08 Jan Top Wellness Travel Trends to Look Out For in 2024
The wellness tourism industry is expected to reach a whopping $1.3 trillion by 2025. The upcoming generation is driving this growth, and as a result, adults-only retreats are now catering to children and teenagers, offering multi-generational spa retreats. Health-conscious options are now available in all types of travel, including family vacations, romantic getaways, and beach escapes. This makes it easier than ever to prioritise your health while on vacation. Below are some wellness travel trends, destinations, resorts, and retreats that will enhance your well-being in 2024.
1. Biohacking Beach Holidays
Islands once famous for luxurious indulgences are now becoming popular among health-conscious travellers seeking more than just sunshine and fresh air. Today, beach vacations offer the latest biohacks to improve longevity and help you recover from late-night parties.
For example, at Kauai’s 1 Hotels Hanalei Bay, guests are welcomed with a vitamin B12 shot instead of the traditional mai tai. Besides, Within Wellness offers rooms and suites equipped with recovery tools like infrared PEMF mats that stimulate cell regeneration. Susurros Del Corazón, Auberge Resorts Collection’s newly-opened ONDA spa in Punta Mita, Mexico, has a wellness library stocked with Theragun massagers and compression technologies to boost circulation. In the near future, the hotel will offer in-room IV infusions to strengthen immunity.
Katikies Kirini in Santorini has expanded its spa to include a ZOE Bio Regenerative Wellness Clinic outpost, where guests can undergo live blood analysis or book hyperbaric oxygen chamber sessions. Six Senses Ibiza has partnered with biotech company RoseBar to offer guests full diagnostic testing that can help inform biohacking treatments, such as localised cryotherapy.
At Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, guests can visit the Soneva Soul wellness centres, which will soon offer stem cell therapy. Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea has collaborated with Next/Health longevity centre to launch a multi-day Longevity Protocol package that includes a range of treatments, from stem cell therapy to NAD+ IV drips, known as the fountain of youth.
2. Blue Zones Retreats
The popular Netflix series “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones” has reignited people’s interest in discovering the secrets to a long and healthy life. As a result, there is expected to be a surge in tourism to the five Blue Zones: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California. Tourissimo, an Italian tour company, has already introduced a cycling itinerary in Sardinia, which follows the Blue Zone Diet and includes chef-led meals.Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo is planning to host a six-day Blue Zones retreat this summer, which will delve into the secrets of local centenarians. Kamalaya, a wellness sanctuary in Thailand, has also created a group retreat based on the Blue Zones, which includes plant-based meals inspired by traditional diets of these regions, natural movement, and other Blue Zones Power of 9 lifestyle habits.
3. Grief-Related Wellness
In recent years, the world has been a heavy burden, with many individuals struggling to manage the overwhelming load. It’s normal to experience transient feelings of sadness, but persistent grief can lead to severe emotional and physical consequences like anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. Traditional talk therapy is no longer the sole solution for overcoming the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or a traumatic event.
New retreats focused on grief offer a range of activities, from surfing to chakra realignment. The grief recovery program at New Life Portugal, a wellness centre in Serra da Estrela Natural Park, includes meditation, yoga, and workshops on transitions, wonder, and awe.
In the UK, the Grief Space harnesses the healing power of nature during its five-day Grief Alchemy retreat on the picturesque grounds of Erth Barton manor in Cornwall. Surf therapy company Resurface hosts trauma resolution retreats based on wave riding. These week-long Sri Lanka and Morocco trips feature daily surf lessons, mindfulness practices, and group therapy sessions.
For those who are reluctant to express their feelings in a group, the resident hypnotherapist at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort accesses the subconscious to help guests manage grief and release emotional blockages. Hotel Las Torres in Chilean Patagonia recently introduced massages to relieve grief, designed to release oxytocin, the mood-enhancing hormone. L’auberge de Sedona offers a customisable Pursuit of Peace experience that uses aromatherapy, reiki, sound healing, and chakra reboot sessions to help guests find closure—no conversation needed.
4. Menopause Retreats
It is estimated that around 1.1 billion women worldwide will experience menopause by 2025. In response to this, the wellness industry has begun offering programs that cater specifically to women dealing with menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood swings. For instance, the 02 Beach Club & Spa in Barbados employs a menopause specialist and works with Bioconnect Medical Centre, which is one of the few clinics that specialise in perimenopause and menopause.
Preidlhof Wellness Resort, located in South Tyrol, Italy, offers week-long retreats for menopause that include acupuncture, massage, and holistic coaching sessions. Meanwhile, Marine North Berwick in Scotland focuses on diet during their perimenopause and menopause retreats. They have partnered with a nutrition expert, Amanda Hamilton, to provide detox-style meals focusing on metabolic and gut health. The Longfellow Hotel, set to open in Portland, Maine, in the spring of 2024, plans to make women’s health, particularly menopause, a key programming focus.
5. Sexual Wellness
Boosting your sexual well-being is an essential factor in improving your overall mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health, according to research from the World Health Organization. However, for years, the importance of honing the mind-body connection was emphasised without giving much recognition to sex. But now, innovative wellness retreats are breaking the taboo by introducing new programs focusing on exploring intimacy and desire.Tantra sessions are becoming the new couples’ massages, with properties like Hotel Wailea in Maui providing tantra classes centred around exploring sacred sensuality. Hotels like Shou Sugi Ban House in New York are hosting sexual and emotional intimacy retreats led by tantric experts and clinical sexologists. At Miraval Resort in Arizona, workshops on sex and desire and one-on-one sessions on embracing pleasure address issues like low libido and the female orgasm.
Earlier this year, SHA Wellness Clinic in Alicante, Spain, launched a sexual health unit staffed with gynaecologists, hormonal experts, and urologists. SHA Mexico, scheduled to debut this January in the Yucatán Peninsula, will also have a dedicated sexual health unit offering similar therapies and diagnostic testing capabilities. In October 2024, private island wellness resort Aerial BVI will host its first Elevate Love Summit, a four-day retreat focused on love-language mastery and rekindling physical and emotional intimacy.
Invest in Your Wellbeing in 2024
As the wellness travel landscape expands in 2024, now is the time to seize the opportunity to invest in your well-being. From biohacking beach escapes to Blue Zones retreats, grief-focused respites, menopause programs, and sexual wellness initiatives, the options are diverse. Prioritise your health, explore these enriching experiences, and embark on a journey towards holistic well-being. Your investment in self-care today promises enduring dividends for a healthier and more fulfilling tomorrow.