Three years on from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, wellness travellers are still prioritising building resilience to disease with the help of medical experts and wellness therapies. There has been an increase in demand for affordable retreats in the cost-of-living crisis that offer incredible health benefits for all types of travellers – be there solo travellers, groups or even families.
Health and Fitness Travel has compiled their predictions for the trends set to dominate the wellness travel industry in 2023 and the best destinations to visit to experience these emerging health-enhancing trends.
More travellers are seeking to switch to a plant-based diet and enjoy more affordable and eco-friendly retreats.
Health anxiety, accentuated by the extremities of the pandemic include Long Covid, have left people more determined to maintain wellbeing of their body. Body immunity retreats are not only an opportunity to travel but also offer meaningful solutions to any potential health worries. Keeping you your healthiest, physically, and mentally, these wellness retreats offer opportunities to also take advantage of the best medical wellness expertise in luxurious surroundings in some of the world’s most popular destinations.
Top 3 Destinations: RAKxa Wellness & Medical Retreat, Park Igls, Atmantan Wellness Resort
A plant-based diet has appeared to have numerous enticing traits that enthralls more and more people as time goes by, 2023 is thought to be no different. It also appears to be a strategy to develop a healthier, and more nutritional diet, 39% of people in a recent survey planned to eat more vegetables on a plant-based diet.1 With more information increasingly being spread and consciousness to animal cruelty, by the animal product industry, is playing a larger role on morality with diet choices. Currently, it is assumed that 6% of Brits are vegetarian with 6.5 million Brits planning to convert in the future.2 Therefore, there will be a greater demand for learning how to maintain a nutritionally dense plant-based diet and more resorts catering to this with their menus and retreat offerings in 2023.
Top 3 Destinations: Raw Food Detox at Sianji Well-Being Resort, Detox at the Farm at San Benito, All- Inclusive Wellness Retreat at Phuket Cleanse
Animal Therapy Retreats
It has been found that being around animals can be hugely beneficial to mental health. Particularly in easing anxiety.3 Animal therapy can be used to target a range of factors in your life, depending on your personalised intentions for your retreat. It has been proven to provide comfort, reduce levels of pain, improve movement or motor skills, develop social skills, and increase motivation.4 Retreats don’t have to be completely rounded to animal therapy singularly however, the company of other creatures amongst other activities is still greatly advantageous. Whether it be a wellness tour, an adventure or sailing with the participation of snorkeling, a natural increase in mood is vital in a modern world where it is mainly appreciated through a phone.
Top 3 Destinations: Active Tour – Galapagos, Sailing Tour – Maldives, Wellness Tour – Iceland
The effects of modern civilization, the abuse of fossil fuels, contribution to the ozone layer, and catastrophic effects on climate change; a desperation to be more eco-friendly and concern over preserving the environment, has unsurprising influenced travellers’ attitude to traveling. Furthermore, surveys from YouGov has shown that 53% of global consumers are seeking more sustainable travel options for their holidays.5 Although, travelling does not have to leave you with a guilty conscious, air-free travel is not only an accessible alternative form of travelling but it can be as memorable as the holiday. The embrace of slower travels makes the journey to luxury resorts all that more special.
Top 3 Destinations: Gleneagles, Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda, Grantley Hall
In the current cost of living crisis, for many holidays are last on the agenda when considering where to budget their money. One in three Britons have the intention to cut holiday spending as living costs continue to rise.6 This makes a change from the rush of holiday goers in 2022 being twice the amount of 2021 with the release of travelling restrictions post-covid. But even with the influx of daily expenditure pricing, many are still eager to get a holiday but are looking for cheaper options to accommodate their reduced disposable income. Retreats that offer value for money and provide tangible wellness benefits are set to be a big trend for wellness travel in 2023.
Top 3 Destinations: BodyBreak at Galo Resort, Fusion Fitness at Absolute Sanctuary, Sianji Well-Being Resort
Emotional Healing Retreats
Discussions around mental health are becoming regular, with a greater awareness for the range of difficulties faced by different people from all walks of life. That health is not only focused on the physical but also the mental and emotional. Emotional healing retreats bring the opportunity for people that are living with depression, anxiety, PTSD and trauma to be exposed to comprehensive wellness experiences and learn the tools to live happier and healthier lives. To process emotions, painful life experiences, accept and move on. These comprehensive retreats use nutrition, exercise and a variety of wellness and mental health therapies to help travellers enhance their mental wellbeing in a meaningful and lasting way.
Top 3 Destinations: Sleep at Six Senses Ibiza, Resilience After Crisis at Park Igls, Embracing Change at Kamalaya.
Working Wellness Holidays
A great change from pre-pandemic to post is the accessibility to work online. A hybrid and flexibility within online working, in comparison to rigid in-office hours has seen an influx in people taking their work on holiday. Research by LinkedIn found that 39% of adults in the UK have worked from holiday in 2022 and 28% found that it positively affected their work ethic.7 The repetitive nature of working from home online has contributed to people’s angst to work in a change of environment. As the saying goes ‘change is greater than a rest’, it is therefore unsurprising as to why workcations were so popular in 2022 and looks like a trend that will continue to reign in 2023.
Top Destinations: Wellbeing Sabbatical at Kamalaya, Lifestyle Change at Absolute Sanctuary, New Life at Longevity Health & Wellness.
So much of our time today is spent online. A report showed that in 2022, adults in the UK are spending an average of 5 hours online,8 that’s nearly a third of the time awake staring at a screen. It can be hard to detach from the online world especially when so much of our day-to-day life is so reliant on it. Therefore, a retreat away where you can have a full digital detox, can help to reset your relationship with technology, making it a more positive one. If you are looking to detoxify from other substances including alcohol, drugs, and smoking, then a change of environment, where everyday stress is relieved and experienced medical professionals are on hand to help provides the perfect environment to help you kick ill habits for good.
Top Destinations: Rebalance & Anti-Tobacco at SHA Wellness, Digital Detox at Pine Cliffs Resort, De-Addiction at Santani Wellness Spa
During the pandemic there was a shift within drinking habits, it was found that heavy drinkers took to drinking more, whereas the moderate drinkers were drinking less. Many people found themselves drinking more than they would usually and are now looking to address their relationship with alcohol. Alcohol-free retreats offer the sober-curious the opportunity to Detox and improve both their physical and mental health alongside targeted spa therapies.
Top Destinations: Absolute Sanctuary
Family Wellness Retreats
Time with loved ones is precious and as parenting styles change, the traditional family beach holiday is being looked over for more comprehensive family wellness holidays that prioritise being active, exploring your wellbeing and making long-lasting memories together. On these wellness holidays there is often a range of activities available and opportunities for families to not only spend time together but also have openings for every member to practice or discover new own hobbies. Family wellness holidays give families the ultimate choice in a fulfilling holiday that will have lasting healthy effects and offer great value for money.
Top Destinations: Family TimeTogether at Porto Elounda, Family TimeTogether at Paradis Plage, Family TimeTogether at Forte Village.