Spa Business Handbook 2020-2021

Page 162


Rest & relaxation The Wellness Tourism Association’s 2020 Consumer Survey looks at post-pandemic wellness vacation motivations from more than 4,000 consumers around the world. Anne Dimon shares the highlights


s we anticipate the slow, smart and safe recovery of the tourism industry, many of us agree that health and wellness will be a continuing priority that may very well deliver a generous boost to the wellness sector, allowing it to rebound stronger than ever. With that in mind, the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) set out earlier this year to discover the various motivations that might drive consumers to plan and book post-pandemic wellness vacations. Incorporated as a not-for-profit in the US in 2018 with the mission to

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Almost half of the respondents were men 162 spa business HANDBOOK 2020 – 2021

support and further the development of the wellness tourism industry for the global good, the WTA is, to date, a community of 100-plus members and partners from 22 countries. The WTA 2020 Wellness Travel Consumer Survey collected responses from nearly 4,000 consumers from 48 countries and territories. Administered in collaboration with Professor Danny Kessler, PhD, from Youngsan University, in Busan, South Korea, the three-month (April, May, June 2020) online survey presented a total of 77 questions relating to basic demographics, quality of life, and subjective wellbeing, as well as wellness vacation motivations. A follow-up to the association’s 2018 survey, which explored the topic of ‘Top Must Haves for a Wellness Vacation,’ the 2020 survey was based on academic resources as well as industry data and expertise, and laid out across seven themes: movement and fitness, healthy food and diet, meditation and mindfulness, rest and relaxation, learning about wellness, nature and disconnect. Each of the above themes was represented by four statements for a total of 28 possible motivations. The survey asked the question: When it comes time

to book a wellness vacation/holiday, what would be your main motivation? In order to respond to that question, participants were asked to rate each of the 28 possible motivations on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 representing ‘Not Important at All’ and 7 representing ‘Most Important’). To ensure a group of qualified respondents, the survey was promoted with the help of WTA members and partners. To encourage participation, all respondents were told they had the opportunity to win one of five prizes selected at random from all those who responded.

Demographics Of the survey’s 3,931 respondents, a total of 85 per cent were US-based, 75 per cent were between the ages of 40 and 74 (Gen X and Boomers), followed by Millennials (age 26 to 39) at 20 per cent; 67 per cent indicated they had a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and 45 per cent had an income of US$75,000-plus. While 71 per cent said they had never been on a designated wellness vacation, close to 78 per cent indicated they generally include wellness practices and activities when they travel. One surprise was the number of men who responded. In contrast with the

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