The organization’s 13th annual Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast details the top 10 trends that will shape the wellness, hospitality and travel industries in 2016. Trends include children’s health, workplace wellness, and healthy sexuality.
Spafinder Wellness 365™ has released its 13th annual Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast, a guide to the top ten trends poised to shape the wellness, hospitality, travel and spa industries and chart new territory in wellness for consumers in the new year.
The 2016 Forecast takes a detailed look at not just what, but why, where, and how, new directions in wellness will evolve in the year ahead. The full report can be read here.
This year’s trends show wellness stepping in to meet the challenges of major societal crises, including a rising generation of children who are stressed, anxious and overwhelmed at unprecedented and alarming levels, and adults who are suffering the effects of a hyper-connected workplace, demanding hours, and sedentary habits. Another emerging issue is healthy sexuality, as providers eschew the extremes of sensationalism and shame to shape new models for exploring and developing individual sexual wellness and happiness.
The trends also reflect people’s ongoing desire to bring more health and wellness into their current forms of escape, including new hybrid sectors of wellness travel. And with travelers’ unquenchable thirst for ancient, authentic experiences, Mexico will see renewed attention for its Mayan temazcal rituals.
The 2016 Spa & Wellness Top 10 Trends:
· Surf’s Up! New Waves in Wellness – Surfing (and spinoffs like standup paddle boarding) is fast becoming a new wellness travel genre. It’s rapidly expanding (to women, families, the wealthy—and in 160 countries from the North Shore to the North Sea) and we’re seeing a wide range of offerings: the cool surf + wellness property (blending spa and wellness offerings with surfing/surf classes, at every price point), an explosion of welcoming all-female surf retreats, and a new wave of surf-simulating fitness classes and wave-simulating surfing parks.
· Sexual Wellbeing: Taboo No More – Every kind of wellness is now promoted, but sexual wellbeing, in a culture where sex is often about sensationalism and shame, has been left out of the equation. Change is underway: more sophisticated sexual wellbeing and literacy programming at wellness retreats, spas, hospitals and fitness studios, and everything from newhigh-tech sex fitness trackers and “toys,” to some out there touch therapies, to sex-forward hotels.
· Temazcal (temas’kal) – After thousands of years healing indigenous peoples, the ancient Mexican practice of temazcal (an elaborate ritual in which a trained shaman uses heat, steam, aromatic herbs, and ancient prayers and chants to connect guests with forces of the physical and spiritual world) is the latest manifestation of travelers seeking out native, authentic wellness offerings.
· Parenting Well: Serious Spa & Wellness for Kids – Poor diets, constant stress, and hours hunched over glowing screens are taking their toll on kids. This year 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, organic eating, as parents reveal themselves willing to dedicate considerable time, attention, and, yes, money toward this niche that promises to be one of the industry’s most significant areas of growth.
· The Adrenaline and Zen Cocktail: Resetting the Mind & Body – More extreme adventure travel is the zeitgeist, and we’re seeing a dizzying proliferation of high-octane adventure topped off with “après-adrenaline” relaxation at spas, resorts and wellness retreats. The medical science reveals why this seemingly paradoxical contrast therapy is addictive: adrenaline rushes followed by “Zen” relaxation uniquely reset and quiet the brain, and result in the most blissed-out relaxation. The new adrenaline + relaxation combos are less a paradox than a destination…and more destinations are serving up this mind-body cocktail.
· Well-Fests: Festivals Shift from Wasted to Wellness – The latest festival trend is wellness. Wellness festivals are cropping up all over the globe, celebrating health and wellbeing while still embracing the spirit that makes music festivals so popular (many of which are also adding wellness components to their own lineup). 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.
· On Demand: Uber-izing Spa & Wellness – Apps and on-demand services are revolutionizing dozens of industries, including beauty and wellness. These new on-demand options provide an unprecedented level of flexibility, immediacy, and convenience, and many established industry leaders are also adding or partnering with on-demand services.
· Skin Care Gets Seoul-ful: The Korean Beauty Explosion 2.0 – South Korean beauty was an emerging trend in 2015, but that was just the beginning. Whether it’s full-service spas, a seemingly limitless variety of facemasks, or 10-step skin-care routines, Korean beauty, for women and men, is much more than just a fad. Look for South Korea to become the global leader of affordable, innovative, and well-marketed products and more Korean-inspired spas, which combine spa and beauty with fun for the whole family.
· Healthy Cruising: The Ship of Excess Has Set Sail – Wellness is boarding ship, allowing travelers to de-stress and keep healthy while onboard and even once they dock. In 2016, think less cruise ship and more floating retreat as some of the most impressive spa and wellness programming and facilities in the world take to the high seas. Look for everything from yoga sessions on deck to medical beauty treatments to indigenous wellness and adventure activities while docked.
· Workplace Wellness Wakes Up – The idea of wellness in the workplace has been around since the ‘70s, but it remains a luxury for most global workers. Forward-thinking companies understand that a culture of wellness has a positive impact upon productivity, and narrowly focused programs are metastasizing into an all-encompassing environment that fuses company welfare to employee wellness. In the next five years, expect to see more spa and wellness integrated into the workplace in unique ways. (Think free yoga and meditation classes, financial counseling and mandatory vacations.)
The 2016 Forecast is the result of research by the company’s team of analysts, editors and industry experts, and based on ongoing surveys of, interviews with, and visits to the 25,000-plus spa, wellness and beauty providers in the Spafinder Wellness 365 network.