As 2018 comes to a close, one thing’s for sure: the global wellness industry is continuing to boom at lightning speed, and is now worth 4.2 trillion dollars. As part of the universal movement embracing all things health and a shift back to holistic, preventative, and natural wellness solutions, wellness tourism is on the rise. The wellness travel industry currently boasts a staggering 6.5 percent annual growth rate, which more than doubles that of overall tourism.
The increasing number of people looking to specialized retreats and getaways to combat the physical and mental implications of the fast-paced, high-stress, and chemical-filled contemporary lifestyle and improve their health across the board has given rise to a selection of niche holiday options for those filled with wellness wanderlust.
Step aside, juice fasting — these are the hottest trends that are set to influence the wellness travel world in 2019.
All you have to do is take a look around you in any public place to see how the smartphone has taken hold of society, with masses glued to their screens at cafes, walking down the street, and even when spending time with their friends. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Laptops, tablets, smart watches, television — the infiltration of technology is everywhere we go. While living in the digital age no doubt has myriad perks and benefits, the science is also showing that too much of a good thing is harming our health.
People are literally becoming addicted to their mobile phones and continuously seeking a dopamine hit from checking their social media. The blue lights from screens are contributing to sleep disorders by disrupting our natural day/night cycles, and our brains are succumbing to shorter-circuit thinking from the overstimulation of information distributed online. Enter the concept of the “digital detox,” where you abstain from technology and instead reconnect with the self.
There are an increasing number of retreats now offering programs that support a digital cleanse, such as Kamalaya in Koh Samui, Thailand, where phones and electronic devices are forbidden outside of your room with a program aimed at relaxation and encouraging your mind to empty of everything but the present moment.
If you are planning a family or trying to conceive, it could be the perfect excuse to jet off on a wellness getaway in the name of increasing your health in order to optimize your fertility, making becoming pregnant easier and bolstering your chance of the best pregnancy possible.
We all know that paying attention to your health is imperative when you have a bun in the oven, but many people don’t consider that their state of both physical and mental wellness directly impacts hormones — and therefore has consequences for fertility levels. If you’re having difficulty getting pregnant, the missing link could be the foods you are eating, the toxins you are exposed to in your skincare and beauty products, excessive stress from a high-pressure job — or, likely, a combination of these or other lifestyle factors. So why not head off on a fertility holiday and let the wellness experts at retreats such as The Barai in Thailand, offering their Vital Body Cleanse, or couple connection experience at Svarga Loka in Bali, bring your body into balance, release stress and nourish your body and soul? Happy hormones and vibrant health are just a plane trip away.
Transformative wellness holidays
You no longer have to choose between a relaxing holiday or an adventure experience when booking your next wellness trip. Becoming known as “transformative wellness holidays,” this trend embraces the endorphin release from activities that will have your blood pumping and sweat dripping, such as mountain trekking, kayaking, and abseiling — and harnessing this as a handy tool for mental and physical self-improvement and development. Many resorts offer this in combination with relaxation and spa treatments to help you find the perfect balance between high and low intensity, and help you unwind to a deeply Zen state after a day of physical achievement. Try it for yourself at New Zealand’s breathtaking Aro Ha adventure retreat, or Bali’s beachside Ocean Soul surf and yoga retreat.
A mind-blowing estimated 50 to 70 million U.S. adults suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. It’s no wonder, then, that retreats specializing in improving length and quality of sleep have exploded onto the wellness travel scene.
Whether you suffer from insomnia, restfulness, sleep apnea, bad dreams, or waking in the night, when you are running on a lack of sleep (and many don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours for adults each night), you are unable to function at peak performance. Poor-quality sleep is linked to increased judgement errors, lack of concentration, decreased accuracy and speed, as well as heightening the chance for more serious mental conditions such as anxiety disorders or depression.
Highly specialized wellness retreats founded on the concept of sleep enhancement aim to provide guests with a handy toolbox and mental reprogramming to improve sleep and thereby change their lives for the better. Learning how to sleep could have widespread benefits, from better athletic performance and being more productive at work to a greater sense of emotional wellness and improved ability to deal with everyday stressors. Refine your pillow time at Switzerland’s Grand Resort Bad Ragaz with their clinically-driven Sleep Diagnostic program, or discover Yogic Sleep at Portugal’s Six Senses Douro Valley.