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SpaFinder Wellness today released its sixth annual “State of Spa Travel” report, a yearly window into the health and emerging consumer trends in the spa travel* market – from current pricing patterns to which regions are the most popular.
While previous reports revealed that the spa travel category weathered the recession relatively well, this new survey shows that in 2012 bookings to hotel, resort and destination spas turned a meaningful corner, with more than two-thirds of travel agents seeing positive booking growth, and the average price-per-night-booked rising significantly. Findings are based on an in-depth survey of more than 160 travel agents around the world, completed in Q4, 2012.
“While the upswing in spa travel is being driven by the wider economic rebound, the survey clearly indicates that other factors are at play,” said Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder Wellness Inc. “With more than two-thirds of agents reporting that people are now more interested in traveling to spas specifically for programs like stress-reduction, fitness, and weight loss, the results are a clear indication that more travelers are deciding they simply can’t afford exhausting, unhealthy vacations.”
Ellis noted that “wellness tourism” is no longer an exotic concept, but is becoming a powerful, mainstream trend that will continue to fuel the spa travel market – and influence where people go and what they choose to do on their increasingly precious time off.
Spa travel gains in 2012 over 2011: While 37% of travel agents reported that spa travel bookings increased in 2011 over 2010, that number roughly doubled for 2012. Last year, 68% reported growth in the number of clients choosing spa travel, with only 9% reporting declines.