Millennials Call for New Wellness Options

Millennials and Gen Xers have become the main drivers of the wellness boom in the hospitality industry, and are calling for more outdoor adventure options at properties, according to a new report.

The second part of Spafinder Wellness 365’s report, based on a July 2015 survey of 200 North American and European travel agents, found that although both the millennials/Gen Xers group (49 and under) and the baby boomers and older group (50 and over) rated all 16 wellness property offerings as important, the younger group ranked the importance of all offerings higher or the same than the older group.

“As millennials and Gen X become the core wellness tourism demographic, trends are emerging,” said John Bevan, chief operating officer of Spafinder Wellness, Inc. “Not only do younger travelers demand more wellness offerings in general; they seek more intensive, out-in-nature adventure and fitness. And a property’s ‘values,’ such as respect for the environment and whether it gives back to the local community, aren’t niche considerations—they’re more important than traditional sports like golf or tennis.”

Travel agents were asked to rank age groups on a 1 to 10 scale, where 1 is not important at all and 10 is extremely important. Here are the results:

Property or Destination Element Baby Boomers and Older Millennials and Gen X 
Beach access 8.2 8.8
Pools or swimming 8.3 8.6
Outdoor adventure programs 7.3 8.5
Access to nature/scenic outdoors 7.9 8.4
Fitness facilities and classes 7.7 8.4
Healthy cuisine 8 8.3
Environmentally friendly 6.9 7.7
Do good for community (volunteerism) 6.6 7.4
Traditional sports like golf or tennis 7.2 7.3
Hot or mineral springs 6.6 6.9
Weight loss programs 6.6 6.8
Spiritual healing 6.4 6.6
Alternative medical services 6.3 6.6
Detox programs 6.2 6.2
Healthy sleep programs 6 6.2
Traditional medical services 5.9 6

“The survey shines light on what’s ascending for the next generation in wellness travel, but also shows that boomers still rank traditional spa resorts first,” Bevan said. “The landscape is expanding, more complex, and less one-size-fits-all than ever.”

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