When you think of the term “wellness,” you probably associate it with being a healthy individual, one who eats right and exercises daily. The culture that is health and wellness tourism not only encompasses physical health, but also mental and social health, as well. There are groups of individuals who strive to find cities that place high importance on these factors.
Many people travel to experience these benefits because their own hometown does not offer them. From spas to medical procedures, there is a lot that can fall into the category. The driving force behind health and wellness tourism is the desire to better oneself.
How Big is The Movement?
Global Wellness Institute explains health and wellness tourism has been going on for a little bit over a decade now. Based on 6 landmark research studies, it is known that health and wellness is a $3.7 trillion market (https://www.globalwellnessinstitute.org/press-room/statistics-and-facts/). Wellness tourism alone makes up for $563 billion of that market. There are a couple of different categories that can be used to define the special sector of tourism:
International Wellness Receipts
This term refers to the gross receipts that a country earns due to inbound tourism that includes an overnight stay.
International Wellness Expenditure
This is a similar category, but it can be defined by people who remain in their own country that seek health and wellness services.
When a person takes a trip that is solely focused on receiving a health or wellness benefit.
When a person participates in an activity to boost their health and wellness on a trip that is motivated by a different purpose.
As the years go by, it is thought that the industry will continue to grow. It has reached peak amounts of popularity since it became popular in the late 2000’s. Many people now see it as something that is widely attainable, regardless of financial standing, age, or location.
What Counts As A Wellness Activity?
When you travel, there is a lot of opportunity to relax. You do not necessarily have to sit in a spa with cucumbers on your eyelids in order to be a part of the health and wellness tourism industry. Many destinations like Chable Resort, a Wellness Resort in Yucatan, Mexico, include options that involve eating, creative activities, and special events. (http://blog.chableresort.com/defining-wellness/)
Virtuoso explains this travel niche is responsible for up to 15% of trips that are taken annually around the globe (http://blog.virtuoso.com/tips-and-trends/7-trends-wellness-tourism-experience-now/).
What you put into your body directly correlates with how you are going to feel. Farm-to-table dining is a big trend in tourism. There are restaurants that pride themselves in the freshness and quality of the ingredients that they use. Some establishments actually allow you to select the produce yourself before they prepare it for you. This is an immersive experience that allows you to see exactly what you will be consuming. On a smaller scale, there are plenty of restaurants that have included “skinny” menus. The options that they offer are often smaller-portioned and lower in calorie count so that there is no guilt whilst consuming.
Physical activity is a big component of the health and wellness tourism industry. Many spas now offer classes that you can take to mediate and limber up. Yoga is one of the main activities offered worldwide. A yoga class provides you with a well-rounded wellness journey, one that includes both physical and mental benefits.
If you are into more action-filled activities, water sports are also big in the industry. There is paddleboarding, kayaking, and hiking. Being outside in nature is known to improve the quality of your health.
Virtually anywhere you travel to, there is going to be the option to visit a spa. Receiving a massage, facial, or any spa treatment will instantly put you into that state of relaxation that you crave.
Unconventional Places for Health and Wellness
Flipkey shows us how you do not have to even get to your destination yet before you can begin the wellness practices (https://www.flipkey.com/blog/2013/09/26/mind-body-and-travel-best-airports-for-health-wellness/). There are many airports that now offer spa services. Depending on how much time you have to spare, you can enjoy a nice chair massage or even a full tabletop massage. There are also many airports that have included “quiet rooms” for public usage. People can utilize the space for stretching, meditation, and self-guided yoga exercises.
In Zurich, Switzerland, you have the opportunity to use a full-size gym that also includes the option to rent bikes and inline skates. You will not have to deal with the boredom of a traditional layover experience. Minneapolis, Minnesota offers a walking path for you to pass the time by. You can take a stroll and cure any feeling of restlessness that may begin to creep in. The path is 1.4 miles long and is indicated by clearly lit overhead signs.