Accounting for 14.6% of 2013’s home and away tourist expenditures, wellness tourism is expected to reach new heights in 2014. There has been a surge of interest towards health and wellbeing, especially with an increase in chronic illnesses, depression and other mental illnesses, type 2 diabetes and obesity, and wellness tourism allows travellers to seek an improvement in their health and quality of life through spiritual, physical and psychological means.
Types of Wellness Tourism
As time has progressed, we have become even more dependent on technology and rarely leave home without some form of it, whether this be smartphones, tablets or laptops. Digital detox is tipped to be the next big trend where all forms of technology are left behind so patrons can appreciate the digital silence and segregate themselves from the rest of the world.
Becoming One with Nature
Beautiful landscape and fresh, crisp air are a key component of the wellness tourism trade. Many city-dwellers will seek out the country air in an effort to centre themselves and dust off the pressures of city life. In a need to “get away from it all,” most travellers will seek out an escape that will allow them to relax, explore and enjoy the serenity of nature.
A Need for Spirituality
Primarily based in Asia, non-religious spiritual rituals have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Pilgrimages, temple stays, retreats and workshops that work the body, mind and soul and help to incorporate lifestyle changes are considered the ultimate getaway in wellness tourism.
Where in the world
The wellness tourism trade is a growing market with the United States, Japan, France, Germany and Austria accounting for 59 percent of the market. Here is a list of a mere fraction of the places to visit if you want to work on your mindset and wellbeing:-
In 2013, European’s wellness trips raked in a staggering 216.2 million and is set to only increase in 2014. Since the Roman invasion, Europeans have used thermal springs, saunas, thalassotherapy, mineral baths, scenic and exploration getaways such as trekking the Scottish Highlands and Lake Garda in Italy.
The perfect spiritual getaways lie in Asia. With thousands of years old wellness traditions such as Ayurveda, yoga, Thai massage and traditional Chinese medicine, it is the centre of spirituality. Its rich eclectic cultures and historical temples really allow you to escape the modern world and work on your inner being.
The Middle East is one of the smallest trading areas for the wellness sector, however, it has a long history of traditions that cater to inner calm and relaxation such as frequent use of Turkish baths and Turkish massages but has also started to incorporate a range of modern techniques such as gyms, the NYLA method and revamping old spas to cater for spa enthusiasts.