It wasn’t so long ago that most people’s idea of a great holiday was lying on a beach immobile for most of the day, dining like kings and knocking back vino and cocktails with careless abandon late into the night.
How times have changed.
Today’s tourists are increasingly seeking out holidays designed to enhance their health, both physical and mental. From boot camps and running holidays to yoga and meditation retreats, the rise of ‘wellness’ tourism in the last five to ten years has been dramatic.
Global wellness tourism is now worth more than £5bn, growing more than twice as fast as general tourism, according to the latest Global Wellness Institute report.
More people are seeking ways to boost wellbeing, relieve stress, reduce illness with trips globally up 20% since 2015, the ABFA Travel Trends Report 2019 claimed.
This is being reflected in the number of hotels, retreats and packages now catering to this market. This more active and self-improving form of tourism is part of the wider growth of the ‘experiential’ economy driven largely by Millennials keen to spend their hard-earned cash on doing rather than having.
It is a trend that shows no signs of abating.
One of our clients who has built a very successful business in this arena is The Body Camp which offers holistic healthy breaks which incorporate fitness, yoga, meditation, breath work and life coaching alongside a nutritious 100% plant-based menu.
Having opened its first villa to guests in Ibiza in 2016, The Body Camp has proven so popular it has just expanded with a second villa in Mallorca which opened in May this year. With Mallorca fully booked since its opening, the team is already looking at further locations both in the UK and sunnier climates.
Founder Kate Whale launched The Body Camp after spotting a gap in the market for a travel business that combined intensive exercise training with the calming and meditative elements of a yoga retreat as well as the luxurious pampering feel of a top spa break, all in a fun environment.
We spoke to Jackie O’Brien, business manager at The Body Camp, about the secrets of their success.
“We offer a holistic lifestyle transformation and the feedback we get is that people feel amazing after staying with us. We look at all aspects of well-being, mind, body and soul.
“We do offer the traditional high-intensity exercise but this is alongside life coaching, yoga, meditation and breath work.
“Most people coming here are looking for a re-set of some sort and we send them home with the tools to continue looking after themselves in the long term.
“More and more people want to spend their money on experiences and a greater focus on health and wellbeing is a trend that extends beyond the travel industry.
“It is a key part of the Millennial culture to be super aware of nutrition, super aware of health and fitness. It ties in with the body positivity movement which means it is not about being skinny but about being fit and strong and happy with the body you have got. We very much support that movement.
“This growing interest in health and fitness is partly driven by social media but also by the fact many of us work long hours in very sedentary jobs so need to move more when we get out. The pressures and stresses of the modern workplace with mobile technology means people struggle to switch off and aren’t as good at lying around doing nothing anymore. It is more enjoyable for many people to relax by doing something absorbing.
“We suggest our guests do a digital detox when they stay with us and though some people really struggle with it they quickly become aware of the benefits of enjoying and living in the moment.
“By giving people the space to slow down and focus on themselves and their own needs for a while, our Body Camp breaks often trigger many further reaching positive changes in people lives. It’s amazing how a few small changes can be the trigger for something much bigger.
“We believe this trend for healthy holidays will continue largely because we get so much repeat business. People come once and love it so return the next year as part of an annual reset. We love the fact we send people home feeling better than when they arrived.”
At Avondata we’re really proud to have supported the growth of this innovative travel business.
If you have ambitious plans for your hotel or accommodation provider and need a fantastic hotel management system which will support the smooth running of the business while you focus on growth and innovation, look no further. We are here to ensure the success of all our hotel clients, so get in touch!