Room for boom in spiritual treatments, finds report

Meditation in Music Pavilion, Ananda in the Himalayas, Rishikesh, India

A pioneering study by Health Tourism Worldwide in cooperation with the Wellness Tourism Association finds that spiritual practices and treatments based on local, natural resources represent the highest growth potential in the wellness tourism market leading up to 2030. Academic researchers find that sport and fitness as well as medical wellness propositions also show potential through to 2030.

The Wellness Tourism 2030 Post-Covid-19 Report is the first study to compare the perspectives of industry leaders with academic researchers resulting in the refocusing of the main global and regional trends in wellness motivated travel in 2025-2030.

The findings confirm that wellness has several facets and the industry should be open to new products and ideas, such as spirituality/wellness oriented festivals. The results suggest that resort spas, lifestyle-oriented resorts and eco spas and wellness centres can represent great growth potential, whereas workplace wellness trips should not expect significant development.

Popularity of services and facility types can vary by market segments as well as by geographical areas. Although wellness, as a concept, enjoys global interest, the ways in which it is used in hospitality, healthcare and destination development very much depend on the local circumstances.


According to both industry leaders and researchers, single men will be the leading segment for wellness travel in the Middle East region


For example, industry representatives believe that in the USA it is solo female travellers who remain the dominant market segment for the wellness travel product. In Europe, however, the results suggest a more balanced segment mix with couples, groups of friend, families and guests who look for healthy options, in general.

According to both industry leaders and researchers, single men will be the leading segment for wellness travel in the Middle East.

Travellers want to incorporate more wellness into their trips and wellness is one of the main motivations for travel. Industry leaders are focused on the physical nature of wellness treatments and programmes, while academia point to the intended outcome and benefits of those treatments and programmes.

Laszlo Puczko, CEO of Health Tourism Worldwide said, “We are surprised that industry respondents discussed treatments and services in term of what is offered, whereas academia suggests that we should focus on the expected outcomes of those treatments and programmes.”

Industry representatives believe that de-stress, recharge and relaxation will lead the demand for wellness trips, whereas academia respondents stress the importance of self-healing, fitness and also as a personal reward.

The Wellness Travel 2030 Post Covid-19 study results highlight that travellers want to know and understand more about wellness travel. They will actively seek out relevant services, hotels, resorts, retreats and destinations. Post-pandemic wellness-minded travellers will make decisions about their travels much closer to the actual date of travel, and likely they will prefer destinations that are closer to home.

“As both industry and academic respondents agree – the future of wellness tourism is bright,” says Anne Dimon, President and CEO of the Wellness Tourism Association. “Over the last year, so many more people have come to realize the true value of good health, and it is these same people who will fuel the demand for everything that the industry embraces.”