Why wellness tourism will be *the* way to travel after the year we’ve had

The silver lining of the past 12 months was that we began looking at our health and wellness more. With that in mind, there’s no better use for your annual leave than a holiday aimed at holistic wellness. 

Humans have always yearned for and benefited from being around nature, but if there’s one thing being cramped in our homes during a global pandemic has made us crave more so than, maybe, ever, it’s a chance to escape our concrete jungles.

While the pandemic has disrupted our lives and added anxiety around our health, the silver lining is that many of us have realised that life is short and it pays to look after ourselves, both mentally and physically.

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Wellness tourism isn’t a super new concept. It’s defined as travel associated with the pursuit of or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing and this feels particularly relevant now after the year we’ve had. We’ve been exhausted, nature-deprived, stressed, and our eating and drinking habits have suffered, too.

“Wellness tourism is a type of tourism activity which aims to improve and balance all of the main domains of human life including physical, mental, emotional, occupational, intellectual and spiritual,” says Jo Surkitt, founder of Revitalise Escapes.

“People are realising that holidays aren’t just about sitting on the beach or exploring a new place, people want to immerse themselves more in nature and places that will make them feel happier and healthier.”

With the current climate, that Balinese yoga retreat is going to have to wait, but Australia’s spectacular and diverse landscape offers a unique opportunity to get in touch with local nature.

“With Australians staying locally for the time being, people are wanting to escape from the daily grind and discover a getaway that will invigorate your body, nurture their mind and replenish their soul,” says Surkitt.

“With this type of travel, people are able to really focus on their own wellness journey whether it is spending time in nature or taking part in practices such as yoga, meditation, thermal springs or sound healing. It’s a transformative experience, enabling people to immerse themselves in the region’s natural beauty, whilst engaging in exciting and innovative wellness activities.”

Wellness trips appeal to a broad range of travellers, too, whether they be a mother/daughter duo, retired couples, or the solo voyager looking for some much-needed introspection.

For the kinds of experiences Surkitt offers, the sense of community among the group is really important, though the groups are small, a cap of 12, so that guests don’t feel overwhelmed by a large group.

Ultimately, Surkitt says the goal of a wellness trip is disconnection from the stresses of the outside world and a full and rewarding period of self-reflection.

She says, “Their ‘reconnection to self’ will feel truly wonderful. As their energy shifts and awakens, new or long-lost parts of themselves will be revealed.”