Exploring the growth areas of Wellness Tourism in a post Covid-19 market
Health and Wellness tourism has grown significantly in the past decade. As more people are aware of wellness, mental and physical wellbeing (as well as ways to achieve it), many have combined travel and wellness together, creating a need for the growth of the health and wellness tourism industry. Here we examine the importance of this growing sector and what implications it can have on our clients in the road to recovery for international tourism in a post-Covid market.
Wellness is no longer limited to a passive singular experience, but has evolved to become an active pursuit of choices, activities and lifestyles which lead to a state of holistic health. According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism is slated to grow at an average annual rate of 7.5% into 2022. This is higher than the projected 6.4% rate for the annual growth of overall global tourism, making it a key area to pursue within the industry.
In a study by the Global Wellness Institute in 2021, out of the 87% of study respondents who intend to take a holiday in the next 12 months, 76% of them said this will include a wellness component. This statement is echoed by research conducted by ABTA at the end of 2020, who claims “two million UK holidaymakers are planning to take a wellness trip in the next 12 months”.
The report by ABTA also found that one in three (34%) people planning to take part in holiday activities focused on improving their wellbeing such as yoga, meditation, spa and holistic treatments or taking time away from tech.
Similarly, with an increased interest in wellness and wellness holidays, the BBC reported that ‘Primary wellness travellers spend about 178% more than the average traveller for domestic travel, and 53% more for international travel’ showing the opportunities available for destinations offering wellness experiences.
As consumer need for wellness becomes a normal part of everyday life, the act of travel is becoming less motivated by seeking a specific wellness destination, but instead, a part of the entire travel experience. A natural byproduct of this value is for individuals to seek more elaborate and sophisticated experiences, staying in-destination for longer and ultimately spending more.
ITG is highly versed in analysing this data to advise clients on 360 strategic messaging across marketing, communications, travel trade and digital platforms. We create nimble, targeted campaigns to highlight authentic experiences to travellers led by local guides and experts which provides destinations with an increased local economy and sets them aside from competitors.
Increasingly, travellers love to experiment with destinations to gain deeper experience and absorb new cultures worldwide. To gain a valuable and unforgettable experience, people opt for unique trips, which include cultural visit, cruising, and adventure activities. Through analysing multiple industry reports, we have identified key wellness tourism travel trends for 2022:
- Immune boosting treatments
- Nature therapy and rewilding your workout
- Combating stress and anxiety
- Sleep and deep relaxation
- Internet-free isolation and screenless solitude
- Active, low impact holidays
- Slow travel
- Seasonal migrations – winter sun destinations
The wellness industry is well-positioned to help consumers reclaim travel as an opportunity for rest and relaxation, rejuvenation and discovery, widening the net for re-establishing the travel industry as we move beyond Covid-19.