Wellness Travel: Turning the journey into the experience
The pandemic has raised a spotlight on wellness in the travel industry which is why, despite being a relatively new segment, wellness tourism is now growing at a 50% faster rate than conventional tourism. And there are no signs of it slowing down. By 2030, it is projected to be a USD 1.6 billion industry.
Here is how tours, activities, and attraction businesses can make the most of wellness travel in their strategy.
What is Wellness Travel?
Wellness Travel is defined as a form of tourism that integrates activities that benefit your well-being. And more people recognise its importance, with 79% of travellers citing that travel helps with their mental and emotional well-being.
Wellness tourism can come in various forms, but what sets this apart from traditional travel is the conscious decision to travel for one’s health. That said, wellness is subjective and relies on the traveller to determine what is good for their physical or mental health. While there is no cookie-cutter approach, there are some things that tours, activities and attractions businesses can do to attract wellness tourists.
Turning The Journey Into The Experience
According to a recent survey, 75% of people said that travelling is more enjoyable when the journey feels like the trip itself. After all, travellers in 2022 want to make the most out of every moment, including the journey.
How can you make this happen? Through pocket experiences that add value to the whole trip like:
Hiring private chauffeurs who know the area's ins and outs can provide tours on-route to the destination as an experience opportunity. Gone are the days of tiresome airport transfers.
Guides for foreign transportation allow tourists to enjoy everything a destination offers and explore the way local people do without the risk of getting lost. In fact, 58% of travellers said they enjoyed foreign transportation in a new city, despite the uncertainty.
Private travel like helicopters or light aircraft can make things extra special and be an experience, especially if the trip includes a tour or viewing the destination from the skies.
When the journey itself becomes a positive experience, travellers are put in the right mindset needed to take a break and thoroughly enjoy their trip.
Wellness Travel Experiences
Through wellness experiences, travellers can truly unplug and recharge. However, there is not a one-size fits all approach. Wellness can take on different meanings to different people. For example, some travellers would benefit from regular travel updates to heighten the sense of excitement and reduce the stress surrounding travel. While for others, it is more about the types of activities included in the experience.
Make the most of the natural
People have been soaking in natural geothermal baths for years due to their benefits, but some operators have elevated this experience. For example, Gray Line Iceland has created a ‘Golden Circle Classic and Sky Lagoon Bathing Experience’, which combines a walking tour among the geological marvels of Þingvellir National Park with a seven-step ritual in the Sky Lagoon outdoor spa.
Native exercise classes
Exercise is vital to mental and physical health; enjoying yoga or traditional fitness classes from the destination can profoundly impact and create a unique experience. Moana Adventure Tours, for example, offers a private Bora Bora Island yoga and lagoon experience that allows you to take in the island paradise while being genuinely present!
Healthy catering options
Food is nourishment, and for many, their wellness trip is an opportunity to reset and get back to focusing on the basics. But it can be challenging to find healthy catering options, healthy food tours, or understand what is beneficial in foreign cuisine. Tours, activities and attractions operators focusing on wellness should include more than a traditional salad on the menu and consider appealing to the 'foodies' with healthy tasting menus or food tours and experiences.
Ultimately, wellness travel is growing in popularity, which means it presents a unique opportunity for tours, activities and attractions businesses to encourage more travellers and stand out among the crowd.