Speaker, researcher and travel writer Camille Hoheb is also the founder of Wellness Tourism Worldwide, which recently released the "2013 Wellness Travel Trends" report. The findings offer an interesting insight into the way that travel, for many people, has become far more than a just refreshing change of location.
Wellness Tourism Worldwide is an organisation dedicated to “improving well-being and economic growth through travel”. The organisation provides market intelligence and education, including surveys and reports, seminars and workshops. WTW's latest research shows that the concept of wellness has become a major influence around the world, not only on travellers, but also the destinations, accommodation and service providers they choose to visit.
The "Top 10 Trends in Wellness Travel" include a number of revealing contemporary holiday preferences that offer a balance against the pressures of modern life. The full list is below, but certain trends stand out for their relevance, especially when considering the rise in private villa rentals
in locations such as Phuket
, Koh Samui
• Wellness Takes Flight
• Health-Focused Hotels
• Digital Detox
• Reconnecting through Nature
• Sleep at the Forefront
• Spiritual Seekers
• Indigenous Healing Experiences
• Rewarding with Wellness Travel
• Celebrity Instructor Retreats
• Intergenerational Family Holiday
A focus on the personal benefits of travel as opposed to external attractions is of particular note in the above list. Individual priorities such as disconnecting with the digital world in favour of the natural one, healing rather than escapism, suggest many people's concept of what a holiday really means is rapidly changing.
A break from mobile devices, says the report, clears the way to being more rested and productive, also pointing out that many destinations are beginning to fully leverage their landscape in response to the human need to explore and relax outdoors.
Sleep has also risen from the realms of the ignored to the significant. Lack of peaceful slumber impacts on immune, brain and metabolic systems and the report says the travel industry has caught on that sleep is a pillar required for good health. Simple and sophisticated sleep products now range from board certified medical consults with sleep specialists to simple blackout curtains, soundproofing and music. Even airlines take sleeping to a whole new level, with planes such as the A380 aircraft redesigned for a peaceful snooze, and well-appointed linens on full size beds and turn down services in first class private cabins.
Access to authentic healing traditions is also an important trend. Exporting a region’s traditional healing practices gives visitors the opportunity to experience them first hand at their place of origin, says the report. Travellers seeking health and healing traditions also contribute to cultural conservation and sustainability, in some cases stimulating economic growth and breathing new life into long forgotten, ancient or undervalued rituals.
Another significant feature of the research is that multigenerational family travel is a trend that has been growing the last few years. The report sites an ageing world population, lifestyle changes and a tight economy as significant factors. The report shows that grandparents are connecting with grandchildren in a distinct way, by travelling and that vacations create memories — taking family relations from cyberspace to real space.
The above examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wellness travel
, and the WTW report goes into each trend in much more detail, highlighting the way travel companies, hospitality providers and specialists are matching the needs of today's increasingly holistic global travellers.
Interestingly, by renting a private holiday villa, you now have the opportunity to experience many of these rewarding new trends without too much effort. The seclusion, facilities and services on offer at a private villa let you decide exactly which personal holiday pursuits you would like to enjoy and a choice of additional options can easily be arranged.
Whether its local massage therapies and private yoga instruction or mountain bike tours and family expeditions, planning a villa break around your own personal wellness list can soon turn an enjoyable holiday into a re-awakening of the body and soul.
by LVH Marketing