Wellness Travel: A potential move for hotels

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Nowadays, society seems to be making a conscious effort to eat better, exercise more, and take a mind, body, and soul approach to its health. While traditionally holidays might have been treated as opportunities to enjoy the finer things in life and worry about health later, it’s quite a natural transformation for travel and wellness to combine.

Wellness travel is on the rise

The trend is proving a popular one and gathering momentum all the time. A survey by Skyscanner revealed at least 10% of Australian workers plan to take a wellness holiday in 2018. Over 30% said the reason for their trip was caused by exhaustion from work, indicating the modern work-life balance is out of sync.

The reasons for a wellness holiday included the desire to have a healthier lifestyle (25%) and a plan to reconnect with oneself (19%). More specifically 16% of Australians said they would go on a yoga retreat while 11% wanted to focus on weight-loss during their trip.

How are travellers reacting to the wellness travel trend?

In general, many businesses can benefit from a trend like wellness travel. The psychology that comes with it means wellness tourists are willing to spend more than other travellers.

1. A combination of wellness travel and food

While culinary tourism and wellness travel have existed for a number of years, as both sectors mature the relationship between them has become more pronounced. After-all, all travellers must eat and drink. The opportunities that exist here include agritourism, food tours, and a better understanding of where your food is coming from.

2. Millennials are particularly enthusiastic

Millennials especially are exploring what it means to be ‘healthy’ by exercising more, smoking and drinking less, eating better, and generally being aware of what their bodies and minds need. Millennials are increasing their spending on fitness and studies on mindfulness have resulted in more awareness around mental health and the effects of stress. Wellness awareness also extends into diet, exercise, medication, sleep routines, and general concepts of self-improvement.

3. Wellness programs are good for hotels?

Marriott is a good example. For an extra $30 a night, travellers can sleep in a “Stay Well” hotel room at specific Marriott properties across the United States. These rooms offer air purifiers, organic mattresses and anti-microbial countertops, as well as circadian mood lighting, aromatherapy and vitamin C-infused showers for healthier hair and skin.

Guests also get access to a Stay Well app, which has a meditation-training podcast; an innovative jet-lag tool; and sleep, nutrition and stress-management programs.

How to promote wellness travel for your hotel?

Most hotels already have some existing features or amenities that can be promoted for wellness travel. For instance, if you have a gym it’s easy to set up some classes focusing specifically on a particular aspect of wellbeing. Think meditation, yoga, and pilates.

Traditionally, this might have been all wellness travel entailed but now there’s a huge range of reasons people are taking a healthy break. Consider:

  • Stop-smoking retreats
  • Men and women’s health retreats
  • Healthy mind and emotion getaways
  • Detox holidays
  • Zen and adrenaline journeys
  • Family wellness trips
  • Workplace wellness retreats
  • Eco-friendly travel
  • Post-illness recovery programs

Most of these types of trips can be easily integrated into the existing makeup of your hotel, perhaps with the additional help of other businesses, a new staff member, and new plans and strategies. It shouldn’t incur a large cost for your business and has the potential to unlock new markets, delivering increased bookings and revenue to your hotel. Offering unique packagescould be a very effective way to incorporate wellness travel into your property and attract more guests.

Read more: Work with Airbnb: A good strategy for hotels?