Spafinder Wellness 365 has released its annual Global Spa and Wellness Trends Forecast, highlighting the key developments that will shape the wellness industry in 2016.
The influential report, which takes a detailed look at not just what, but why, where, and how new developments for the wellness sector will evolve in the year ahead, acts as a powerful source of insight for businesses, investors and consumers.
Revealing shifts in attitude, evolving demands and new innovation within the wellness industry, Research Director Beth McGroarty explained the importance of the report, saying:
“Rather than focus on how “X is the new Y,” we strive to make sense of the sea of forecasts and identify mega-trends that are having, and will continue to have, the most meaningful impact on people’s lives, and on the industry, for years to come.”
With a focus on wellness relief, cultural shifts and new hybrid sectors in wellness travel, for an overview of the trends that could be influencing the way you work in 2016, carry on reading.
New Waves in Wellness
From the Silicon Valley startups creating surf clubs to the popularity of SurfSet fitness classes across the globe, consumers are embracing surfing, propelling the sport into the mainstream.
According to Spa Finder, as the sport’s popularity continues to grow, in 2016 surfing will become increasingly married to wellness at travel properties, man made surfing parks will emerge in a bid to bring “surfer wellness” to people in urban areas and a greater number of women will immerse themselves in the sport.
As LGBT rights and a new wave of feminism bring more evolved concepts of gender and sexual identities to the global mainstream, new sophisticated and more serious sexual wellness programming will emerge at spas, wellness retreats and fitness studios.
The Spa Finder report predicts the diverse sector will flourish in 2016, from new high-tech sexual fitness trackers and sex toys to “sex-forward” hotels and virtual “Adult Sex Ed” classes.
Building on the popularity of apps like the Kegel Trainer that target sexual wellbeing, the trend which remains largely predictive is likely to spread on a global level, as new innovations open up conversations about issues once regarded as taboo.
The Ritualization of Wellness
With an increasing number of resorts in the Americas starting to include unique Mayan and Aztec rituals in their portfolios, awareness and use of Temazcales (a type of sweat lodge used to perform cleansing rituals) will increase.
According to Spa Finder, it’s only a matter of time before Temazcal goes global, joining treatments like Thai or Swedish massage that were once strictly indigenous and can now be found at almost any spa.
As consumer demand for more cathartic experiences rises, treatments that combine ancient rituals, herbalism principles and healing methods fused with modern concepts and techniques are likely to become commonplace.
Wellness for Kids
As tuned-in consumers continue to realise the benefits of a 360 and proactive approach to wellbeing, informed parents are looking to integrate wellness practices into their children’s lives.
With the aim of instilling healthy habits in their offspring from an early age, demanding parents are fueling the creation of programmes designed with children in mind and the market is awash with child-friendly solutions.
From healthy cooking classes and yoga to meditation practices, Spa Finder predicts wellness for children will be the biggest growth factor in the spa and wellness industry for years to come.
Resetting the Mind & Body
As the world continues to become more stressful, Spa Finder predicts that a growing number of time starved consumers will begin to seek dynamic resolutions in a quest to reset their minds and bodies simultaneously.
In an attempt to cater to consumer needs, retreats that fuse intense physical and mental challenges with doses of spa relaxation will become more mainstream, creating new opportunities for skilled guides and manufacturers of high-tech equipment.
And as more providers turn to medical evidence to create “craft cocktails” like adrenalin and zen experiences, the relationship between wellness and medicine will continue to strengthen.
The popularity of festivals shows no sign of slowing down and Spa Finder highlights that as the industry expands a growing number of festivals will celebrate wellness in addition to, or even in lieu of, music, art, and debauchery.
As wellness festivals specialising in yoga, meditation and mindfulness become every bit as mainstream as more traditional concerts and shows, Spa Finder predicts that wellness events could become a category in their own right sparking the creation of a host of new wellness-based experiences.
The ‘Uber-ization’ of Spa & Wellness
Thanks to smartphones, taxis, dinners and groceries can now be procured with a click of a button and many aspects of wellness are also undergoing ‘uber-ization’.
Booking workouts, ordering juice cleanses and carrying out therapy sessions on-demand have already become the norm for tech savvy consumers and the type of services on offer will increase at a rapid speed.
In particular, Spa Finder predicts that subscription and concierge services are poised for huge growth in 2016. Additionally with more workplaces turning to smartphones to implement workplace wellness initiatives, new and innovative platforms will continue to be in high demand over the coming year.
Driven by some of the most demanding and knowledgeable beauty consumers in the world, the Korean beauty industry will continue to be a hot trend in 2016.
As global markets begin to pay more attention to the Korean approach to skin care – a multi-step regimen that rejects today’s need for speed in favor of deliberate and healthy rituals – the level of retailers interested in Korean products is predicted to increase.
And for those outside of South Korea, the industry, which spends large sums of money on research and development is a key indicator for emerging trends. A leader of innovation, for businesses and investors in the beauty space, it’s a market to be watched.
Much like the hotel industry, today’s cruiseliners provide some of the largest, most impressive, wellness facilities available in the world.
In 2016, Spa Finder predicts that wellness cruises will become their own category within wellness travel, as healthy beach travel and healthy business travel have previously.
Cruise ships will begin to offer medical tests and provide consumers with the opportunity to become educated about specialised topics. And, as some countries move forward with medical advancements it is predicted that cruise ships will become places of medical tourism, as well as wellness tourism.
Workplace Wellness Gets A Facelift
According to Spa Finder, as more institutions realise that the profit-maximizing business model isn’t sustainable, useful or morally acceptable if it doesn’t take into account human health and happiness, workplace wellness initiatives will evolve.
The prevalence of an across-the-board approach to worker wellness, beginning with preventative approaches to problems will increase. And as more employees demand better work-life balance, healthy eating options, opportunities for exercise and relaxation and healthier environments will all play a role.
All of these developments will lead to more opportunities for wellness practitioners, educators in field and providers that deliver wellness services.