Wellness Tourism: How Tourism can Aid Health and Wellbeing
We’ll go over some facts, testimonies, and activities related to this type of tourism that you can start offering to your customers today. Mental health has gained a lot of attention as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, so let’s see what the tourism sector can do to help. It’s vital to keep in mind that this is merely a complement to a person’s recovery process. This is not meant to replace or exclude standard medical or pharmaceutical care or treatment as given by doctors.
The path to recovery
We usually begin our posts with definitions since they serve to shed light on the subject in the most impartial and scientific manner possible. So, what is anxiety, exactly? “Anxiety is an emotion characterised by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure”, according to the American Psychological Association. Anxiety affects 284 million individuals worldwide (Our World in Data, 2018), and the reports claims that, during the pandemic and due to the safety measures, symptoms of depression and anxiety got higher (Nature, 2021).
In this sense, it is safe to say that anxiety is a process in which your thoughts are ruled by your fear of the future, whether it is something that will happen in the near future or something that will happen in the distant future. It’s our body’s natural response to a threat, and it has helped us survive since our cavern days. So having anxiousness among our emotions isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it acts as a protection. However, it becomes an issue when it interferes with our routine day-to-day activities. Our minds gradually paralyzed our bodies, and we have progressively stopped doing things we enjoy, such as going out to dinner, visiting a friend, going on a road trip, or even sitting in a park with other people.
Wellness tourism, “the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing”
On the other hand, the WHO defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” So, how do you achieve that state of “well-being”? Travelling is suggested as a more than plausible choice because one of the primary measures we must take to address this circumstance is to get out of our comfort zone.
After all, the mere idea of moving to go somewhere else forces us to leave that circle of security and invites us to set foot on a completely different scenario. In the desire to seek this kind of recovery, the idea or proposal of wellness tourism arises. In this sense, the Global Wellness Institute defines wellness tourism as “travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing.” Here we find a concept that combines two industries: tourism and wellness.
So, how about the figures? What role does health and wellness tourism play in the travel industry business? Indeed, quite remarkable. “The wellness concept is transforming almost every aspect of travel,” GWI Senior Researchers Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung claim, “and wellness tourism will only grow faster in years ahead, as it lies at the powerful intersection of two massive, booming industries: the $2.6 trillion tourism industry and the $4.2 trillion wellness market.”
In this regard, the Global Wellness Institute’s Global Wellness Tourism Economy report predicts that wellness tourism would expand at a 7.5 percent annual pace through 2022, compared to a 6.4 percent annual growth estimate for global tourism.
Travelling: a life-saver option
The BBC released Kimberly Davis’ story at the beginning of 2022, a lady from the United Kingdom who had been isolated for two years in her flat due to medical issues and the COVID-19. A friend of hers suggested they go on a trip to France together before things become worse. After two years of not leaving her apartment, she found herself on an airplane headed for another country.
“Getting on a plane, getting to France… was a nightmare for me. It was so stressful. And I thought at many points along the journey I can’t do this”, says Davis in the BBC video. However, everything changed when she saw the sea after arriving in France. “I was like… I can do this. I made it. This is going to be ok. This is going to be good.” Even her senses were completely sharpened after the isolation, which allowed her to enjoy most the smells, the touch, the views of the colours and the sea!
“This is going to be good”
She even forgot her mask at one point throughout her journey! When she came back to her room to grab it, she discovered that the trip had managed to make her forget about her concerns and anxiety without her even realising it. Davis was able to achieve this by taking tiny steps away from her fear: going for ice cream, sitting on the beach… These were all small efforts she took to get back into her daily routine. The vacation was “rejuvenating” and “life changing,” according to Davis. She also encourages everyone to take even a “baby step” toward reintegration back into society.
From yoga to creative writing
The next question is what activities you should prepare for your consumers that are looking for this type of wellness tourism. Even if you offer them just a vacation in the mountains or on the beach, that would be great! Yoga sessions, mindfulness, creative writing, hiking, spiritual spas, meditation, fitness, camping, and other activities can all be incorporated into your itinerary plans. All of these are activities that will help your customers in their personal growth, as well as their mental and physical well-being.
To help you to become a wellness tour operator, we wanted to refer to the world map that the Global Wellness Institute has prepared. In each destination you can find different activities: from climatic health resorts in Germany to Turkish baths in Turkey, highlighting also walking yoga safaris in Zambia or Surf & Yoga retreats in Australia. In each country you will be able to find something that best meets your clients’ expectations, and the only thing left to do is get down to business!
It’s important to note that the wellness sector isn’t just for hotels and tour firms. According to Market Business News, even airports are adding meditation spaces, massage seats, and green areas to roam about. If there is one thing that is certain, it is that the coronavirus epidemic has taught us to be more conscious of our own and others’ physical and emotional health. Everything suggests that wellness tourism is here to stay and will continue to develop in the coming years.
moonstride, our solution
In the tourism industry, having a CRM travel software is critical, given that the industry is always developing and adjusting to the needs of tourists. One of the keys to success in this industry is the ability to swiftly and easily join new trends and respond to customer’s demand. If you’re looking for a tour builder that allows you to manage your clients’ entire journey in one spot, moonstride is the way to go. Our platform makes it easy to create your own wellness itineraries in only a few clicks, allowing you to join the new industry trends at a fast pace.
Your customers, on the other hand, will feel empowered because all of your client and agent information is stored in one place, making it simple and quick for you to see unique travel requirements, preferences, and personal information. Their previous inquiries, quotations, bookings, and emails are all maintained centrally, allowing you to simply provide a truly customised experience, which is particularly important when building a wellness tour. Remember that travelling can cause tension and frustration for travellers, so having everything under control in an easy manner is essential to provide them with the peace they seek in this type of tourism.
Schedule a call to learn more about moonstride for yourself, and request a free demo to see what other benefits our platform has to offer for you and your clients.