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Wellbeing Escapes Predicts Top Wellness Trends for 2011
Less pampering, more health
In 2011 we will see an ever bigger shift to providing wellness options rather than papering. More spas and resorts are learning how to integrate treatments with wellness specialisms such as nutritionists and targeted activities to create an overall health enhancing experience. Beware of the inevitable marketers adopting the wellness buzzword but not being able to deliver the experience
Shorter Spa Menus
More spas will be editing down their treatment lists with the objective to deliver a better service. The days of endless lists of treatments at top quality spas are numbered. A specialist approach allows for the deeper, more thorough and ongoing training of therapists - let's face it, a ‘jack of all trades' therapist is unlikely to provide the highest quality experience. Look out for indigenous treatments using local ingredients which are also becoming more popular and in our opinion more authentic.
Solo Travellers Dominate
Busy schedules and the desire not to have to satisfy other people's needs on holiday are the main reasons there is an increasing percentage of people travelling solo on a spa or wellness holiday. There is no stigma attached to focusing on oneself anymore and in fact this segment is growing faster than others. Savvy spas and wellness resorts are addressing this sizeable market by providing no single supplements, busy activity schedules, and sociable facilities such as sharing tables at meal times.
The Power of Pilates
We are not talking about mat classes but fully equipped Pilates studios with Reformers, Cadillacs etc and qualified teachers. An increasing number of spas are reviewing how to further improve their fitness facilities beyond personal trainers and yoga classes and Pilates facilities are a very interesting option. Pilates provides a great solution for a number of personal challenges - back problems, post surgery rehabilitation, post pregnancy firming and strengthening, postural correction to name a few.
Not to be confused with anti ageing. Many of the world's established destination spa, in addition to some new cutting edge wellness resorts, are developing comprehensive programmes to help us age healthily. The focus isn't about reducing wrinkles but about disease prevention and health enhancement. Personal medical evaluations, usually taken through blood tests, are followed by personalised health plans that include treatments, education and activities that will help achieve optimum health and boost vitality.
Health and Fitness for the Mind
The global recession has not helped the work life balance debate. It is now about survival of the fittest with people still worried about losing jobs in this cost cutting environment. Physical fitness is now firmly established and accepted as stress busting and increasing energy, however mental fitness is increasingly being recognised as equally important. Meditation is no longer viewed as a spiritual pastime for monks or lentil-eating, sandal- wearing hippies but being used as a daily tool to help with stress and efficiency. Leading spas and wellness resorts are including meditation instruction as part of stress reduction programmes and activity schedules to help people learn this valuable tool. Again, it is all about quality, quality, quality - it takes years of instruction to be able to teach this technique effectively, so make sure you learn from an authentic and experienced teacher.
Value and Return on Investment
Although the deals are still out there they are gradually decreasing as the economy slowly turns around and hotels and airlines start to focus on increasing yields again. The keywords are "Value" and "Return on Investment". As the spa going population becomes more sophisticated and experienced they will focus more on value rather than the cheapest price, demanding more from their experience. The cheapest spa will not necessarily bring them their return on investment in terms of measurable health benefits and long lasting results on their return.
Restorative Breaks for Men
Historically the spa world have generally marketed pampering to women and fitness to men. The focus for men was alpha goal orientated programmes that brought a sense of achievement and enforced the stereotype. We have seen a shift in what high achieving men are looking for, away from adrenaline filled action packed breaks to more restorative breaks that help with stress reduction and rebalancing. We predict this segment will grow as men realise that the detox, retox cycle is not sustainable and balance is not a feminine concept.
Increase of new Non Surgical/Non Chemical Beauty Treatments
With celebrities publicly turning away from chemical procedures such as botox, the emergence of fast and effective beauty treatments that are not toxic or chemical are becoming popular at spas. New procedures and machinery are being introduced at mainly European spas that show impressive results in skin texture and smoothing wrinkles and lines. Look out for innovative approaches such as extracting plasma from your blood and injecting into your skin by the process of non painful micro needling or more traditional approaches such as the vigorous tui-na Chinese facial massages.
Wellness Through Nature
This can take the form of fitness, holistic activities, meditation, and treatments. Rather than putting people indoors to carry out their wellness programme, many hotels spas and wellness resorts will be further focusing on getting guests to engage with the natural resources and uniqueness of their locations. Currently we have hiking in mountains, yoga in the gardens, fitness programmes that encompass kayaking, sea-swimming, Jungle gyms, outdoor rock climbing walls, challenging mountain biking. We predict this to become more creative with meditation walks along beautiful beaches, yoga in outdoor salas, tree-top spas, treatment locations where you can hear the sound of the ocean and birdsong - no more air-conditioned window-less treatment rooms playing CDs with nature music on repeat cycle.
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