Virtuoso Reveals Stressed Gen X-Ers are Driving Wellness Travel, with Mindful Meditation the Focus for 2020

STORY BY Debbie 11th December 2019

Travellers resolving to improve themselves in 2020 are focusing on wellness of the mind and spirit – even more than the physical. A survey by global luxury travel network Virtuoso of advisors specialising in the growing wellness niche uncovered that reducing stress and anxiety are paramount with travellers in the New Year. The expert advisors named meditation and mindfulness as the top wellness travel activity and cited spiritual and mental wellness as significant emerging trends.
The survey revealed that the typical wellness traveller is a Generation-X woman who most frequently goes on trips with a small group of friends or solo. With today’s increasingly hectic lifestyles due to work, family and other obligations, travellers are looking to wellness trips to provide a relaxing escape that restores balance and transforms mind, spirit and body. They are also seeking skills while away to help maintain that calm and support their mental, spiritual and physical health once they return home.

Asian destinations emerged strongly as favourite wellness settings. Although the U.S. tops the list of wellness travel destinations, Bali and Thailand follow close behind. Two other Asian locales, Bhutan and Vietnam, appear high on the roster of wellness destinations on the rise. The prevalence of meditation, yoga, spirituality, fresh cuisine, spa treatments and outdoor activities makes Asia compelling for travellers focusing on wellbeing.

Virtuoso specialists report that wellness travel sales are pacing solidly for 2020. Fifty-three percent say sales will be steady from 2019, while 45 percent say they expect sales to increase. The future is even more positive: a powerful 98 percent say the trend will continue to build.

Key results from the 2020 Virtuoso Wellness Community survey:

Top Wellness Travel Motivations                             Top Wellness Travel Activities
1. Stress and anxiety reduction                                             1. Meditation and mindfulness
2. Rest and relaxation                                                             2. Spa treatments such as massages
3. Body/mind/spirit transformation                                   3. Yoga
4. Getting away from it all                                                     4. Healthy eating
5. Spiritual renewal                                                                 5. Outdoor adventures

Top Wellness Travel Destinations                          Top Wellness Travel Destinations on the Rise
1. United States                                                                      1. Bhutan
2. Bali                                                                                       2. Croatia
3. Thailand                                                                              3. Vietnam
4. Costa Rica                                                                           4. Portugal
5. Italy                                                                                       5. South Africa

Top Emerging Wellness Travel Trends
1. Hotels with wellness amenities
2. Spiritual retreats
3. Mental wellness
4. Travel with a purpose
5. Developing skill in a wellness activity

Travel advisors who are part of Virtuoso’s Wellness Community lent their expertise and knowledge to this survey, offering their insights into 2020’s top trends in this growing niche.


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