grand View Research, the global wellness tourism market size was estimated at $814.6 billion USD in 2022 and is expected to reach $923.6 billion USD in 2023. (Some other agencies estimate this value to be even higher, topping the charts in the low to mid trillions). Further, North America dominates this market share at nearly 40%. In a post-pandemic world, the focus on health is only expected to grow, which means wellness travel is leaving a permanent mark on the hospitality industry.

From massage to meditation to mineral springs, wellness travel encompasses a vast range of products and services. Wellness is even creeping into the workplace through on-site meditation rooms, team retreats and more. 

So, how can hoteliers tap into this colossal market? First, hotel marketers need to understand exactly what wellness tourism encompasses and how they can more closely meet visitors’ needs.

woman getting a massage at a spa on a wellness retreat

What is wellness tourism?

Generally speaking, wellness tourism is travel to improve the overall well being of an individual. With an emphasis on a healthy mind, body and soul, wellness travel offers both domestic and international travelers a diverse variety of foods and activities to achieve their goals. Wellness tourism can include any food, activity or experience geared toward improving someone’s overall mental or physical health. 

Benefits of Wellness Travel

While wellness travel initially focused on improving the physical wellbeing of guests through fitness, it quickly evolved to include the mind and soul, as well. Benefits of wellness travel include:

  • Improve Overall Health and Immunity
  • Increase Happiness
  • Reduce Stress
  • Heighten Focus
  • Personal Growth
  • Increase Self Awareness
  • Boost Creativity
  • Enhance Memory
  • Spark Lifestyle Changes
  • Improve Sleep
  • Encourage Sustainable Practices
  • Promote Work-Life Balance
woman hiking along mountainside during her wellness travel trip

Wellness Travel Trends

  1. Mindfulness
    • Meditation: Focusing the mind to achieve an emotionally calm state.
    • Sound Healing: Combining sound and vibration to help calm the mind.
    • Solo Travel: Spending more time getting to know yourself.
    • Digital Detox: Removal of phone, computer and other technology.
    • Workcation: Establishing an improved work-life balance.
  2. Fitness or Physical Wellness
    • Yoga: Healing the mind, body and soul through breathing and movement.
    • Walk or Hike: Choosing movement to improve overall health.
    • Steam or Soak: Sweating or soaking to increase circulation and improve the immune system.
  3. Wellness Retreats
    • Animal Therapy: Therapeutic interactions with animals.
    • Emotional Healing: Intentional, multi-day healing retreats.
    • Sober Curious: The movement around removing alcohol from daily life.
    • Psychoactive Medicine: The use of plant-derived material to treat a variety of disorders.
    • Salt Float: Floating in salt-filled water to aid in relaxation relaxation and improve sleep.
  4. Nature Immersion
    • Forest Bathing: Spending conscious time in nature taking in your surroundings.
    • Bird Watching: Observing birds for recreation.
  5. Mindful Eating
    • Farm-to-Table: Eating locally sourced and freshly prepared foods.
    • Eat Fresh: Serve fresh, unprocessed organic foods.
    • Culinary Experiences: Preparing your own food.
  6. Sustainable Travel
    • Air-Free Travel: Minimizing travelers carbon footprint where possible.
    • Eco-Trips: Trips to help clean up specific destinations
    • Off-Peak Travel: Traveling during shoulder seasons to lesson impact on locations.
woman practicing yoga in the forest - a wellness tourism trend

Accommodating the Wellness Traveler

Whether you’re a dedicated wellness destination resort or cater to overnight transient guests, visitors expect hotels to lean into the wellness travel trend. Here are some easy ways hoteliers can satisfy guests’ wellness needs: 

  • Support local farms by offering seasonal fruits, vegetables and meats.
  • Offer a variety of allergen-free items on the menu. 
  • Plant herbs and other garden vegetation on-site to utilize in-house.
  • Utilize aromatherapy where possible. 
  • Offer in-room sounds machines for restful sleep.
  • Create a local trail map for cyclists or runners. 
  • Provide information about local parks or nature preserves.
  • Improve on-site fitness facilities or offer bicycle rentals.
  • Create an on-site meditation space.
  • Offer spa services if possible, or extend discounts to local spas.
  • Install water refill stations to minimize plastic usage.
  • Present a clear place for guests to recycle glass and plastic.
  • Partner with companies like Clean The World to recycle toiletries.
  • Install electric vehicle charging stations.

Ready to tap into the multi-billion dollar wellness tourism industry? TravelBoom can help kick off your mindful marketing. Contact us today for a free evaluation.

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