The wellness market is booming and expected to go beyond $1 trillion in 2024, changing how we think about travel. Now, trips are about more than just seeing new places and finding peace and health. People are spending a lot of money to feel good and relax.

As self-care and well-being take center stage, the wellness tourism sector is proving to be a financial powerhouse. According to the Global Wellness Institute’s Global Wellness Economy Monitor 2023, this sector is not just thriving; it’s redefining luxury travel. With projections showing wellness tourism will cross the staggering trillion-dollar mark in 2024 (up to $1.4 trillion by 2027), it’s clear what was once a niche market is now a major player in the global economy.

This remarkable growth means a significant change in travel. Vacations are no longer just about seeing famous places. Now, people choose trips that make them feel better physically, mentally, and spiritually. Mikkel Woodruff, the editor of Sometimes Home, shares his experience: “When we visited Granada, we enjoyed the spa at the luxury hotel Hospes Palacio de los Patos immensely. Retreating to the Bodyna Spa during the day for a break from touring the city or at night to enjoy the hotel’s relaxation pool was exactly the rejuvenation we needed. It reminded us how much value there is for your mind, body, and spirit when you take a break from sightseeing to luxuriate in self-care.”

Big hotel brands are noticing this change in traveler preferences. Giants like Hilton have embraced the trend wholeheartedly, calling 2024 “The Year of the Great Recharge.” More than a catchy phrase, it’s a testament to how deeply the wellness concept has penetrated the travel industry. “Boutique hotels and hospitality operators are responding in kind with both traditional treatments and unique offerings that cater to the burgeoning wellness-focused traveler,” says Kelly Fausel, Founder of Power Suit PR.

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Marriott’s latest report for 2024 shows a big focus on wellness in travel. The report reveals that wellness isn’t just a part of their offering – it’s at the forefront. Today’s travelers want more than just regular spa visits. They’re after experiences that help them escape life’s busy pace and find deeper meaning. They want to connect more with themselves and the world. Karen Kelly, a freelance food and travel writer from Seasonal Cravings, says, “My husband and I love visiting the spa and wellness center when we travel and look for hotels that have these amenities. Our favorite is the cold plunge ice bath and sauna. It can be a bit challenging, but it is so worth the effort and can improve circulation and reduce stress.”

However, many luxury hotels are leading the way in wellness tourism. For instance, Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, offers an open-air Spa Without Walls, combining ancient Hawaiian wisdom with the healing elements of Hawaiʻi Island. The Phoenician, Arizona, a Forbes Five Star Award recipient, boasts a rooftop pool, Quiet Relaxation Room, and more. Brenner’s Park Hotel & Spa, Germany, pioneers in the European spa movement, offers a five-floor spa experience with luxurious rooms and comprehensive medical care. Mission Point Resort in Michigan provides a full-service spa on Mackinac Island that is great for individuals and families.

Namale Resort & Spa in Fiji, an adults-only boutique resort, is famous for its complimentary spa hydrotherapy room facing the Koro Sea, among other luxury amenities. The Park Terrace Hotel in New York City provides travel comfort with its AI-powered restorative Bed, blending comfort with the latest sleep technology. The Four Seasons in St. Louis offers a resort-style experience, including their Spa After Dark package, giving guests exclusive access to their 12,000 sq. foot spa.

The growing wellness tourism industry shows how much people now value health and relaxation on their travels. From peaceful spas to advanced sleep technology, luxury accommodations answer the call for holidays that do more than entertain. They offer experiences that make you feel renewed and relaxed and change your thoughts about travel for wellness.