On a recent summer trip to Maine, I noticed how my normal morning exercise routine was easily disrupted due to the ever-changing family schedules and various location barriers. The endless organic bacon, lobster rolls, blueberries and popovers were delightful, and without hesitation, I imbibed daily. We covet vacation time to reduce our stress levels and to take care of our bodies, yet I found it difficult to carry on with my daily meditations and kale concoctions and juicing while away from home. Like many others, I seemed to be more exhausted upon my return from vacation than well rested! With our current organic obsessions and return to mindfulness, many of us are looking to improve our lives through a regular healthy routine and we desire wellness continuity on the road, even during vacation.
For a growing percentage of individuals with high discretionary income, wellness has become an important part of their luxury lifestyle and travels. The affluent are still reluctant to engage in conspicuous consumption but spending bug bucks on experiences that are good for your health is on the rise. Wellness tourism is expected to grow to a more than $675-billion market by 2017 according to the Global Wellness Institute. “Wellness Tourism” is defined as “all travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being.” It is travel for the purpose of promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities.
More and more affluent travelers are demanding the hybrid vacation, including the ultimate service level that goes with it to ensure a healthy, well-rested outcome. Baby boomers and Millennials alike are looking to restore or improve their health on any given trip be it business, conference, or pleasure, and these tourists tend to spend about 150% more when they travel. From healthy menu-options, hypoallergenic mattresses and pillows, vitamin infused showers, water purification, aromatherapy and dawn simulation, leaders in hospitality and luxury industries are quickly implementing high-performance, healthy environments for their clients.
The yacht industry is also catering to this growing market for integrated wellness vacations with specialized yacht charters offering a range of wellness programs and activities to enhance, restore and revitalize the wellness minded traveler. To maintain a competitive advantage, innovative offerings now go beyond the yoga- massage-on-the-beach routine and include integrated design elements throughout the yacht, advanced lighting systems, air quality purification, and sustainable materials to support optimized nutrition, physical activity, and stress management. In addition, specially trained spa and well-being butlers are being hired to personalize each client’s experience both onboard the yacht and while visiting the world’s most health-balanced retreats and destinations.
The mindset established by the Roman poet Virgil that “the greatest wealth is health” has seeped into the lives of the affluent and is here to stay. Opportunities to integrate health and wellness into your marketing are endless as the next trillion-dollar industry opens new doors to sustainable luxury lifestyles and healthy business.