A record 86 percent of travel agents expect growth in wellness travel in 2015, according to Spafinder Wellness 365™’s eighth annual State of Wellness Travel Survey, released September 16, 2015. Both consumers and the industry are significantly more aware of wellness travel—and travelers are seeking experiences far beyond traditional spas when it comes to booking a vacation or business trip. Read on for report findings that may be relevant to your business.
- Awareness of Wellness Travel Growing Everywhere: Agents were asked how awareness of the wellness travel category changed in the last year, and the results show the category is on more people’s radar, on every front. Between 71-80 percent of agents report significant annual growth in awareness with consumers, travel agents, the tourism industry and hospitality industry.
- Many Wellness Elements Matter to Travelers: Agents rated how important 16 different property wellness “elements” were for their average client, and every single component, from healthy cuisine to outdoor adventure programming to alternative medical services, rated as “important,” scoring at least a 5.9 out of 10.
- Wellness Travel Reaches beyond Spa: The majority of agents (52 percent) report that 20 percent or less of the wellness-focused travel they book is primarily spa-focused. Just one in five agents (19 percent) say that over 50 percent of the wellness travel booked is primarily focused on spa experiences.
- The Wellness Premium: Eighty-three percent of agents agree consumers are willing to pay a premium for wellness travel or access to healthy products and services while traveling.
- Healthy Rise in Healthy Meetings: Seventy-nine percent of respondents report that demand for healthier business meetings (i.e., with healthy food, fitness and spa experiences) is a rising trend.
- Wellness Travel Destinations Getting “Hotter”: As noted above, among all global regions, Asia saw the biggest growth in wellness travel bookings in the last year, and within that region, Thailand ranked first, followed by Bali/Indonesia and India. In the Americas, Costa Rica was the overwhelming leader, followed by the Caribbean Islands, Nicaragua and Brazil. In Europe, Hungary, Croatia, Turkey, Italy and Greece were standouts, and across the Middle East/Africa, the top popularity gainers were Israel, Dubai and Morocco.
- Top Brands in Wellness Travel: When asked to name the top brands in wellness travel, agents submitted dozens of hotels, resorts, spa brands and individual properties. The top five brands identified were: Canyon Ranch, Starwood (including Westin, St. Regis and Sheraton), Four Seasons, Hyatt and Six Senses.
The full report is available here.