DENVER — Nearly 4,000 consumers from 48 countries and territories responded to the Wellness Tourism Association’s second consumer survey, revealing their motivations for taking a Wellness Vacation as the industry begins to recover.

The three-month (April, May, June 2020) online consumer survey was administered in collaboration with WTA member, professor Danny Kessler Ph.D. from Youngsan University, Busan, South Korea. Respondents were 54 per cent female, with 73 per cent between the ages 26 and 74 (millennials and baby boomers), and with close to 78 per cent indicating they already include wellness activities when they travel.

“As the industry begins to recover, we know the results of this survey will provide both suppliers and travel advisors with crucial consumer data on motivations for Wellness Vacations post-pandemic,” says president and CEO of the Wellness Tourism Association, Anne Dimon.

In order to get a clear understanding of consumer motivations for planning and booking a Wellness Vacation, the survey asked two main questions:

  1. When it comes time to book a Wellness Vacation/Holiday what would be your main motivations? Guests were asked to rate a series of 28 statements on a scale of one to seven (one representing Not Important and seven representing Most Important).
  2. As a result of COVID-19 affecting your life, what are some new motivations for going on a Wellness Vacation not mentioned in previous questions? This was an open-ended question that generated more than 17,000 plus words from 2,435 individual respondents.

From question #1, here’s what respondents revealed to be the top eight most important motivations for booking a Wellness Vacation (figures are rounded off to the closest percentages point and indicate the number of respondents who selected the statement as the Most Important).

• To return to everyday life feeling rejuvenated: 38 per cent
• To escape the demands of everyday life: 26 per cent
• To experience activities outdoors: 25 per cent
• To look and feel better: 24 per cent
• To connect with nature: 24 per cent
• To find peace and quiet: 21 per cent
• To get a better night’s sleep: 17 per cent
• To learn general ways to improve my health: 17 per cent

From the open-ended question, which allowed respondents to describe any other personal motivations for taking a Wellness Vacation in the wake of the pandemic, the top four themes were:

  1. Social connection and the desire to be with like-minded people
  2. The desire to be in nature
  3. To improve mental health
  4. To learn to be proactive about their own health, wellness and well-being (wellness relating to health, well-being relating to happiness)

Two additional and notable results of the survey:

• More than 20 per cent indicated they would be Extremely Likely to book a Wellness Vacation within the next two years.
• More than 24 per cent indicated that wellness “could” or “will” be the focus of their next trip.

Dimon points out that “when compared to the 2018 survey with 2,500 plus respondents, the 2020 survey reinforces the importance of nature/the outdoors as a key pillar of Wellness Vacations.”


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