As wellness grows as a social movement overall, there are always new trends emerging to change the way people interact with their health and daily lives.
Wellness is something that has had a huge impact on the travel industry, and will continue to do so while innovation is at an all time high.
Here are four wellness travel trends that were uncovered, which hotels could pay attention to:
1. A new era of transformative travel
Transformative travel, the concept of travelling to find a new perspective or to undergo some self-reflection, is set to take a step further. New ideas are forming on the basis of stories or narratives. Instead of one destination and experience to change perception, a new trend will be about multiple linked chapters taking a traveller through an emotional saga of transformation.
The report posits that: “We’ve been living in a great age of ‘authentic’ and ‘experiential’ travel where even the most mainstream hotel brands aim to help travellers eat, live and spa like a local. Travel experts now argue that transformational travel takes it to a deeper emotional level.”
By blending storytelling with wellness experiences the emotional power can be much stronger. In this situation the wellness and the art/performance are happening together – like soaking in hot springs while taking in a play or meditating in the galleries of art museums.
An example includes Iceland’s The Red Mountain Resort, where travellers can experience the emotional and sensory voyage of an ancient hero, while enjoying all the wellness amenities the property has to offer.
2. Wellness in the kitchen – what’s the impact on travel?
Society is starting to move away from an embrace of processed and long-lasting food. People now want living, healthy, organic local food. The trend is poised turn kitchens into a better reflection of themselves, using advancements in technology to foster a healthier lifestyle.
In essence, people care more about the freshness and quality of food than they used. This coincides with a growing number of individuals who identify as vegan. Britain alone reports a 360% increase over the past decade. This adoption is stronger in younger demographics, with 42% aged between 15 and 34 years old.
Given one of the biggest factors for travellers is to enjoy rare, unique, and wonderful dining experiences, a more authentic experience in their own homes only raises the stakes for accommodation providers. Hotels and resorts must focus more than ever on sourcing local produce and preparing meals for guests in a traditional manner.
3. Extreme travel as a path towards wellness
The idea of pushing the body to the limits to produce both physical and mental benefits is gaining popularity. Taking extreme challenges, treatments, and experiences goes some way to redefining what humans can do and giving people more control over their health and wellness.
Many travellers are now taking the view that relaxing by a beach or staying at a yoga retreat should not be the extent of a wellness trip. Instead, one-of-a-kind challenges are taking centre stage. This might mean hiking eight hours along a glacier or rafting down the Amazon, whatever might scare off the ordinary person. Logging-off from the world is a tie-in to this, with a key part of the experience being to abandon Google maps, social media, work emails etc.
An example is UK travel company Black Tomato, which takes travellers out of their comfort zones on tailor-made trips that take six months to prepare and cost upwards of $30,000.
4. Feminist wellness and travel grows more powerful
In 2017, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year was ‘Feminism’, a natural result given the recent intensity of activism.
Many women are finding empowerment through travel, and most wellness travel happens to be aimed at women. However, these days there is a more creative,wild transformation happening, where women will travel on solo adventures to challenge themselves.
The report suggests more women now associate wellness more closely with climbing Machu Picchu than a traditional and chilled spa weekend. This is backed up by the fact the average adventure traveller is a 48-year-old woman.
Many travel companies are now positioning challenging adventure holidays as a chance for women to experience personal growth. Another trend for women’s wellness travel is on the subject of healing pain, targeting women who want to take a transformative trip after experiencing some kind of grief or trauma, and helping them get past it.
One such experience is delivered by the UK’s Orchid City and Spa, which offers Divorce Party Packages for women and their friends.