Here's What Travelers are Looking For in a Wellness Vacation

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According to a new survey from the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA), nearly 70 percent of people feel access to spa treatments are a must-have component of a wellness vacation. The results of the Wellness Travel Survey were recently released the inaugural meeting of WTA, a new, Denver-based nonprofit organization that creates networking, educational, and marketing opportunities for the wellness tourism industry.

A total of 2,566 respondents participated in the online consumer survey. The survey included 16 questions related to demographics as well as wellness vacations. Participants were asked to provide their own definitions of a wellness vacation, and more than 63 percent of respondents revealed they had been on a wellness vacation that matched their personal definition.  The remained has never been on a wellness vacation but were interested in learning more.

The survey revealed that just under half of respondents (44 percent) identified a “general, overall reboot” as their main goal of a wellness vacation. Half of participants (49 percent) said they wouldn’t be willing to spend more than $2,000 on a five-day all-inclusive (not including airfare) wellness vacation, while close to the same number (45 percent) were willing to spend between $2,500 and $5,000 on a wellness vacation.

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When asked with whom they would like to travel with on their wellness vacation, the majority of participants responded “solo to meet up with like-minded people” (24.4 percent), followed closely by “with a significant other” (24.2 percent) and “solo” (22 percent). The majority of participants (84 percent) cited a variety of healthy food options as a must-have for their personal wellness vacation, followed closely by accessible nature (72 percent), access to spa treatments (69 percent) and a wide range of scheduled fitness activities (68 percent).

As for the type of wellness vacation participants preferred, nearly 8 in 10 (76 percent) selected “a self-guided program” with opportunity to pick and choose from a menu of options,” versus just over 2 in 10 (23 percent) who desired “a structured program” guided by hosts and experts. Sizing up their perfect length of stay for a wellness vacation, 48 percent of respondents chose three to five nights while 33 percent chose one week (seven nights).

“As a journalist covering the travel industry for over 20 years, I am thrilled to kick off the inaugural WTA Meeting of Members by revealing the findings of our first survey,” said Anne Dimon, president of the Wellness Tourism Association. “While the survey has confirmed things we already knew, it also revealed a few surprises. We know the results will provide much needed consumer data for both suppliers and travel advisors.”

 

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