This is the number one priority for luxury travellers in 2019

Here is how luxury travellers are seeking exercise and well-being when they travel, and how savvy hotels are embracing and offering it

The spa, the gym, and a comfortable bed – these are things every hotel guest expects during their stay. But today, guests want more than just these basics.

Travelling takes a toll

With so many people living busy lives in urban settings, the resulting stress levels have led to a surge in the demand for wellness and wellbeing. People eat healthy, do yoga, go for runs, and meditate, but all these habits are forced aside when traveling.

Jet lag, unhealthy foods, and busy schedules, paired with the inaccessibility to wellness-focused opportunities make it nearly impossible for people to continue their wellness routines. However, as society shifts towards wellbeing, travellers are now seeking more wellness-focused opportunities while they travel – making wellness the new expectation in luxury travel which is essential to the stay.

What travellers want now

Luxury travellers and high-net-worth individuals were asked about their top goals and aspirations for the coming year. The top 5 results were: exercise, eating healthy, taking care of oneself, travel for vacation, and taking steps to reduce stress - all of which are related to wellness-related actions with the ultimate goal being well-being.

Based on the Global Wellness Institute’s findings, the wellness travel industry is the most rapidly growing area in the tourism industry. Among world travellers in 2017, 830 million wellness trips were made, and this number is estimated to reach 1 billion for 2019 as more and more people take on a healthier, more wellness-focused lifestyle. The forecasted growth rate for wellness travel is 7.5% yearly through 2022.

But is this just a trend? Is it going to last?

According to the co-founder of the Wellness Tourism Association, Andrew Gibson, wellness is "a change in society, and what society now expects". With wellness-focused tourists spending 50-180% more on their travels than average tourists, it is essential for the hospitality industry to understand and embrace the demands of these travellers.

What are leading hotels doing right now?

The experience of wellness is very individualized and can be a personal concept. Curating authentic and personalized wellness opportunities is key to enriching the overall travel experience. Here is how iconic luxury hotels help fulfill that and how all savvy and active travellers seek it out:

Fairmont hotels have partnered with Reebok to create a gear-lending program. Fitness apparel and equipment are delivered to guest rooms. So guests don't need to pack their workout gear while traveling! They have also taken advantage of off-property experiences including local runs and self-guided walking tours to help guests explore and experience the local area.

Hyatt Regency offer guests fitness classes on their streaming platform, Exhale On Demand, allowing guests to take fitness classes at any time, in the comfort of their own rooms.

Westin incorporates wellness into every aspect of the hotel experience with their Six Pillars of Well-being (feel well, work well, move well, eat well, and play well). Their hotels offer amenities such as essential oil infused amenities, health-focused breakfast, saline swimming pools, and bike-share program.

And when what is offered isn’t enough, savvy and active travellers seek wellness opportunities on their own! Many search online for popular local gyms, classes, and local experiences to stay fit while exploring the local culture.

Running - a great way to explore the city


Running is one of the best and most efficient ways to exercise while travelling. It is a great way to maintain wellness habits, explore the local areas, and enrich their overall stay.

Exploring a city by foot, you are more likely to find hidden gems and beautiful spots tucked away from the hustle-and-bustle, encounter friendly locals who want to show you the best of their city, and stumble across unexpected finds and create pleasant experiences and lasting memories.