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Wellness tourism is a rapidly-growing travel niche that is expanding 50% faster than the travel industry overall. For those new to this idea, wellness tourism encompasses aspects of physical, emotional, and social well-being, as well as healthy eating and spiritual health. Expected to become a multi-billion dollar niche, wellness tourism allows travelers to focus on improving or maintaining their quality of life.


Wellness elements, such as fitness classes and spiritual healing, rank as a more desirable vacation feature to Generations X and Y than to the Boomer population. MMGY Global’s Portrait of American Travelers found that nine percent of Millennials list a spa visit as the primary reason of at least one vacation, in comparison to five percent of the rest of the population.


Healthy cuisine, environmental beauty, sports activities, massages, and fitness classes were identified as the most sought after wellness aspects in the 2016 Virtuoso Luxe Report. As consumers become more aware, more advisors are developing an expertise in wellness travel.


Last year, Virtuoso brought together its top advisors to create a wellness travel community aimed to introduce advisors to hand-picked suppliers that will greatly benefit their health-conscious clientele. The idea is to connect like-minded advisors and establish a community that can develop expertise, share knowledge, and work together to create a better experience for travelers interested in healthy experiences.


One of the top trends in Wellness Tourism, according to SpaFinder’s Global Forecast, is Spa & Wellness for Kids. An increasing amount of spas are offering carefully constructed wellness programs for teens and young children. This trend is about parents instilling healthy habits in their children from an early age. The hope is that the exposure to the spa and healthy living will encourage the children to come back as adults and enroll in a more dedicated fitness and health plan.


Even though Temazcal sessions have long been a part of Mexico tourism, they are now the number three trend in wellness tourism. The ancient ritual incorporates heat, aromatics, steam, chants, and prayers under the auspices of a shaman.


Another top trend in Wellness Tourism is healthy cruising. More and more cruises are beginning to provide a larger amount of health-related options for tourists, including suspension training, kayaking, and on-deck yoga. Un-Cruise Adventures, for example, offers experiences immersed in nature, such as snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding. With the rise of wellness tourism, comes new and innovative ways for travelers to explore the world and focus on individual well-being in the same vacation.