Wellness tourism: the industry benefitting the mind and body
Did you know the global wellness tourism market was valued at £653 billion dollars in 2022 and is expected to keep growing?
Everyone enjoys a little rest, relaxation, and a break from the daily grind, and any holiday that improves either your physical or mental health—or both—can be described as a wellness holiday. Yet organising a holiday specifically around wellness is something completely different and is a massive industry itself.
How popular is wellness tourism?
The global wellness tourism market was valued at £653 billion in 2022 and accounts for a significant slice of the overall global wellness economy, which was worth an estimated £3.5 trillion in 2020 as the world emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. With wellness tourism expected to grow by 20.9% each year until 2025, it is clear that more of us than ever before are placing wellness at the top of our travel agendas.
What does a wellness holiday mean?
A wellness holiday refers to tourism activities based on improving and enhancing a person’s mind, body, and spiritual wellbeing. Destination spas or hotels and wellness retreats offer a wide variety of tailor-made programmes and lifestyle-improving packages centred around wellbeing.
Think hotels with luxury spa facilities, lavish thermal baths, hot springs resorts, luxurious pools and state-of-the-art gyms. Combine those with yoga, Pilates, meditation, sport, exercise, and healthy nutrition, and you have a glimpse of what a typical wellness holiday could look like.
The largest wellness tourism markets are in Europe and North America, with almost 300 million wellness holidays taking place every year before the COVID-19 pandemic. With these numbers set to rise, let’s explore the features that make wellness tourism such a colossal industry.
Wellness travel for the mind
If travel broadens the mind, it can also benefit mental health and spiritual wellbeing. Meditation retreats that support self-development, observation, and awareness are popular destinations and often feature exercises like yoga and Pilates which improve both physical and mental wellbeing.
"If travel broadens the mind, it can benefit mental health and wellbeing"
People also seek out Ashrams for spiritual and religious contemplation, often as part of a pilgrimage, or martial arts centres where mindfulness and metal focus are key components. Some of the best UK destinations provide services for refreshing the mind through thermal experiences, outdoor relaxation, and rejuvenating therapies.
Wellness travel for the body
A revitalised body means a revitalised mind. Travel breaks that combine physical activity with relaxation therapies tick multiple boxes. Many destinations feature health clubs and modern gyms alongside personal training facilities and a range of exercise classes from running clubs to Zumba. Some hotels and spas boast a dedicated group cycling studio incorporating music, lighting, and giant screens around a nightclub theme.
"A revitalised body means a revitalised mind"
If swimming, tennis, golf, running, or tai chi is your thing, a destination that focusses on body and fitness wellbeing is certain to exist, whatever kind of active leisure pursuit or therapeutic treatment you need.
Wellness travel for the family
Wellness travel is not just for personal physical and mental wellbeing, it can deliver the same benefits for the whole family. That’s why many spas and wellness centres cater for all age groups—from swimming and workouts to relaxing spa treatments and fun clubs, there is plenty to do for both adults and children alike.
A family wellness break also means each member can indulge in their favourite leisure or relaxation activity while also spending precious time in the company of loved ones, and all in one luxurious location.
Banner photo: Two women enjoy the spa (credit: Foxhills)
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