So, what are wellness tours and wellness tourism? Simply put, they're vacations that focus on promoting and maintaining your health and well-being. Global Wellness Institute defines it as travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one's personal well-being. This can include anything from yoga retreats to spa treatments to kayaking trips. And the great thing about wellness tourism is that it's not just for the super-fit or the rich and famous. Everyone can enjoy a wellness tour, regardless of age or fitness level.
In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what makes wellness trips unique and why more people are choosing them over traditional holidays. We'll also explore some of the best wellness tourism destinations worldwide! And special marketing tips to make the most out of this trend for those in the travel industry.
Why Wellness Tours?
There are many reasons why people decide to go on wellness tours. For some, it's a way to escape the stresses of daily life and rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul. For others, it's an opportunity to learn more about healthy eating and living. And for some people, it's simply a chance to have some fun and try something new!
Whatever the reason, there's no doubt that wellness tours are becoming more and more popular. In fact, according to Forbes, the global wellness tourism industry generated $4.4 trillion in revenue in 2020 alone, and the wellness tourism sector accounted for over $435 billion. It's a big boom in the travel industry. As more and more people are getting comfortable with travel again, people are looking for trips to pamper themselves or devote time to self-care.
This growth is driven by several factors, including the increasing focus on health and well-being, the rise of social media, and a growing awareness of the benefits of wellness tourism. What used to be a fringe travel niche is turning into a money-making machine for those in the travel industry.
Experts agree that self-care is paramount to emotional well-being, but there are eight dimensions of well-being that a wellness tour or retreat can support. Those dimensions cover physical wellness, social wellness, emotional wellness, intellectual wellness, vocational wellness, environmental wellness, and spiritual wellness. Retreats or tours can aim to increase wellness in any of those dimensions and often cover more than one dimension.
What Do You Do During a Wellness Tour?
So, what exactly do you do during a wellness tour? Well, that really depends on the type of wellness holiday you're interested in and where you're going. Generally speaking, most wellness tours will include some combination of relaxation, fitness, and education.
For example, many people choose to go on yoga retreats. These retreats often include daily yoga classes and other wellness activities like hiking, biking, and cooking classes. Many wellness retreats focus on weight loss or detox. These usually include healthy eating plans, fitness classes, and spa treatments.
If you're interested in a more active wellness vacation, there are plenty of options for you, too. For example, you could go on a kayaking or paddleboarding excursion. Or, if you're looking to learn more about healthy living, you might choose a tour that includes cooking classes for healthy food and lectures on topics like nutrition and how to destress.
A traditional spa experience at a luxury hotel could even be considered wellness tourism. A spa experience could include facials, massages, and other relaxation treatments. There are travel companies dedicated solely to spa-like activities like hot spring baths or Thai massages. This sect of wellness tourism is often directed toward women and group travel experiences, but all genders and ages can find something for them in a spa experience.
Wellness tours can be as long or as short as you want them to be. Many people choose to go on weekend getaways, while others opt for longer vacations of a week or more. There are even some companies that offer month-long wellness retreats! Longer wellness retreats often include more comprehensive programs focusing on education and personal development.
Best Wellness Tourism Spots
Now that we've answered the question "what is wellness tourism?" it's time to explore some of the best places in the world to go on a wellness tour.
Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations for wellness tourists. This Central American country is known for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and abundance of outdoor activities. Costa Rica is also home to many well-known wellness resorts, like the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort and the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo.
Bali is an excellent option if you're looking for a more tropical experience. This Indonesian island is famous for its stunning temples, Rice Terraces, and volcanic mountains. Bali is also home to some luxury wellness resorts, like the COMO Shambhala Estate and the AYANA Resort and Spa.
Thailand is another popular destination for wellness tourists. This Southeast Asian country is known for its stunning beaches, Buddhist temples, and rich culture. Thailand is home to a number of well-known wellness resorts, like the Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort.
If you want to stay closer to home, Asheville Wellness Tours offers a variety of wellness experiences in the United States. This company offers everything from yoga retreats to cooking classes, and they even have a mobile app to help you plan your trip.
Other United States options for wellness tourism include the Canyon Ranch Resort in Tucson, Arizona, and the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Hawaii boasts several well-known wellness resorts, like the Maui Healing Retreat and the Big Island Yoga Retreat.
Marketing Tips for Wellness Tour Brands
If you're a travel company that offers wellness tours, there are a few things you can do to market your business and cash in on the wellness economy.
First, it's important to make sure your website is optimized for search engines. Use keywords like "wellness tour" and "wellness travel" to help potential customers find your company online. Research keywords and phrases to ensure you're targeting the right audience. Try incorporating phrases and words related to your offerings, like "hot yoga" or "hot stone massage."
You should also create content that educates potential customers about wellness tourism. This could include blog posts, infographics, or even video content. You can then share this content on your website and social media platforms. While this may seem counterintuitive since you're looking for customers who already want to travel, providing adjacent content is one way to boost SERPs and maximize SEO.
Finally, consider partnering with other companies in the wellness industry. For example, you could team up with a yoga studio to offer a yoga retreat or partner with a local restaurant to offer a healthy cooking class. This will help you reach a wider audience and attract new customers.