Wellness tourism—growing steadily since the early 2010s—is projected to become a $919 billion market by 2022. In the meantime, the wellness tour and experience space continues to evolve beyond its typecast of spa and yoga retreats and, in the process, is becoming an unexpected solution for overtourism (since wellness retreats often take place in areas that are more scenic, remote, and less tourist-driven). Wellness experiences also often have sustainable elements embedded in their programming: whether it be sustainable farming, rewilding, or living within fully self-sufficient permacultures. But while wellness has rapidly grown in hospitality, its growth in the air travel space is being explored at a slower, more deliberate pace.
Long scapegoated as one of the most stressful environments travelers face, airports and airplanes have slowly but steadily bought into the wellness space, with in-flight improvements including customizable in-flight sound systems, introducing circadian lighting elements, and improving air quality within the plane cabin. But if new technology isn’t a financially viable route, airlines can consider incorporating small wellness value adds to their customer’s in-flight experience—think guided silent meditation for the cabin mid-flight or keeping the lights dim until after landing. Deliberately offering wellness content as part of the airplane IFE experience (alongside movies, music, and TV shows) could boost the R&R factor in the cabin, too.
With marijuana now legal in 11 states (and medical marijuana legal in 33), hotels are facing the quandary of buying into or backing away from introducing cannabis (and its potential liabilities) into their brands. While some are tiptoeing toward cannabis-friendly status with CBD-infused spa products (like The Standard in Miami), others are leaning in, like The Jupiter in Portland, Oregon (which provides an Everything but the Weed kit for its cannabis-consuming guests) and The Fairmont in Santa Monica, California, which, in partnership with cannabis delivery brand Eaze and Recreational Embassy, created a Cannabis Concierge program for their guests.