In Trends

yoga on paddleboardMore than ever, travelers aren’t using “I’m on vacation” as an excuse to indulge in unhealthy habits. In fact, 1 out of 5 people travel with some type of health and wellness goal firmly in mind, according to Skift.

Wellness tourism is a $494 billion industry and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing. To help you get in on the action, we’re highlighting some of the top trends. Think of this as an exercise to strengthen your offerings to target and win over health-minded travelers.

Eat your heart out

One of the top things on the minds of health-seeking travelers is food. Health-conscious and food-allergic folks who follow strict diets can feel stressed while traveling without access to their safe, go-to foods.

Gluten-free (GF) fare has become so mainstream, it’s now sold on every grocery store’s shelves. But it’s not enough to simply offer your guests GF menu options. Certain kitchen workstations should be kept GF to avoid potentially dangerous cross-contamination issues.

The popularity of vegetarian and farm-to-table cuisine continues to grow, with locally sourced items joining the mix. You can tackle this “fresh is best” philosophy in your restaurants—and your guest rooms. Consider replacing traditional mini-bar items with local produce or wellness-boosting green juices. (Healthier vending machine choices should also be on your to-do list.)

Bottom line: Serving up good foods that allow guests to make healthy choices adds up to a better vacation experience and earning traveler loyalty.

Thrills & chills

The new “adrenaline and zen cocktail” trend mixes adventure with extreme relaxation. More resorts are combining activities like trapeze classes, surfing or stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) combined with meditation, massage or soaking in hot springs.

Don’t worry if your property isn’t on Hawaii’s North Shore or draped in acrobatic apparatus—you can hook up with a local vendor who offers simulated surfing (the current big kahuna of trends) or a studio that offers high-flying trapeze fun to create a package that delivers these exhilarating experiences.

Adios, Ayurveda

Ayurveda has been all the rage in recent years, but there’s a “new” practice that’s taking over in spas. Temazcal is an ancient Mexican tradition that involves steam and aims to heal both mind and body. (Believe the hype—people often describe feeling “reborn” after these treatments.)

Finesse your fitness offerings

Travelers are looking to keep up with their usual workout regimen, as well as discovering new forms of exercise. So be sure to have a good gym on-property for traditional fitness fans, plus out-of-the-box offerings like rooftop or paddleboard yoga.

Also smart: help guests get on the move with exercise-related amenities. Kimpton offers a kit that includes a map of running/walking paths and a pre-loaded iPod shuffle to motivate runners. In-room fitness options—like designated workout zones, yoga mats and complimentary exercise videos—are also coveted by travelers.

Oohs & oms

If your property is hosting an event, consider incorporating health and wellness activities to get everyone moving, motivated and inspired. Prime examples of this are yoga at Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s annual Weekend of Jazz and IMEX America’s Be Well Lounge, with its zen-like quiet room—complete with massages and meditation- and health-focused keynotes—to help attendees escape the chaos of the busy show floor.

These types of activities can work wonders for team-building at a meeting or conference, add some much-needed mindfulness amidst a hectic schedule or simply get event attendees out of their rooms to try something fresh and new.

Want to learn more about health and wellness trends and how your property can capitalize on them? Reach out to Lynn Kaniper at or call 609.466.9187 ext. 117 today.

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