top background
    0

Top five wellbeing trends for 2024

Spabreaks.com Founder, Abi Selby, predicts how we’ll be celebrating and taking care of our health and wellbeing this year.

At Spabreaks.com we work with more than 600 spa destinations across the UK, and we organise spa days and breaks for more than 12,000 people each week. As a team, that gives us a privileged insight into how people choose to spend their leisure time and what they want from their wellbeing investments, as well as giving us a deep understanding of how the spa and wellness industry is responding to those wants and needs with new offerings and opportunities. As a result, we get a holistic sense of the wellness trends that are really grabbing peoples' interests and dominating the landscape.

This year, there are some clear frontrunners which support my firm belief that the spa and wellness industry is integral to supporting national health, that there's a growing interest amongst people wishing to take control of their wellbeing through more holistic efforts and preventative approaches, and that even when we feel cash-strapped, taking time out to support mind, body and soul is an essential part of living.

Based on all of that, here's what I believe are the top wellness trends set to dominate in 2024.

Social prescribing holistic therapies

Research shows that complementary therapies can lead to a 37% reduction in doctors’ visits, and arguably therefore reduce pressure on the NHS.

Whilst complementary therapies like massage and acupressure are relaxing, enjoyable and make us feel good, they also have a wider and greater impact on our health. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty and Wellbeing published recommendations for the government, following its inquiry into the value of complementary therapies in supporting the nation’s health last year. They advocated for greater support in this area.

By extension, social prescribing (which encompasses a broad range of practices and activities to benefit personal care outside a medical context) featuring wellbeing and holistic therapies, can provide life changing support for a variety of health needs, ranging from hormonal changes during menopause to anxiety and stress. For example, one research paper into massage for women with breast cancer reported:

“The immediate massage therapy effects included reduced anxiety, depressed mood, and anger. The longer term massage effects included reduced depression and hostility and increased urinary dopamine, serotonin values, NK cell number, and lymphocytes.”

Integrating spa into the working week

Our own survey data at Spabreaks.com shows that there is a significant increase in the number of bookings in urban locations in the last 12 months, which is on top of a year-on-year trend towards shorter breaks that can fit into the working day or week.

While people in any part of the world have stress levels relating to work, there is generally a higher concentration of people within cities experiencing stress, compounded by urban-centric factors such as frenetic surroundings, commutes and so forth.

While everyone likes to be able to get away for a weekend, what we’re noticing is that people are not waiting to have a couple of days off in order to pay attention to their wellbeing - they’re trying to fit it into their busy schedules.

In response, city spas are creating packages that individuals can incorporate into their working week, such as after work spa packages offering rest and relaxation in the evening.

Spa breaks for men

2023 saw more men taking the time to book spa experiences for themselves, and that’s set to continue in 2024. Where once men typically booked spa breaks as a gift for their partners (they still do that, which is a lovely present), they are becoming increasingly confident about trying wellness experiences themselves.

Spabreaks.com has seen a 346% increase in male spa-goers since 2018. Following our Real Men Relax campaign last year, more men are now feeling comfortable visiting spas, which is a wonderful thing to see. In recent years, there has been a significant shift in our customer demographic, with male spa enthusiasts rising from 25% in 2018/19 to a remarkable 40% last year – a number, and trend, which is predicted to soar this year.

‘Phygital’ wellness

Digital capabilities have been entering the world of wellness in lots of ways for quite some time, ranging from professional standard technical treatments through to wearable tech. The term that’s now sweeping the board is ‘phygital’, amalgamating the worlds of physical and digital, in this case to open up more innovative wellbeing opportunities.

The industry is learning new ways to experiment safely, whether that’s supporting people who prefer touchless treatments or taking spa experiences to the next level with multi-sensory approaches. For example, the RE:TREAT spa at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester has a pioneering VR headset with 14 high quality videos of real-world locations from the beaches of Seychelles, to the Great Ocean Road in south east Australia.

You select your destination and a guided meditation will help you to relax and unwind. It also releases pure essential-oil blends uniquely crafted for each of its virtual landscapes to give the mind that additional sensory association with relaxation, so the next time you smell that scent, your brain is instantly transported to a place of calm. You can use the VR experience on its own, or while having a manicure, for example, combining that meditative experience at the end of a workout or a spa day to embody the different elements of wellbeing.

The world of wellness is constantly evolving in order to support individuals, make wellbeing enjoyable, and more accessible. At Spabreaks.com my team and I are especially passionate about making the spa world a more open place for everybody. I really do think that by understanding its mental, physical and emotional benefits we can improve daily wellbeing for so many people.

Book your next spa break(s)

More posts similar to this one

If you like this post, here are some similar ones that you might be interested in:

https://images.ctfassets.net/bu3up4ijy7vs/SMHOgBu72ZGkWjVNNGehv/1f69245a5c7a07e1c5401cf5aa332f68/DSC07111.jpg?w=410&fl=progressive&q=90

The power of the robe

There seems to be a day for just about everything, and in many ways one could be forgiven for thinking that 22nd April - otherwise known as National Robe Day - is not high on the list of priorities for many... unless you're a Spabreaker...

Read full post