Global Spa and Wellness Trends. Literature Review

Spa and Wellness is a trend that started years ago as local acivity and nowadays it becomes a powerful segment in tourism. SpaFinder Wellness Inc published in 2014 "Tops 10 Global Spa and Wellness Trends Forecast", which analyses the most important trends in the wellness industry for the next years. I took a look at it, and here I summarize my findings:

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One of the analyzed trends is Healty Hotels, hotels which imply a different room format and a special program for its customers. The hotel´s rooms, called also “get fit rooms”, provide equipment to workout in-room, with no need to attend gym, for example. At the same time gym area gets bigger, more technology advanced, with a lot more activities that entertain customers and go beyond the routine of boring and lonely workouts. The hotels also provide special menus, with a healthy, faster and custom food, paying attention to a more nutritive and organic food.

“Wired Wellness” is another trend in spa and wellness industry. It implies the increase in smart technology use all over the wellness field: apps, smart cloths, smart devices, smart rooms and even smart food. There are already applications in use that control the calories, km walked or run, the nutrients, but in the future it all will go even further.

Spafinder Wellness predicts that the survivors in this race will be the apps that rise above basic data capturing and, instead, are able to capture the imagination and commitment of their users. Remote patient monitoring is another side of this trend. There will be a much greater focus on patient monitoring, fueled by numerous factors including aging population, unprecedented growth in chronic diseases, the high cost of on-going medical care and, crucially, the increased network speeds available with 3G and 4G. The mHealth (mobile health) is an emerging market and promises to grow 40 percent over each of the next five years to reach US$10.2 billion in 2018.

Hot Springs Heat Up is not a trend in terms of innovation or novelty. Hot springs waters are considered as the oldest spa treatments, but what happens nowadays is that the old becomes new, and now it is in trend. The number of new developments and major refurbishments of traditional hot springs around the globe illustrates the intense interest in this segment, and the diversity of these projects (from affordable day spa experiences to the ultimate in luxury) shows that hot springs will continue to deliver for the spa and wellness industry.

Suspending gravity is another trend in spa and wellness which encompasses such facilities as flotation pools, aerial yoga, floating spas (to open in Amsterdam and Norway) and even space spa hotels.

Urbanization is another leading trend. It means that the spa hotels and resorts appear to be closer and closer to the big city. It is no longer about the remote places; it is about having spas at an hour drive from your home. These facts lead to the increases in the amount of day spas at the same resorts and hotels. The hotels are also getting smaller, with a large number of boutique spa hotels and more targeted wellness retreats.

Other discussed trends are about the fitness elements and facilities, aromatherapy use and its personalization and natural beauty trend and influence of the “selfy” photographs in Social Media.


We can observe that technology is present in mostly all of the trends mentioned above. Also new concerns and people´s awareness regarding healthy lifestyle makes the wellness tourism grow faster and with a different shade. Spa and Wellness industry at a global level is about a healthier way of living, which includes using smart technology, healthy food, innovative facilities, multi-sensory experiences and mindfulness – healthy mind. Such issues as ageing population (especially baby-boomers), the toll of stress, rise of preventable diseases and acceptance of death are the drivers of the increase in the spa and wellness tourism, which is slightly different from the one that we knew before.