Spa Business_handbook 2019-2020

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What wellness travellers want Wellness travel now accounts for 17 per cent of all global tourism revenues, but it’s difficult to decipher what wellness travellers really want. Compare Retreats founder Dervla Louli Musgrave turns to her global community of clients and readers to find out


s a US$639bn industry, wellness tourism has become a point of global interest as it continues to be the fastest-growing tourism sector. The industry is far from reaching saturation-point, but with more wellness retreats on offer than ever before, what is it that wellness travellers really want? That’s the question Compare Retreats, the booking portal, travel agency and media company for the world’s leading wellness retreats, asked more than 500 wellness travellers between the ages of 18-76 from locations around the globe, including Hong Kong, Singapore, the US, the UK and Australia in Q4 of 2018. From most-desired destinations, to how wellness travellers research retreats, and mental health becoming the top reason to book a retreat, the survey results uncovered what makes wellness travellers today tick. 128 spa business HANDBOOK 2019 – 2020

Google search, Instagram, and friend referrals are key search channels The top three ways that the wellness travellers surveyed research and found retreats were via Google search (80.5 per cent), friend referrals (65.6 per cent), and Instagram (45.7 per cent). Online publications are important among the 50+ demographic, where they ranked third in place of Instagram. With good SEO practices, online publications can see themselves having extra influence if they fall into the top pages of a Google search. Print publications are important for third-party validation of wellness retreat businesses, but only 10.7 per cent of users said they refer to print when searching for a retreat. This indicates that advertisers and retreats would be wiser investing money in online publications and well-crafted Instagram marketing plans, as well as referral programmes, to reach across audiences of all ages and genders.