Even amidst the throes of COVID-19, the wellness travel industry has been shifting and adapting to the unique climate the pandemic has created amongst travelers. Businesses everywhere have begun to catch on to the fact that after more than a year of being cut off from many of our usual comforts, a little bit of self-care can be a precious commodity, and this has given rise to a variety of health and wellness travel trends for the industry.
In fact, many have already taken the ritual of self-care into their own hands, prompting lifestyle changes that, as people re-emerge and begin to travel again, they want to take with them when they travel. Many of these, however, go beyond the immediate thoughts of exercise, meditation and yoga, and as travel venues seek to adapt to changing guest demands, there’s a lot of new trends one can expect to emerge, according to Greatist.
COVID-19 has certainly gotten many people looking more closely at the performance of their immune systems and supplanting that with immune boosting treatments. Wellness retreats, likewise, have started offering services that either cater directly to this, or even help reduce the strain of symptoms for people who are already feeling ill.
Ayurvedic treatments, for example, strike a good balance of a healthy diet, regular exercise, plenty of sleep, and stress reduction to help bolster the body’s natural defenses however they can.
Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku is a Japanese concept that has long been practiced by resorts and nature enthusiasts alike, however, it too has recently seen a massive explosion of popularity following the rescinding of pandemic lockdowns.
As evidence shows, being in actual, real-life, touchable nature is immensely beneficial for our mental health, to the point where biophilic design is obsessed with bringing more of that nature goodness into our homes.
Now that people can go outdoors, however, people are flocking to the natural landscape, looking to lose themselves in great wildernesses, across jagged mountain ranges or in the desolate comfort of the desert. Wellness spas and retreats across the globe are making nature a central part in their guests’ experiences.
Stress and Anxiety
Ever since the pandemic took hold, stress and anxiety have understandably spiked. Many hospitality venues, therefore, have begun to employ a combination of holistic and medically backed treatments, including counseling, stress management holidays to reduce tension long-term.
Spas like Tierra Luna at the Arizona Biltmore take this approach and add additional spiritual elements into the mix, to further encourage a relaxing experience at their earthen retreat in the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Meanwhile, in that same region, Castle Hot Springs Resort offers access a fully-developed wellness menu of hand-selected services such as meditation coaching in addition to access to the surrounding mountainous landscape.
Rest and Relaxation
While we have talked extensively about temperature and lighting’s role in circadian rhythm, it goes without saying that stress can seriously disrupt the routine as well. And the past year has given us no shortage of sleep-ruining stress, according to research by the Sleep Council.
In working to combat this plague of unrest, holistic solutions like those provided by the Mayan Chablé Yucatán combine serenity, sustainability, and indigenous ceremonies such as temescal (steam house) treatments designed to unwind. It also offers floatation therapy, which helps guests reach a deep state of relaxation equivalent to 8 hours of sleep.
In addition to stress, the time people spent looking at screens also saw a significant uptick. Organizations have expressed their own concern regarding the trend, but many people have already taken notice how too much screen time has been affecting their mood and wellbeing.
This has led to the rise of digital detoxes in big, remote locations. For instance, at the start of a stay in the Digital Detox Cabin in the UK, guests have their phones confiscated for the duration of the stay. Meanwhile, Black Tomato’s Get Lost escapes play up a more adventurous aspect, dropping clients into a remote undisclosed location where they need to find their way back out based on their own wits.
As it turns out, the trend of travelling locally that started in 2020 shows no signs of decreasing. In fact, people have begun to realize that a nice local retreat with a substantive selection of services and activities can provide a more nourishing vacation than scenery hopping.
In Europe, Original Travel has launched a collection of “Local Frontiers” tours that showcase lesser-known sides to short-haul destinations, ranging from road trips around Norway’s Lofoten Islands to bison tracking in the wilds of Transylvania.
Low Impact Activity
With everyone staying indoors, carbon emissions saw a massive drop in 2020 and with everyone across the globe attentive to the current climate situations, people and businesses alike have begun to reconsider the impact of their actions on the environment.
Aside from cycling, hiking and walking holidays, many designers and construction firms have taken to crafting carbon-neutral facilities that leave less of an impact on the environment while bringing guests up close and personal to the landscape.
Six Senses has developed this oath to sustainability as part of their resort structure, and their most recent location in Ibiza offers guests a relaxing and luxurious stay along the Spanish coast at a net-zero cost to the environment.