After a difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not surprising that more of us are looking to book a relaxing escape. But as the worldwide travel industry opens back up again, it appears as if wellbeing holidays will be top of the list of in-demand experiences.
Research from Weaver Brothers shows that there’s been nearly a 10% increase in Google searches for ‘wellbeing retreats’, as we all start to plan our post-lockdown holidays. There has also been a swell of interest in UK safaris, sky diving and solo travel, suggesting that some holidaymakers are looking for adventure rather than relaxation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The wellness tourism market has been growing for a number of years, including a leap of 6.5% between 2015 and 2017. And according to the Global Wellness Institute, it’s expected to represent a whopping 18% of all global tourism by 2022. By then, it’s predicted that there will be a billion wellness trips taking place worldwide each year.
More travellers incorporating wellness into holidays
It’s not only demand for dedicated wellness retreats that has increased in recent years. Travellers are also increasingly building wellbeing activities into other kinds of holidays, as research from travel association ABTA has found.
Its 2020 survey found that holidaymakers planned to dedicate at least 4.5 hours a day to wellness activities, from consciously avoiding screen time to participating in wellbeing activities like yoga, meditation, spa and holistic treatments.
At the time, experts speculated that the trend was likely driven by a combination of fast, busy lifestyles and better self-awareness when it comes to mental health issues.
But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, something slightly different could be happening. Life slowed down due to lockdowns and restrictions, but the past year has still been one of huge stress and anxiety. The need for a change of scenery and to prioritise personal wellbeing could be behind the latest swell in interest in wellness retreat holidays.
Top destinations for a wellbeing escape
If you’re feeling the strain of a very tough 12 to 18 months, a specialist wellbeing holiday could be just the tonic. But where to choose? Let’s take a look at some popular destinations for this kind of break. You’ll spot that they all have something in common, which is staggeringly beautiful, exotic scenery.
A hugely diverse destination known for its food, beaches, rich culture and long history, Vietnam is also unbelievably pretty. You’ll adore unwinding on its beaches, but you can also take your pick from extraordinary wellness resorts, including the famous Fusion Maia Resort in Da Nang.
One of the most stunning countries on Earth, Thailand is also known for its fabulous beaches and amazing spas. You’ll find both on the island of Koh Samui in particular, which offers everything from forest spas to secluded lagoons. It’s the perfect place to switch off.
Known as one of the world’s most ‘Instagrammable’ destinations, it’s easy to see why the Indonesian island of Bali has become a wellness haven. This tropical paradise is on everyone’s holiday wish list, and is the perfect place to come for dawn yoga classes, luxury spa treatments and nourishing vegan treats.