Wellness Tourism: A Trend Worth Tapping For Your Next Meeting


Have you run short on inspiration for that next killer event destination or incentive package? Having trouble dreaming up some wow?

Behold the wellness getaway, grasshopper.

Wellness retreats now account for 14 percent of all tourism expenditures, and are expected to surpass 23 percent over the next two years, according to the Global Wellness Institute. America remains the No. 1 destination for wellness travel worldwide, with India, China, South Korea and Germany also popular.

But Miyagi, what is this magical wellness tourism you speak of?

Call it our innate sense of self-preservation devising a trendsetting, socially acceptable release from our fast-paced, high-stress world; a chance to restore balance, however briefly, and explore tools of a richer, healthier, more centered life we can take home with us instead of a souvenir t-shirt.

In a world where even our vacations have become hectic, slow, mindful travel is the antidote. Combine it with the equally alluring food tourism trend and it can be positively transcendent.

Good food, good hikes, good wine, good company; their promise is like a hot stone massage for the backbreaking event professional.

Where does one go to decompress? Wellness tourism destinations are as varied as our ways to relax and recharge.

wellnessyogaThe fresh air, nature sounds and burbling brooks of the country are perhaps the most common locales for yoga retreats, boot camps, cycling, hiking and kayaking getaways. Adventurous travelers can easily find more exotic fair however, such as manning the sails on the 160-foot schooner Zodiac out of Bellingham, Wash., or spending a few blissful days barefootin’ Robinison Crusoe style on Melody Key, a 3,000-square-foot island in the Florida Keys.

But don’t confuse wellness vacays with roughing it. There’s very little sacrifice on the menu, save for the Biggest Loser-inspired, weight loss-themed retreats. Besides, isn’t wine good for you? And chocolate?

Hoteliers have quickly climbed aboard the wellness train, and for good reason. A Stanford Research Institute International study found that wellness tourists tend to spend 30 percent more than the average guest. Hence programs such as:

  • Hyatt Regency Orlando’s Wine & Align yoga stretch and wine tasting classes;
  • Four Seasons’ complimentary scenic jogging, walking and hiking tours; and
  • The Sound Sleep Initiative at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado, with its slumber massages, Sound Sleep TV channel and snooze-inducing desserts. They even have a sleep concierge, as opposed to a sleepy concierge!

Wellness Tourism Worldwide and the Global Wellness Summit are good starting points to dip your toe into the cool, refreshing waters of wellness tourism.

Voyage reposant!wellnessbikes

Photo credits: Shutterstock. Top image: robert cicchetti / Shutterstock.com


Jay MacDonald

Jay MacDonald

Jay MacDonald is an award-winning journalist, author and blogger who incorporates humor and human interest into a broad range of topics. Follow him on Twitter @omnisaurus

1 Comment

  • Camille
    August 14, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you Jay! We very much appreciated the compliment for the work we do to in shaping, developing and promoting wellness travel and tourism. Many thanks & much gratitude.

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