4 Spa Trends that Are Shaping the Future of Wellness Travel

Tammy Pahel, vice president of spa and operations at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, offers insight on the future of wellness travel. 

With wellness tourism expected to hit $1.3 trillion by 2025 (according to the Global Wellness Institute), and 50 percent of travelers globally either traveling for the purpose of improving their wellbeing, the industry standard of spa and wellness accommodations has certainly evolved. Spas and resorts must look to the future in order to stay competitive, and match travelers’ energy when developing their programs. Tammy Pahel, vice president of spa and operations at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, is here with several predictions for where the future of spas will head in the coming months and years.

1. Combining traditional spa treatments with technology. As one could imagine, physical touch was not high on the priority list during the pandemic. However, this was an innovative time for guests to experience touchless treatments—think, sound therapies, a ‘charger’ for your mind and body, zero-gravity stress reduction, and more. Modern day, guest preferences have shifted back to traditional spa treatments, such as facials and massages—with a modern touch. Guests continue to combine the traditional with new touchless services for a new elixir of spa experiences, starting a new baseline for a typical spa day.

2. A focus on mental wellness. The more connected you are, sometimes, the less connected you are, and many people are seeing this as a mental health crisis sweeps our world. Spas and wellness programs have begun to focus on more than the physical by offering mental wellness experiences, such as mental wellness-focused retreats, energy healing and meditation-type services, and much more. 

3. Data accessibility leading to specific requests. As AI shapeshifts our daily lives, its accessibility is changing the way guests book wellness travel. Tammy has seen more people request specific treatments—whether focused on sleep, stress, particular physical ailments, and more, wearable devices and AI-generated data has educated travelers more than ever, and in turn, has inspired them to take specific action when booking wellness travel.

4. A focus on nutrition. In addition to traditional and innovative treatments for the mental and physical, spa-goers have also pivoted their attention to holistic nutrition. Having a nutritionist on-staff will soon be an expectation for wellness travel. This will continue to evolve as guests pay closer attention to their dietetic health while traveling.