Wellness tourism is exploding and data about the industry sector is becoming increasingly available. For example, according to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism grew from a $563 billion market in 2015 to $639 billion in 2017, or 6.5 percent annually, more than twice as fast as tourism overall.
Recently, the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) released results from its first Wellness Travel Survey focused on what consumers desire from wellness vacations. A total of 2,566 respondents participated in the just under eight-month long, online consumer survey. Among key findings unveiled at the WTA’s inaugural Meeting of Members:
- Just under half of survey respondents (44.93 percent) identified a “general, overall reboot” as their main goal for a wellness vacation.
- Half of respondents (49.22 percent) would be willing to spend less than $2,000 on a five-day all-inclusive (not including transportation) wellness vacation, while close to the same (44.86 percent) would be willing to spend between $2,500 and $5,000.
- A vast majority (84.57 percent) cited “a variety of healthy food options” as a “must have” for their personal wellness vacation, followed closely by “accessible nature” (72.9 percent), “access to spa treatments” (69.91 percent) and “a wide range of scheduled fitness activities” (68.86 percent).
- Sizing up their “perfect length of stay” for a wellness vacation, 48.75 percent of respondents chose “3 to 5 nights,” while 33.63 percent chose “7 nights.”
- When asked with “whom do you/would you prefer to travel on a wellness vacation?”, 24.43 percent responded “solo to meet up with the likeminded,” followed closely by “with a significant other” (24.28 percent) and “solo” (22.72 percent).
- As for the type of wellness they “do” or “would” prefer, nearly 8 in 10 (76.73 percent) selected “a self-guided program” with opportunity to pick and choose from a menu of options,” versus just over 2 in 10 (23.27 percent) who desired “a structured program” guided by hosts and experts.
“As a journalist covering the travel industry for over 20 years, I am thrilled to kick off the inaugural WTA Meeting of Members by revealing the findings of our first survey,” said Anne Dimon, President of the Wellness Tourism Assn. “While the survey has confirmed things we already knew, it also revealed a few surprises. We know the results will provide much needed consumer data for both suppliers and travel advisors.”