MASSACHUSETTS, United States — Travel planning and booking site TripAdvisor has published a rundown of its top wellness travel destinations around the globe, as wellness travel continues to outpace the rest of the travel industry.
Identifying the top ten destinations where travellers can retreat to focus on wellbeing, yoga, meditation and self-care, the list, based on the destinations seeing the greatest amount of related search terms on TripAdvisor includes Bali, Costa Rica, Koh Samui and Ibiza.
“For travellers looking to improve their spiritual or physical health, or just an escape for a digital detox, these destinations offer a wide variety of peaceful accommodations and experiences to revitalize the soul,” commented Brooke Ferencsik, Senior Director of Communications for TripAdvisor.
As a sector, wellness tourism accounted for $563 billion in 2015, up 14 percent from 2013, and is expected to grow to $808 billion by 2020, according to the Global Wellness Institute. A growing trend where tourists are seeking health and spirituality on their trips, 25 percent of travellers say they plan to take a wellness trip in the next 12 months, revealed a recent poll of TripAdvisor’s global Facebook community.
However, according to Well+Good Co-Founders Alexia Brue and Melisse Gelula, who shared their research findings on millennial travel habits at the 2017 Global Wellness Summit, 40 percent of 5,000 Well+Good readers surveyed said they would rather go on a fitness retreat with a ‘fitfluencer’ than head to a five-star resort, Fast Company reports. In addition, despite the fact more than half the respondents said they travel several times a year, 91 percent claimed to have never visited a high-end resort.
Driven by the age of social media, today’s travellers are choosing their travel destinations based on their popularity on platforms such as Instagram, with Indonesia being the country with the greatest increase in the number of people tagging it in 2017, according to the photo-sharing app.
Furthermore, because millennials are already incorporating wellness into their everyday lives, when they go on a wellness getaway, they want an elevated experience that builds on their daily practices, but doesn’t replicate them, argues Skift. This includes everything from a destination’s food offering to its immersive and cultural experiences — so much so, that we’re entering a ‘new era of transformative wellness travel, says The Global Wellness Institute.
“We’ve been living in a great age of “authentic” and “experiential” travel where even the most mainstream hotel brands aim to help travellers eat, live and spa like a local,” argues The Global Wellness Institute.
But, “the future for wellness travel is experiences that wrap people up in a dramatic story or sense of theatre, that can incite (using the powerful mechanisms of narrative and fantasy) that elusive, perspective-changing interior journey.”
This type of transformative travel has positive effects on wellbeing long after the trip has ended.
To explore the full list of TripAdvisor’s top destinations for wellness travel around the globe, click here.