Immunity retreats and animal therapy among 2023 wellness trends

There’s an increase in travellers wanting to enhance their immunity, switch to plant-based diets and enjoy more affordable and eco-friendly retreats, according to predictions by global wellness travel company Health and Fitness Travel.

Almost three years on from the outbreak of the pandemic, wellness travellers are still prioritising building resilience to disease with the help of medical experts and wellness therapies. 

Health and Fitness Travel has also seen an increase in demand for affordable retreats in the cost-of-living crisis that offer incredible health benefits for all types of travellers – be there solo travellers, groups or families. 

These are the wellness travel trends set to prove most popular in 2023:

Enhancing body immunity 

Health anxiety has left people more determined to maintain their body’s wellbeing. Body immunity retreats are not only an opportunity to travel but they also offer solutions to any potential health worries. 

Keeping visitors healthy, both physically and mentally, these wellness retreats offer opportunities to take advantage of some of the best medical wellness expertise in luxurious surroundings in some of the world’s most popular destinations.  

Spas to look to for inspiration: RAKxa Wellness & Medical RetreatPark IglsAtmantan Wellness Resort 

Plant-based retreat 

Plant-based diets are steadily becoming more popular, and 2023 is thought to be no different. 

People are becoming more aware of and interested in the actions of the animal product industry, which is affecting their diet choices – with YouGov estimating that between 5-7% of the UK population are vegetarians.

Health and Fitness Travel predicts that there will therefore be a greater demand for learning how to maintain a nutritionally dense plant-based diet, and more resorts will cater to this with their menus and retreat offerings in 2023. 

Spas to look to for inspirationRaw Food Detox at Sianji Well-Being ResortDetox at the Farm at San BenitoAll- Inclusive Wellness Retreat at Phuket Cleanse  

Animal therapy retreats 

Animals can be hugely beneficial to our mental health, and animal therapy can be used to target a range of factors in visitors’ lives, depending on their intentions for their retreat. 

Retreats don’t have to be completely rounded to animal therapy, however; the company of animals amongst other activities can still have benefits, such as a wellness tour or animal yoga.

Spas to look to for inspirationActive Tour – GalapagosSailing Tour – MaldivesWellness Tour - Iceland 

Air-free travel  

With the increasing concern about the environment, travellers’ attitudes towards how they get to their destinations are changing.

Surveys from YouGov have shown that 53% of global consumers are seeking more sustainable travel options for their holidays.

Air-free travel is not only an accessible alternative form of travelling but it can be as memorable as the holiday, with the embrace of slower travels making the journey to luxury resorts all that more special.   

Spas to look to for inspirationGleneaglesLefay Resort & SPA Lago di GardaGrantley Hall 

Affordable retreats 

Given the current cost of living crisis, holidays might be last on the agenda for some people when considering where to budget their money. This makes a change from the rush of holiday goers in 2022 after the release of travelling restrictions post-pandemic. 

However, many people are still eager to get a holiday but are looking for cheaper options to accommodate their reduced disposable income. 

Therefore, more affordable retreats that offer value for money and provide tangible wellness benefits are set to be a big trend for wellness travel in 2023. 

Spas to look to for inspirationBodyBreak at Galo ResortFusion Fitness at Absolute SanctuarySianji Well-Being Resort 

Emotional healing retreats 

Emotional healing retreats bring the opportunity for people that are living with mental health issues to be exposed to comprehensive wellness experiences and learn the tools to live happier and healthier lives. 

These retreats use nutrition, exercise and a variety of wellness and mental health therapies to help travellers enhance their mental wellbeing in a meaningful and lasting way.   

Spas to look to for inspirationSleep at Six Senses IbizaResilience After Crisis at Park IglsEmbracing Change at Kamalaya. 

Working wellness holidays  

Since the pandemic, many people are working from home or in a hybrid system, but the repetitive nature of working from home has led many people to seek a change of environment. “Workcations” proved popular in 2022 and it’s a trend which looks set to continue into 2023. 

Spas to look to for inspirationWellbeing Sabbatical at KamalayaLifestyle Change at Absolute SanctuaryNew Life at Longevity Health & Wellness.  

Detox retreats 

It can be hard to detach from the online world, especially when so much of our day-to-day life is reliant on it – a retreat where clients can have a full digital detox can help to reset their relationship with technology.

If clients are looking to detoxify from other substances, then a change of environment, where everyday stress is relieved and experienced medical professionals are on hand to help, provides the perfect environment to help kick bad habits for good.  

Spas to look to for inspirationRebalance & Anti-Tobacco at SHA Wellness, Digital Detox at Pine Cliffs ResortDe-Addiction at Santani Wellness Spa  

Alcohol-free retreats 

Many people found themselves drinking more than they would usually during the pandemic and are now looking to address their relationship with alcohol.  

Alcohol-free retreats offer the sober-curious the opportunity to detox and improve both their physical and mental health alongside targeted spa therapies. 

Spas to look to for inspirationAbsolute Sanctuary 

Family wellness retreats 

Family wellness holidays which prioritise being active, exploring wellbeing and making long-lasting memories feature a range of activities and give families a great choice in a fulfilling holiday that will have lasting healthy effects and offer great value for money. 

Spas to look to for inspirationFamily TimeTogether at Porto EloundaFamily TimeTogether at Paradis PlageFamily TimeTogether at Forte Village. 

Don't miss: the top 20 most-searched spa terms to boost your spa's online marketing and spa trends from Michael Newcombe of Four Seasons.

Which of these wellness trends are you embracing in your spa? Let us know in the comments…