Wellness Travel Trends 2013

Wellness Tourism Worldwide, which provides wellness-focused market intelligence and education, has released its top 10 wellness travel trends for 2013.

The forecasted trends are based on analysis of consumer and B2B surveys, site visits and feedback from travel suppliers.

1. Wellness takes flight

To draw more passengers and increase revenue, airports renovations are featuring sleek, ultramodern designs incorporating natural light, art installations, high-end dining and shopping venues as well as a plethora of health and fitness offerings such as spas, swimming pools, gardens, walking paths, private napping cabins and cultural centers.

2. Health-focused hotels

Hotels have realized there is an unmet need for guests to maintain health during travel that goes beyond gyms, pools and spas. Now hotel rooms are designed to alleviate altitude sickness, reduce jet lag, induce better sleep, humidify the air and eliminate bacteria, waterborne chemicals and allergens. Guests also can access in-room fitness equipment and healthy lifestyle education as well as take-home tips, programs and wellness apps.

3. Digital detox

Surrendering laptops, tablets and smartphones at check-in are a part of several hotel “un-plug” programs. Some destinations are also creating technology-free vacation campaigns as a way to market their rustic settings.

4. Reconnecting through nature

Natural assets are the most critical component to wellness tourism product development. Destinations are beginning to fully leverage their landscapes in response to the human need to explore and relax outdoors.

5. Sleep at the forefront

Micro naps in urban spas create a respite from the frantic pace of cities. Private napping cabins offer respite for weary travelers. Hotel designs have evolved to combat jet lag and to help both business and leisure travelers sleep well and prepare for the day ahead. Even airlines are catching on, with well-appointed linens on a full-size bed and turndown service in first-class private cabins.

6. Spiritual seekers

The interest in non-religious spiritual practices is growing around the world. An increasingly secular global society is seeking meaning and purpose in spiritual pilgrimages, retreats, temple stays and workshops.

7. Indigenous healing traditions

Exporting a region’s traditional healing practices gives consumers the opportunity to experience them firsthand.

8. Rewarding wellness travel

In light of the economic downturn, companies are seeking peak performance and maximum efficiency. Consequently, meeting planners are seeking destinations that align with corporate initiatives for maximum ROI. In addition, most U.S. companies plan to increase the dollar value of the incentives they offer employees to participate in health improvement programs.

9. Celebrity instructor retreats

Yoga, Pilates, meditation and fitness gurus have been elevated to rock-star status with their own following and are taking their expertise on the road.

10. Intergenerational family travel

Grandparents are more active and fit, and the travel industry has designed programs to bring several generations of families together to learn, love and play.

Posted in Hotels Magazine by A.B.Storck on 1/21/2013

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