In previous years, a holiday was nothing more than a pre-packaged week abroad. A sun-filled place where you could put your feet up and do absolutely nothing. But, as with many industries, the definition of a vacation is shifting.
While older generations are still clamouring for relaxation in the traditional sense, younger travellers are looking for something a little more experiential. Spending their life stuck to a screen has allowed travellers to see the benefits of wellness-based retreats. Trips now not only have to fulfil wanderlust desires but also mental, physical, and even spiritual ones.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness industry is currently worth $3.7 trillion. Wellness tourism in particular makes up a huge chunk (reportedly worth around $563 billion) and is set to continue its unstoppable rise over the next few years.
The term ‘wellness’ falls under several different umbrellas. There’s the nomadic option which sees people switch off from their everyday lives and banish technology for a few days of idyllic bliss. Or the educational vacation involving cooking classes, fitness courses and meditation 101.
Some may prefer adventurous getaways centred around hiking, surfing and the like while others may simply want to get to grips with the concept of a healthy body and mind. Think yoga, massages and nutritional tips and you’re on the right track.
These new kinds of relaxation holidays all have one thing in common. They are proactive, allowing people to reclaim control of their physical and emotional fitness and provide a revitalising boost to their overall lives.
Wellness travel can be marketed to almost any modern day worker. Whether you’re looking to target luxury consumers with a five star retreat or hoping to capture the minds of everyday people with more affordable options, there are plenty of experiences to be sold.
“[Fitness has] gone from being an activity to a destination,” NPD analyst Marshal Cohen told Honolulu Star Advertiser. “That’s a huge shift in spending. We’re not building wardrobes anymore. We’re building memories.”
Three wellness experts will be diving into this growing travel trend at the Decoded Future New York Summit on November 2.
Abby Morgan, director of global marketing and partnerships at Free People (FP Escapes), will be offering her expertise on how any brand can enter the travel space while Yoga on the Fly’s CEO and co-founder, Avery Westlund, will discuss how her company is offering travellers some much-needed private time.Finally, Airbnb Experiences’ general manager, Lincoln Wheeler, will be talking about the importance of giving more than just somewhere to stay.
In today’s permanently switched on culture, understanding the needs of travellers has never been so vital. Coming to terms with the fact that people want more than a sun lounger and pool could be the key to tapping into the millennial mindset and to ensuring success in a rapidly growing industry.