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Restorative Experiences: Prioritizing Wellness in Travel

After the year we've all had, travelers are increasingly looking for ways to plan future travel and have a trip that truly allows them to bask in whatever soothes the soul. That's where preparing for and understanding wellness travel comes in.

Travel Market Report's recent Wellness Travel Outlook surveyed travel agencies and advisors across North America to gather targeted insights into the growing realm of wellness travel and what those specific travelers seek. Surprisingly, the survey found that many advisors have not considered selling wellness as a dedicated niche, well-packaged product, or are not sure how to start.

The report stresses that travel advisors will play a key role in introducing wellness travel to travelers, and it's up to them to steer their groups in the right direction.

When it comes to traveler preferences, advisors are anticipating that their clients will begin to think more positively towards wellness—a factor greatly influenced by the pandemic. Leading the way will be more affluent travelers and couples, with groups falling further down the list.

According to the report, top key client motivators for taking a wellness-centric trip were enhancing quality of life, a desire to take a break, experiencing something different or new, improving health, engaging in refreshing activities, and personal growth.

When it comes to client behavior in booking wellness travel experiences, 32% of advisors surveyed shared that wellness was an activity was an add-on to existing plans, versus 25% who said the traveler wanted new experiences and they in turn recommended wellness travel. The report notes that adventure travel or excursions are now often tagged under "wellness" and that because everyone looks at wellness travel through their own lens, advisors need to determine what their clients are looking for.

Ultimately, the survey reveals many advisors are already selling wellness travel in some form, but there are some who haven't considered it yet or don't know how to begin. With travelers knowing—now more than ever—not to take health and happiness for granted, expect this realm of travel to continue to grow.

Some additional key findings from the report include:

  • 71% of respondents said their annual sales volume for wellness travel is likely to increase in 2021.
  • 14% of advisors said their clients' total spend on wellness may go beyond $6,000.
  • Hawaii remains the number one destination for wellness at 60% of responses followed closely by Arizona at 57%.
  • For international destinations, the Caribbean and Bermuda topped the charts at 57%.
  • 75% of advisors said their preferred wellness travel training method was via personal experiences and an equal share chose destination information as their top resource to sell wellness travel.
  • For the most part, wellness activity was an add-on to existing vacation plans for 32% advisors and 25% actively recommended wellness products to clients.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.


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