As we all look to improve our health, wellness travel is becoming a popular option.
Wellness tourism is booming globally. Defined as travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) estimates wellness tourism was a AU$639 billion global market in 2017.
More than just hotels offering poolside massage, wellness retreats offer health-focussed programmes that focus on outcomes like stress reduction or detoxification. The GWI has found that wellness tourism is growing more than twice as fast as general tourism, a trend witnessed by Australian wellness retreat, Gwinganna ever since they opened their doors in March 2006.
Last year Gwinganna opened a new AU$1.7 million wellness education centre, where guest can learn about preventive healthcare strategies to take home. Gwinganna is about to add another two programmes to its existing 14 programmes and 28 wellness seminars.
The world’s leading retreats are continually looking at ways to distinguish themselves amongst the growing industry. For example, Mii Amo in Arizona focuses on spiritual healing as well as wellness. In Mexico, Rancho la Puerta focusses on fitness and integrative wellness, while Amanemu in Japan offers a unique hot spring sanctuary with curative benefits.
General Manager and Wellness Director Sharon Kolkka says that as wellness travel continues to grow, the retreat will likely continue to expand its educational offerings. Globally, wellness tourism is heavily concentrated in the US, Germany, China, France and Japan, with these five countries representing 59% of the global market.