Those that work in the industry might have read the heading of this article with puzzlement. After all, wellness has been building momentum as a travel trend over the past couple of decades; it's hardly just emerging. But we're not just talking about the meditation holidays, yoga retreats and spa breaks that have risen in popularity in the market, nor even the increasingly creative surf retreats, health cruising and on-demand massages that are fueling this lucrative sector. We are referring to the emerging trend of the 'wellness destination' as highlighted by a recent article by travelmarketreport.com.
The report comments on the way that the travel industry responded to consumers' rising interest in wellness, particularly over the past ten years, with moves such as incorporating fitness activities and active extras in travel packages "at all levels and across all sectors of the industry, from hotels to cruises and land tours".
It goes on to predict that the wellness destination will be the next big trend in the evolution of the sector - not the resorts and retreats that offer these services, but rather the destination marketing organisations that are looking to up their strategic game in order to appeal to the wellness traveller. Destination management companies will use their extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources to ensure the locations they represent give the impression of a being the ideal wellness destination in the eyes of this market.
One example cited in the article was the picturesque Californian city of Santa Barbara. Visit Santa Barbara has reportedly unveiled one of the key components of its new advertising campaign to be wellness, pushing the city's "unmatched diversity of experiences, and roots grounded in health and wellness" as a key attraction for visitors.
Additionally, the Mexican state of Guanajuato set up a Wellness Tourism Association a few months ago with initiatives in the city of San Miguel de Allende designed to entrench wellness into its tourism offering. Efforts include the 2017 debut of San Miguel Wellness Week, marketing the health benefits of the region's thermal baths, as well as events planned to celebrate International Yoga Day and Global Wellness Day.
The article further suggested that The Costa Rica Tourism Board will be launching a campaign in 2017 that centres on promoting the Pura Vida Lifestyle, of which wellness plays an integral part. The Minister of Tourism was quoted as expressing the plan to "further position the country as a leading destination for travellers looking to detoxify and reenergise both mind and body".
We believe that these developments are just the tip of the emerging wellness destination iceberg. Travel businesses that like to keep on top of the trends might want to start putting some thought into which regions might successfully market themselves as wellness destinations in the future. For that's the way the wellness-minded traveller will be heading.
Staying on top of the latest travel trends is crucial to success in this constantly evolving industry, but it's just as important to stay up-to-date with travel technology. If you would like to know more about the high-spec technology and digital solutions that we can offer your business, contact Digital Trip today.