Fitness, sports and complementary health services more important to global travellers

Image: Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Revenue per customer grew significantly for spas, hotels, resorts and other providers of spa and wellness services in 2014, according to a new report.

The International Wellness & Spa Tourism Monitor 2014/2015 found that revenue per customer has gown by around 6.5% for local and domestic guests and 8% for international guests, compared to the figures for 2012.

The report, the third by the Tourism Observatory for Health and Wellness (TOHWS), collected information from 56 countries around the world. The report also noted an increased interest in medical services and in health and fitness related options.

20% of local, 18% of international and 12% of domestic tourists did, for example, show an interest in complementary therapies. Fitness and sports was of interest to 18% of local, 13% of international and 20% of domestic tourists.

The report also highlighted a shift in the motivation of customers. The treatments and services offered remains a top reason for choosing a facility, with 38% of international, 21% of domestic and 19% of local guests citing this as key.

However, the brand and reputation of the property has become a more important factor. This is now a priority for 21% of international, 38% of domestic and 36% of local guests.

The equivalent figures in 2012 were 25%, 26% and 23%. The key markets that wellness tourists travel from are western Europe (17%), central Europe (13%) and northern Europe (8%).

The reported defined 17 types of operations that provide spa and wellness services, including resort spas, urban hotel spas, wellness resorts and centres, medical spas and resorts, airport spas and mineral springs spas.

The highest growth was reported for the category of healthy hotels and resorts, up 14%, wellness hotels, which grew by 10%, retreats, and adventure spas and wellness facilities, both also up 10%.

The Tourism Observatory for Health and Wellness (TOHWS) was set up in 2012 to analyse, forecast and monitor trends and developments in health and travel.