The US$4.2-trillion wellness industry is snowballing beyond anyone’s imagination and shows no signs of slowing down: yoga is now well and truly mainstream and the wellness tourism industry is growing at double the rate of regular tourism. So what’s next for wellness? We’ve been trend-spotting through the year to see which fads fade and which ones persist—check out which wellness trends in 2019 Compare Retreats will be watching.
Mental health is going to be priority number one
A growing awareness around mental health has helped to bring it into the public eye, but understanding is still on the lower end of the scale—however, with it listed as the number one priority in our wellness travellers survey report in 2018, we expect to see both consumers and businesses placing a greater emphasis on mental health in 2019.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
This year, sleep has been sneaking into the wellness conversation, and from dedicated sleep retreats, to sleep supplements like magnesium and melatonin, to observing circadian rhythms to naturalise sleep cycles, we can see sleep getting a big wellness makeover this year.
Wellness in the corporate workspace
While we don’t see corporate retreats being the new ‘in’ thing any time soon, we do anticipate a rise in workplace wellness as employers try to combat poor mental health and sedentary lifestyles: we’re thinking lunchtime yoga, midafternoon meditation, and health-conscious food provisions are a great place to start.
CBD will hog the spotlight
The USA’s Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018 was a game-changer this year, and the market is currently flooded with the latest cannabinoid wellness products. Expect to see hemp and CBD products exploding in 2019, from facials to body oils to lip balms.
Meditation will go mainstream
Long an alternative and oft-misunderstood practice, apps like Headspace and Calm have made meditation far less mysterious and way more accessible. We’re looking at meditation as the new go-to wellness habit—especially in light of the emphasis on good mental health.
Can something be a trend when it’s over 5,000 years old? The ancient practice is going to take off big time in 2019, with a surge of popularity for Ayurvedic retreats, and Ayurvedic principles and practices popping up into day-to-day wellness around the globe. Get ready to balance your doshas this year.
Transformational travel is the new holiday dream
Forget lounging by the pool and getting some R&R—transformational travel is where it’s at in 2019. Increasingly, travellers are looking for experiences that will change them emotionally, physically and spiritually, giving them more than a couple of cute photos and tourist souvenir. Wellness retreats with unique locations, cultural activities or extreme programmes will benefit as travellers pursue these once-in-a-lifetime experiences that give them a brand new outlook.
Wellness will still be women-led, but men want in too
The girlfriend getaway hasn’t yet reached its heyday as far as wellness travel is concerned, and women will continue to dominate and lead the wellness space for 2019—however, men are becoming more wellness-aware, and we expect to see a rise in the number of treatments, therapies and spaces catering to men’s wellness too.
Multigenerational travel is in
There was a time when anyone older than 14 shunned the idea of travelling with their parents and the phrase ‘family holiday’ elicited a family-wide groan—such times are, thankfully, in the past. Families, from toddlers to great-grandparents, are now travelling together looking for quality time in a wellness-orientated space. Diverse programming is essential for this: a comprehensive mix of cultural excursions, relaxing spa treatments and adventurous activities are a must, with varied food options to suit everyone.
Eco-conscious travel isn’t alternative anymore
We’ve been talking about eco trends for long enough that maybe it’s time to accept this isn’t a passing fad but a new collective consciousness about our impact on the natural world—and after this year’s straw ban, we’re predicting 2019 will be the year when eco becomes the default mode rather than the alternative. We found that 9 out of 10 people would choose a wellness resort based on its plastic-free policy—we look forward to everyone stepping up their game in the sustainability department this year.
Alternative proteins and dairy will increase
This year has seen the rise of the alternative protein, from Oatly’s oat milk takeover (which included them upping production by 1,250% to meet demand) to BeyondBurger and Impossible Meats expanding through the States, Hong Kong and Singapore. With an ever-expanding range of products—like lab-grown chicken and fish—we have a feeling we’ve barely seen this beginning of the alternative proteins movement.
Gut health is tipped to be even bigger this year, and with a multitude of benefits including improved digestion and improved brain function, it’s a trend we can embrace full heartedly. Expect to see alternative wellness tonics popping up everywhere in 2019, with iterations of apple cider vinegar, kefir and kombucha becoming more readily available.
What are your trend predictions for 2019? Tell us in the comments!