A growing number of people around the world are making lifestyle changes, choosing to focus on improving and maintaining their health as well as comprehensive wellness. Of course they take their lifestyle choices with them when traveling, creating in the process one of the most important of travel trends, the wellness traveler. While this trend is not new by any means, it is gaining momentum, with some travel industry experts predicting as many as one in five travelers will book a wellness trip during 2018. Accordingly, any hotels that are looking to best leverage the wellness traveler must realize it will require more than a small but nicely equipped gym and a sauna.
Spas have been a popular amenity, and great revenue generator for the hotels that provide them for their guests. As the wellness trend has grown it has resulted in larger numbers of people seeking health and wellness solutions in every aspect of their lives, including hotel stays, and this has brought hotel spas into even greater prominence. Driven by the stress of their lives, many of these hotel customers are looking for much more from the hotels they stay with. These travelers are increasingly planning their entire trip around staying at hotels that offer spas, well-equipped gyms, and healthy food choices as members of this relatively new traveler segment.
The rapid and sustained growth of wellness tourism has proven this trend to be much more than a mere passing fad, and a powerful driver of hotel revenues. According to the Global Wellness Institute, in the most recent year for which they have figures, by 2015 the global wellness industry had become a $3.7 trillion business. Wellness tourism also grew at a rate of 6.9 percent between 2013 and 2015, which is twice the rate of overall tourism during the same time period.
The increased level of interest by the traveling public in health and wellness, specifically spas, has made it more profitable for those hotels that have made the investment in facilities and staff. Going forward, the trend should only continue to grow, providing another opportunity for increased revenue and higher profits for hoteliers.
In part two we will continue to examine the wellness tourism phenomenon and how hotels can maximize revenue generation from the wellness traveler.