OBONJAN, Croatia — An island off the coast of Croatia is set to be transformed into the world’s first ever wellness resort, as the wellness tourism industry skyrockets past $500 billion.
The private island, known as Obonjan, is currently being transformed into a wellness oasis by a British entrepreneur, and is set to host a six week event featuring outdoor yoga, massage therapies, meditation and energy healing sessions.
In partnership with events company Sound Channel, Croatian travel operators Gratiosus and CMT, the groundbreaking venture is the first commercial island development of its kind.
The eco-friendly project will cater to wellness travellers who are looking for a new take on the existing and oft debauched festival circuit, a trend Spafinder highlighted earlier this year in its 2016 trends report.
“Obonjan is a beautiful island and the perfect canvas for us to create something very different that combines all the things we love: from live music and DJs, to great food and relaxation, to inspiring talks and workshops,” explained Dan Blackledge from Sound Channel.
“We want to create an open environment that gives guests the opportunity to do as little or as much as they want, and ultimately leave feeling enriched.”
Partnering with a selection of wellness brands from around the world, East London spirit junkies She’s Lost Control will deliver workshops, classes and talks, while London-based holistic health centre The Well Garden will oversee the wellbeing treatments and facilities.
Additionally, Eden Labs, one arm of Cornwall’s indoor rainforest, the Eden Project, will work with Blackledge to ensure the island is carbon neutral.
Running from July 28, attendance for the island’s first ‘well-fest’ has been capped at 800 in order to keep the event’s social impact to a minimum. There are plans to increase the number moving forward.
Costing £10m to fulfil, the innovative concept has been funded by private backers as well as debt from a Croatian bank. However, according to The Telegraph, it is already on course to turn over £2.8m in its first year, after securing bookings from all over the world.
As wellness tourism continues to grow, destinations like Obonjan highlight how diverse the industry is becoming. Celebrating health as well as hedonism, Obonjan allows guests to immerse themselves in the general principles of a traditional music festival, without sacrificing their wellbeing.
Wellness tourism is entering the mainstream arena and according to Spafinder it’s only a matter of time before travel agencies and websites include services and sections dedicated exclusively to wellness.