Spa and wellness trends

Spafinder Wellness 365 has released its 11th annual trends report of the top 10 spa and wellness trends spanning the globe, focusing on where, why and how people will spa, exercise and “get their wellness on” in the year ahead.

Spafinder Wellness 365 provides an in-depth look at forecasting the most significant global trends that will impact the hospitality, spa and wellness industry, as well as consumers in 2014. Developed by a team of research analysts, editors and industry experts, the report is based on ongoing surveys of the 20,000 plus spa, wellness and beauty providers in the Spafinder Wellness 365 network. Additionally, the company’s research and editorial teams conducted extensive analysis of current market research, interviewed thousands of travel agents, surveyed hundreds of thousands of consumers, plus, visited spa and wellness locations across the globe.
“This is a landmark year for consumers and the industry, as wellness takes on new dimensions and becomes a key ingredient in travel and technology; spas help people face life challenges; and new fitness and beauty trends help us all be healthier,” shares Susie Ellis, president of Spafinder Wellness, Inc.

The top 10 global spa and wellness trends for 2014 are:

1. Healthy hotels 2.0
In 2013, we explored how many hotels were on a health kick rebranding around wellness. In 2014 ‘Healthy Hotels’ becomes a megatrend fulfilling the profound human need for restorative travel and helping people stay well on the road.

2. Wired wellness
For some, connecting the words ‘wired and wellness’ is counterintuitive, especially as we are tethered to mobile phones, computers and tablets every waking minute. It turns out we can actually turn our wired lives into a wellness tool. Today there are hundreds of fitness apps out there to help you get in shape, get healthy and keep your fitness goals on track.

3. Hot springs heat up
Bathing in hot springs may be the oldest ‘spa’ experience in the world, even predating Roman times, but it is also incredibly on trend in 2014. There has never been a hotter moment for thermal springs, with more and more people seeking out this affordable, social, beneficial and natural therapeutic spa experience. With hot springs existing in virtually every corner of the world, governments and developers alike have taken notice and are funding hundreds of new, exciting projects around the globe.

Industry inspiration: Check out China’s Mission Hills Resort, located within the volcanic region of exotic Hainan Island; it boasts the biggest spa in the world and features an impressive 168 pools.
4. Suspending gravity
A distinct ‘suspending gravity’ or ‘floating’ trend is rising as people have an increased psychological and physical desire to disconnect from our hyper-connected society. We are seeing more weightless stress and mind-melting flotation tanks, chambers and pools at spas. On the fitness front, there is a global craze for aerial and anti-gravity classes and yoga, along with new equipment like anti-gravity treadmills.

Industry inspiration:  Check out Amangiri’s Aman Spa in Utah, which has a vast flotation chamber, built into a canyon cave, packed with Dead Sea salts and combining color therapy.
5. Ferocious fitness
Ferocious fitness is on the rise, led by people who seriously train for competitions or want to establish their own personal best, often with high-intensity interval training with shorter time frames. Fitness has also become a major ingredient in peoples’ social lives, and a key factor is fun. Discovery of the pure pleasure of finishing a marathon or the happiness-high of a spin class are helping to fuel ferocious fitness in the year ahead.
6. ‘Natural’ beauty meets social media
With the growing popularity of social media and ‘selfies,’ people are expected to look their best 24/7, without the benefit of makeup and blowouts, which means we may finally be leaving the era of faux beauty. In 2014, a new ‘clean’ beauty era takes shape focusing on the natural and introducing a high-tech, low-risk beauty. Spas will remain the torchbearers with organic products, science and technology intersecting to deliver minimal downtime results that are seemingly produced by nature.
7. Aromatherapy: scent with intent
As aromatherapy plays a greater role in the treatment of physical and mental issues, spas have been motivated to reimagine their approach to craft aromatherapies with intended effects. Spas are now moving away from the generically pleasant treatments and working in tandem with botanists and digital technology to improve effectiveness.

Industry inspiration: Check out the Body Bliss Intentional Aromatherapy app, which allows spa directors to deliver personalised and intentional experiences to clients.

8. Wellness retreats rise…and urbanise
Look for exciting movement on the destination spa front, where personalised, immersive wellness programming is the DNA, and life transformations are the goal. A distinct sub-trend is also emerging: the urban-close wellness retreat. More destination spas will be reachable by car and train, which is a positive development given the unprecedented urbanisation of the world’s population.

Industry inspiration: Check out the spectacular, newly opened VANA in India’s Himalayan foothills and further expansion from destination spa Miraval in the dense northeast urban corridor of the US.

9. Death and spas: thriving during life’s transitions
When we think of spas, getting healthier, being pampered and looking our best comes to mind. As baby boomers, the group that has been the largest spa-going demographic for decades, start thinking seriously about ageing and death, we are seeing spas of all kinds help clients tackle the changes, challenges and choices that come with dying. Spas are also helping people address other life challenges like divorce, illness, job loss and more.

Industry inspiration: Check out Sarana, a new healthcare textiles collection created by renowned spa designer, Clodagh, designed to support healing environments in hospitals, spas and residences.
10. Top 10 surprising spa and wellness destinations
When one thinks spa or wellness vacation, Italy, Thailand and Turks and Caicos are popular locations. Now savvy spa-goers and wellness seekers are searching for more exotic destinations and indigenous experiences to stamp on their spa passports. In 2014, look for an emergence of new travel destinations in countries like Bhutan, Ghana and Nicaragua.

Article supplied by Spafinder Wellness, Inc., the world’s largest media and marketing company for the spa and wellness industry.

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