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Travel Agents Report Healthy Growth for Spa Travel

Posted: March 14, 2013
SpaFinder Wellness "2012 State of Spa Travel" survey.

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Price-per-night on upswing: The high end of the market is clearly spurring spa travel growth, with the average price-per-night-booked in 2012 rising dramatically over recent years. In 2010 only 10% of bookings topped $350/night, but last year that jumped to 29%. And the majority of bookings now fall above $300-a-night, up significantly from 2009-2011, when only 25-40% fell in that range.

Don’t worry … deals still abound: With the economy officially post-recession, one might expect the hotel, resort and destination spa deals to dry up.

Agents report otherwise: 35% claim that the “stay spa” deals were actually more aggressive in 2012 over 2011, with 55% reporting they held firm. Only one in ten agents saw a decline in spa discounting.

Mexico/Caribbean unseats North America as spa mecca: Mexico’s tourism industry is clearly recovering from negative press about safety concerns in recent years. The Mexican Tourist Board reported a record number of inbound tourists in 2012, and agents surveyed reported that the Mexico/Caribbean region was the No. 1 global spa travel destination in 2012, leapfrogging the 2010 and 2011 leader, North America. Agents also reported that Hawaii toppled the west coast as the U.S. region attracting the most spa travelers in 2012.

Wellness-focused spa travel remains hottest trend: Sixty-seven percent of agents reported that their clients were more interested in spa vacations with a strong health/wellness focus in 2012, and 30% noted it was just as strong a trend as in 2011. Given that roughly four in five agents reported growth for spa travel with a strong health focus in 2011, it’s clear that the wellness-seeking traveler trend has serious, ongoing momentum.