Vacations in the past used to include lots of food and very little exercise. Chocolate desserts, cream sauces, and alcoholic drinks prevailed. The only running you did was to get to the buffet line first.
However, for many vacationers, the winds are changing. One of the newest and hottest trends in 2014 is the rise of wellness tourism.
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), in conjunction with the research firm SRI International (SRI), commissioned a study to benchmark and analyze this fast-growing segment of travel.
The authors of the study presented it at the 2013 Global Wellness Tourism Congress in New Delhi, India. They defined wellness travel as "all travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing.”
The study uncovered a number of interesting statistics which have made many resorts stand up and take notice, including the following findings:
- More than one in seven tourist dollars are currently spent on wellness tourism, which adds up to $439 billion
- By the year 2017, wellness tourism is expected to grow to $678.5 billion
- Wellness tourism is directly responsible for nearly 12 million jobs around the world, which creates $1.3 trillion in global economic impact
- On average, wellness tourists spend 130 percent more than the regular global tourist
Whether it's getting guests hooked on juicing, sports, or one of the newest fitness crazes, hotels are reaching out to take advantage of the the growing market in wellness tourism.
For those who want to spend their vacation time hitting balls on the tennis court, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort offers several tennis packages which include accommodations, breakfast, and lots and lots of court time.
In Sedona, Arizona, the Mii amo Spa offers guests dozens of wellness activities to improve mental, spiritual or physical health. Visitors can reduce stress, regain balance, or just explore the outside world. They also have complimentary juicing classes for all guests!
Travelers looking for more of an adventurous trip can head to the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee in Georgia.