Wellness Tourism Association Reveals Key Wellness Vacation Motivations

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In an effort to support the recovery of the wellness tourism industry, the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) surveyed nearly 4,000 consumers from 48 countries and territories to discover their motivations for taking wellness vacations as the industry begins to recover.

The online consumer survey was administered from April 2020 through June 2020 in collaboration with WTA member Danny Kessler, PhD, of Youngsan University in Busan, South Korea. Respondents were 54% female, with 73% between the ages 26 to 74, and close to 78% indicated that they already include wellness activities when they travel.

The survey drew a total of 3,931 responses from 48 countries and territories, with 80% from North America. It included 77 questions related to motivations, quality of life, subjective well-being, along with basic demographics.

The survey asked two questions:

  1. When it comes time to book a Wellness Vacation/Holiday, what would be your main motivations?
  2. As a result of COVID-19 affecting your life, what are some new motivations for going on a Wellness Vacation not mentioned in previous questions.

From question 1, here are respondents’ top eight most important motivations for booking a wellness vacation (figures are rounded off to the closest percentages point and indicate the number of respondents who selected the statement as the Most Important).

  • To return to everyday life feeling rejuvenated – 38%
  • To escape the demands of everyday life – 26%
  • To experience activities outdoors – 25%
  • To look and feel better – 24%
  • To connect with nature – 24%
  • To find peace and quiet – 21%
  • To get a better night’s sleep – 17%
  • To learn general ways to improve my health – 17%

From question 2, which allowed respondents to describe any other personal motivations for taking a wellness vacation in the wake of the pandemic, the top four themes were:

  • Social connection and the desire to be with like-minded people
  • The desire to be in nature
  • To improve mental health
  • To learn to be proactive about their own health, wellness and well-being (wellness relating to health, well-being relating to happiness)

Other notable results were that more than 20% of respondents said they’d be extremely likely to book a wellness vacation within the next two years, and more than 24% indicated that wellness “could” or “will” be the focus of their next trip.

“When compared to the 2018 survey with 2,500-plus respondents, the 2020 survey reinforces the importance of nature/the outdoors as a key pillar of wellness vacations,” notes Anne Dimon, WTA president and CEO. “As the industry begins to recover, we know the results of this survey will provide both suppliers and travel advisors with crucial consumer data on motivations for wellness vacations post-pandemic.”

A full and complete analyses of the survey will be released later this year. For more information contact the WTA at [email protected].

About Wellness Tourism Association (WTA): The Wellness Tourism Association is a nonprofit company incorporated in the U.S., with a mission to support and further the development of the wellness tourism industry for the global good. The WTA now has more than 100 members and partners in 21 countries. Cofounders are Accor Hotels, Canyon Ranch and TravelToWellness.com, with founding members Art of Living Retreat Center and the Monaco Government Tourist Office.

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