Like a breath of air held for too long, people are looking to burst back out into the world. Nearly 2,500 consumers across 52 countries recently took part in the Wellness Tourism Association’s (WTA) 2021 Wellness Travel Consumer Survey to better understand the most and least desired hotel wellness amenities are for consumers investing in wellbeing for their post-pandemic travels. And the wellness travel industry may now have a clear picture of what to plan for in the next two years.
The Most and Least Desired Travel Hotel Wellness Amenities of 2021
The Bottom 5 “Not Important at All” Amenities
- Mental health professionals
- Fitness trackers and apps that can monitor things like heart rate in real-time
- Medical practitioners for one-on-one consultations or medical testing that could predict a predisposition to future medical issues
- Access to other wellness practitioners
The Top 5 “Extremely Important” Amenities
- Certified safe and clean hotel environments
- Purified water systems throughout the hotel
- Access to fitness activities in nature
- A hotel environment with sustainable and green practices in place
- Guest rooms with an air filtration system to guarantee purified air
Most notably, the top ranking offering ranked number one across Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer generations.
What’s Missing From Offering Lists That Are Still Considered a “Must-Have?”
Closing out the above rankings, the survey left an open-ended question for respondents that asked what was still needed in hospitality offerings. These answers generated over 9,000 separate words, however, there were three major themes that emerged from the general responses:
- Safety in terms of physical safety plus safe from exposure to Covid
- Access to stillness and quiet spaces
- Nature and the outdoors*
It’s worth noting that while “Access to fitness activities in nature” was included in the overall top five offerings rated “extremely important” by respondents, they also overwhelmingly went on to include references to “nature and the outdoors” in response to this open-ended question.
What’s Drawing in Guests?
The survey also addressed the factors that would influence travelers when it came to wellness travel over the next two years, and the results were:
- Flexibility (i.e. bookings and cancellations)
- Trust (in the supplier)
- Destination Management (i.e. how the pandemic is being handled by local lawmakers)
The vast majority of all respondents came for North America, with the demographic breakdown as follows:
- 40% of respondents were between the ages 26 to 39 (Millennials)
- 25% were between the ages of 40 to 54 (Gen X)
- 26% were between the ages of 55 to 74 (Baby Boomers)
- 64% of all respondents identified as female
- 43% reported that their annual income was $75,000 plus
- 35% travel with a “significant other”
- Nearly 60% said they had a Bachelor’s degree or higher
- Just under 57% were full-time employees
- 84% of respondents reported they participate in wellness activities when they travel
- And 61% reported that they are currently planning a wellness vacation.
Taken over the course of April, May and June 2021, the online survey was administered by the WTA in collaboration with WTA Research Associate, Danny Kessler Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Dongseo University, International College in Busan, South Korea. The survey was sponsored by the online payment platform WeTravel, and promoted by the WTA along with WTA Members and Partners.
The collection of 16 offerings selected to be ranked via the three-month online survey were based on academic rigor and literature, plus industry data and industry expertise. The survey was promoted via the WTA with the help of WTA Members and Partners and responses were collected via Survey Monkey. All respondents were given the opportunity to win one prize of a $1,000 gift certificate from Amazon. A White Paper digging further into the analytics of the survey is currently in the works.