Global Wellness Institute shares 5 trends in wellness tourism

Global Wellness Institute shares 5 trends in wellness tourism

Wellness, hospitality, and travel are converging in diverse and unprecedented ways, as businesses experiment with new partnerships and business models to offer expanded services and programming that will help travelers incorporate wellness into every aspect of their trips.


Below are five global wellness trends:


1) Fly healthy and fly well.

Airports and airlines are promoting health and wellness programs for customers combating long travel times, disrupted sleep, cramped spaces, and stress. Collaborations among airports, airlines, and wellness businesses are taking many forms, such as including yoga classes, spas, quiet relaxation areas, nap pods, healthier foods, VR technology, and even therapy dogs. For instance, Qatar’s Hamad Airport has a Vitality, Wellbeing, and Fitness Centre with a pool, hydrotherapy services, and showers. In-flight services on many airlines now include health-conscious cuisine, wellness programming, and sleep and relaxation products. Lufthansa provides its passengers with specially-designed sleep masks, while Qantas, Hawaiian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and other airlines offer in-flight meditation and wellness programming as part of their in-flight entertainment packages. Also, social media and a variety of apps are enabling savvy air travelers to find the health and wellness services they need.


2) Healthy hotels go mainstream.

As wellness travel becomes more mainstream, many hotels are incorporating wellness into their design, amenities, services, and programming. Wellness features may include bedding and lighting that promote better sleep; windows and shades that block out light and noise; in-room fitness equipment and videos; healthy snacks, minibars, and menus at restaurants; or on-site spas and gyms. For example, partnerships and acquisitions have allowed some larger hotel brands to quickly enhance their health and wellness offerings. Major hotel brands are partnering with a diverse array of fitness companies such as Technogym, Reebok, and Peloton to reach more wellness-minded consumers. Marriott, Four Seasons, Wyndham, and MGM have benefitted from the expertise of companies such as Delos (Stay Well™), to design guest rooms that provide extensive wellness amenities and services for travelers. Hyatt acquired both Miraval and Exhale to create strategic partnerships with existing wellness and fitness leaders. AccorHotels is also partnering with Banyan Tree to increase its wellness offerings.


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3) Engineering new wellness travel experiences.

Consumers are increasingly viewing vacations as an opportunity to experience wellness in new ways, and tourism-related businesses from cruise lines to tour operators and event organizers are engineering diverse new wellness travel experiences. Cruise lines have not only brought sumptuous spas and workout spaces on board, but many are now showcasing other aspects of health and wellness including healthy food, relaxation, meditation, and wellness-themed excursions. A number of cruise lines are partnering with wellness industry experts and service providers to raise the quality and sophistication of their wellness offerings, or to create wellness-themed voyages. Tour operators and event organizers are helping travelers to find their desired wellness travel experiences.


4) Wellness products and brands travel with their customers.

As wellness routines become a daily lifestyle for many consumers, products and brands are following their customers on their travels to help them continue these routines wherever they go. Some retail and product companies are projecting their customer values and expanding their product brands into wellness travel experiences.


5) A new nexus of travel, work, and wellness.

For those who want longer time to experience a country than the standard vacation, several innovative companies have combined coworking and travel with wellness. Roam, Outsite, The Remote Experience, WY_CO, CoWoLi, Nomad House, and Unsettled are coliving and coworking enterprises that allow people to experience other countries and cultures while working and living with like-minded individuals. These companies typically offer private accommodations with shared living spaces, working spaces, and other community amenities, in addition to the opportunity to experience a city or region for a week, a month, or more. Many also provide on-site wellness/fitness amenities, yoga classes, meditation, and other community events. WeWork, which started with coworking and coliving properties and recently branched into fitness with Rise by We, has quietly entered the hospitality space with short term rental rooms/studios in New York City.

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