Spafinder Wellness 365 released key findings from its 2013 State of Spa Travel report, which provides insight into emerging consumer trends in the North American spa travel market each year. A survey of more than 300 North American travel agents showed that 73 percent reported growth in hotel bookings, resorts, and destination spas. It also revealed that women traveling together represents the number-one way people travel to spas, and baby boomers—aged 49 to 68—continue to constitute the core spa clientele. Agents also weighed in on the fastest growing international spa destinations for North American travelers, which includes Belize, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua in Central America, and Argentina and Chile in South America. In Europe, Croatia, Czech Republic, and Turkey garnered the most responses, with Italy, Ireland, and Slovakia also making a strong showing. For Asia, Cambodia, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, and Vietnam made the most agents’ ‘getting hotter’ list. And in Africa, South Africa, and the Seychelles ranked highest. “This new data provides fresh evidence that what we’ve been hearing about the growth of the wider wellness tourism category is undeniably true,” says chief brand officer Mia Kyricos. “And it also proves that spa travel is on the rise in North America, which is the now the world’s largest wellness travel market, generating more than 40 percent of the total dollars spent in that global segment.” The survey also found that 75 percent of North American agents see wellness tourism as a rising travel trend, with 22 percent indicating it remains steady compared to previous years.
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