What Is Wellness Travel
In our current climate, most of us have heard the terms “wellness and well-being” thrown around for everything from beauty products to the rapidly-growing wellness tourism market.
Although many of us are familiar with the phrase “wellness travel”, how many can honestly say they understand what it means, and better yet, how to apply the principles of wellness travel to their travel company successfully? No hands raised? No worries, by the end of this blog, we’re confident you’ll be on the path to incorporating wellness into your travel company!
It’s been a few years since we’ve touched on the topic of wellness travel(opens in a new tab), and as it’s a billion-dollar industry(opens in a new tab) that doesn’t appear to stop growing anytime soon, we felt the matter needed a refresh.
The Wellness Tourism Association(opens in a new tab) defines wellness as “travel that allows the traveler to maintain, enhance, or kick-start a healthy lifestyle and support or increase one’s sense of well-being.”
As we inch towards a post-pandemic world, the wellness and well-being travel trend is here to stay, and we’re here to help you figure out how to attract wellness travelers.
Why Wellness Travel Is Important To Your Travel Business
By this point, you probably understand just how relevant wellness is to the travel industry, but for any non-believers, we’ll let the numbers do the talking. A couple of remarkable findings from market research on the wellness tourism global market are:
- An October 2022 study from The Business Research Company(opens in a new tab) stated that “the global wellness tourism market is expected to grow to 1.09 trillion by 2026.” That’s pretty impressive considering that in 2021 it was valued at 718.50 billion, and grew to 801.45 billion in 2022.
- A 2021 McKinsey market report(opens in a new tab) of around 7,500 consumers in 6 countries on the wellness industry showed that “79 percent of the respondents said they believe wellness is important, and 42 percent consider it a top priority.”
Now that we’ve thoroughly convinced you of the importance of adapting your tour company to incorporate wellness travel let’s get into some examples of tour companies that are getting it right!
Wellness Travel Tour Examples
Veg Jaunts and Journeys
A large part of the wellness movement is centered around holistic health and the concept that food is medicine. Veg Jaunts and Journeys(opens in a new tab) capitalizes on this by offering small-group vegan multi-day tours abroad as well across the U.S. Not only are all meals entirely vegan during the trip (as well as visits to animal sanctuaries & local vegan markets!), they take it a step further by making the trip an educational experience on cooking oil-free whole-food vegan meals, to nourish the soul!
Veg Jaunts and Journeys effortlessly incorporate wellness into their tours by providing a sense of community and belonging over a shared interest (veganism) and providing an educational healthy food experience while also participating in physical activities such as hiking. That sure is a lot! Not into veganism? No worries! The takeaway from Veg Jaunts and Journeys is to incorporate an educational experience into your tours, ideally in small groups, so they also provide a sense of community and belonging.
South America Rocks
Another excellent example of incorporating the core aspects of wellness travel into a tour is South America Rocks(opens in a new tab) rock climbing multi-day trips in Chile, Peru, and Colombia. Like Veg Jaunts and Journeys, South America Rocks provides multi-day tours with a particular interest, rock climbing instead of vegan eats in this case! The multi-day rock climbing experiences are in small groups, allowing travelers to feel a sense of greater belonging and community, contributing to an improved overall sense of well-being, which is the essence of wellness itself!
For the non-rock climbing tour operators, worry not! The critical takeaway from South America Rocks is to create a small group tour with a shared interest (whatever tickles your fancy!) to develop a sense of community within the group of travelers. Another important aspect of wellness travel that South America Rocks teaches us is the power of spending long days in nature, which is scientifically proven to improve well-being(opens in a new tab).
Asheville Nature Tours
Our last honorable mention is Asheville Nature Tours(opens in a new tab). This tour company focuses on wellness tours in Asheville, North Carolina, offering hiking, forest bathing (we’ll explain this later!), winery tours, and even goat or paddle board yoga! Asheville Nature Tours takes full advantage of the breathtaking nature of the Appalachian Mountains to provide wellness travel experiences that combine physical health through hiking and yoga with mental health through mindfulness practices such as forest bathing(opens in a new tab) (the mindfulness activity of fully taking in the forest atmosphere with your senses, at times through a guided meditation).
Still stumped on how to copy Asheville Nature Tours’ secret sauce for a successful wellness tour? No need to overthink it! As many tour operators already provide a tour in nature, such as hiking, walking, or biking, try integrating moments of mindfulness, such as forest bathing, into the tour by inviting travelers to slow down and practice a 5-minute meditation.
Asheville Nature Tours offers several unique tours, providing a creative approach to the “wellness” topic. We encourage you to get creative with your tours by incorporating wellness, whether it be a quick meditation or a healthy lifestyle educational experience, to attract a wider audience.
So Now You Know…
- What wellness travel is
- Why it’s important to your tour business
- How to incorporate aspects of wellness travel into your tours
One more thing before you go! It’s no use in putting in all the work to incorporate wellness into your tours if your website isn’t set up to attract the correct type of travelers! Ensuring that your website is updated is even more critical than adapting your tours to keep up with the trends.
Feel a bit intimidated to take this on all on your own? No worries, we’ve got you covered! Contact us today for a free consultation(opens in a new tab) to build the website you’ve been looking for!
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