Developed by a team of research analysts, editors and industry experts, Spafinder Wellness 365 has revealed its 13th Annual Global Trends Forecast. Based on ongoing surveys of their now 25,000-plus network of wellness, hospitality and beauty providers, below is a highlight of the report.
1. Surfing and its related sporting activities (paddle boarding, etc.) are an ever-increasing wellness travel option for women, families and the wealthy. Available in more than 160 countries, there are a wide range of offerings: the cool surf + wellness property (spa and wellness offerings with surfing/surf classes); an explosion of all-female surf retreats; and a new wave of surf-simulating fitness classes and wave-simulating surfing parks.
Leading the trend: Hotel Komune Bali marries destination spa-levels of wellness with surfing and paddle boarding lessons at a famed wave break; SurfSet Fitness has expanded to 250 studios in 20 countries.
2. An increased amount of sophisticated, sexual well-being and literacy programs are appearing at wellness retreats, spas, hospitals and fitness studios. New high-tech sex fitness trackers, toys, touch therapies and sex-forward hotels are emerging to meet the needs of people interested in this emerging trend.
Leading the trend: The new WOMANOLOGY+ RESTORE HIM clinics at Southern California’s Hoag Memorial Hospitals and Shh Retreats, held in an European estate house, are where women take a no-holds-barred dive into every aspect of sexual happiness.
3. The ancient Mexican practice of temazcal (a Shaman uses heat, steam, aromatic herbs, ancient prayers and chants to connect guests with forces of the physical and spiritual world) has travelers seeking out native, authentic wellness offerings.
Leading the trend: El Dorado Royale, the Rosewood Mayakoba and The Viceroy are just a few of the luxury resorts dotting the coast of the Maya Riviera that offer authentic temazcal sessions.
4. Look for more mindfulness and meditation in schools, kid-focused yoga classes, massage for toddlers, wellness-centric family vacations, or just an emphasis on local and organic eating as poor diets, constant stress and hours hunched over glowing screens are taking their toll on kids. Parents are willing to dedicate considerable time, attention and money toward this niche that promises to be one of the industry’s most significant areas of growth.
Leading the trend: The David Lynch Foundation’s Quiet Time meditation program and family-friendly and wellness-centric Six Senses resort in Laamu Atoll of the Maldives.
5. A proliferation of high-octane adventure topped off with “après-adrenaline” relaxation at spas, resorts and wellness retreats is being seen. Medical science reveals that adrenaline rushes followed by “Zen” relaxation uniquely resets and quiets the brain.
Leading the trend: Costa Rica’s Rio Perdido, with a balance of extreme adventure and spa/hot springs relaxation, or the new CREACTIVE By Cirque du Soleil program at spa resort Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
6. Wellness festivals celebrating health and well-being while still embracing the spirit that makes music festivals so popular are proliferating.
Leading the trend: Wanderlust, which has a roster of festivals spread across a half-dozen countries, or the UK’s Innocent Unplugged, which bans technology and offers only pedal bikes and a giant people-powered hamster wheel to provide power.
7. New apps and on-demand options are providing an unprecedented level of flexibility, immediacy and convenience in the spa industry.
Leading the trend: Zeel in the U.S. or Urban Massage in the UK, both on-demand massage industry leaders, and manicure service Manicube, recently acquired by Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa.
8. South Korean beauty, for women and men, is strongly established. South Korea is poised to become the global leader of affordable, innovative and well-marketed products. Expect more Korean-inspired spas, which combine spa and beauty with fun for the whole family.
Leading the trend: Peach & Lily, a South Korean beauty product distributor, and Korean mega-spa chain, Spa Castle, U.S.
9. Some of the most impressive spa and wellness programming and facilities in the world are taking to the high seas. Floating retreats are a possible replacement to cruise ships, offering yoga sessions on deck, medical beauty treatments and indigenous wellness and adventure activities.
Leading the trend: Raison d’Etre’s LivNordic; Canyon Ranch SpaClub aboard the Seven Seas Explorer, set to sail its maiden voyage July 2016; and Carnival Corp.’s Fathom brand, which fuses travel with social responsibility.
10. Forward-thinking companies understand that a culture of wellness has a positive impact upon productivity. Expect to see more spa and wellness programs integrated into the workplace in unique ways, such as free yoga and meditation classes, financial counseling and mandatory vacations.
Leading the trend:Workplace wellness at Google, Apple and Virgin Group Ltd.