Intimate Encounters with Nature
Our Top 10 Wellness Travel Trends for 2014
Los Angeles, October 29, 2013, 2013 – Wellness Tourism Worldwide, (www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com) a leading wellness travel business, is pleased to announce the release of its “Top 10 Wellness Travel Trends of 2014”. The forecast is based on data collection and research conducted throughout the year that consolidated trends across several sectors and industries to deliver practical knowledge to both individuals and businesses and to help businesses boost sales and maximize profits.
WTW’s data and trend analysis included: site visits, literary review, surveys, interviews and feedback from consumers, travel trade, healthcare professionals, wellness experts and academia.
Camille Hoheb, wellness travel industry expert and founder of Wellness Tourism Worldwide and Editor of the Wellness Travel Journal noted, "The multi-dimensionality of wellness opens the door to a whole new world." She added, “This forecast will encourage consumers and business to think of vacation travel in new ways. Our data shows that consumers view vacations as an important way to improve health, happiness and productivity. Vacation trips are often a catalyst for transformation and consumers view wellness travel as a personal investment.”
While last year’s forecast focused on the impact of wellness on air transit, hotel accommodation and destinations this year's report is focused on business and marketing strategy. The report, “Top 10 Wellness Travel Trends for 2014: Boosting Sales & Maximizing Profits” will be released in January.
Wellness Tourism Worldwide's Top 10 Wellness Travel Trends for 2014
Rise of Wellness Travel Agents
A growing niche in the industry, wellness tourism has taken off as agents report a surge in bookings for trips that enhance the mind, body and spirit. The relatively new terms “wellness travel agent” and “wellness travel specialist” indicate the increasing acceptance, credibility and value of wellness travel among consumers and industry professionals, Hoheb said.
One of WTW’s latest travel agent surveys found that some of the wellness trips that travel agents book most often focus on mindfulness and stress reduction. Clients seek mental restoration on vacations where they can learn practices such as meditation, yoga, qigong and journaling in order to manage stress, improve cognitive capacity and maintain emotional equilibrium.
Shying away from typical tourist behavior, clients have expressed an interest in authentic experiences and community-based exploration on vacations that allow them to get to know locals in a meaningful way.
A big trend that intersects with wellness travel, food tourism gives clients the opportunity to attend cooking classes, learn about local agriculture and experience food on its way from the farm to their table — all of which emphasizes emotional, social, intellectual and sustainable aspects of well-being.
It’s not unusual now for clients to take trips on their “doctor’s orders,” as physicians increasingly prescribe vacations as antidotes to stress and recommend various kinds of physical activity to combat obesity and diabetes.
Viewing wellness as more than fitness and nutrition, many clients choose trips that feature or focus solely on personal enrichment as a means to fulfillment and a catalyst for change in their lives.
Instead of rushing through vacations to check off as many sites and experiences as possible, clients are opting to change the pace of their trips in order to sip, savor and revel in their travel experiences.
Affluent & Altruistic
With research that indicates a link between altruism and well-being, “voluntourism” has become an increasingly popular travel option. Affluent travelers looking for personal growth and discovery are turning to experiences that connect them to charitable causes and local communities while on vacation.
Apart from specifically booking tours and retreats that focus on wellness, many clients wish to maintain their healthy lifestyles while on the road. In order to attract these travelers, air transit and hotels have been investing in amenities that promote a healthy lifestyle.
Hoping to tap into the wellness tourism market, the spa industry is working to dispel the notion that spas only pamper the wealthy by rebranding spas as wellness providers.
WTW’s research efforts included site visits, literary review, conducting surveys and interviews and gathering feedback from consumers, travel agents, healthcare professionals, wellness experts and academics.
WTW has also developed “The Guide to Selling Wellness Travel,” which provides recommendations based on survey responses collected from travel agents. More than 100 copies of the guide were sold in the first few months after its release, which demonstrates the need for specific recommendations that help agents capitalize on the growing market for wellness travel, Hoheb said.