Friday, 15 November 2013

Can travel actually be bad for your health?

According to SRI international (2013,I), travel today can be bad for your health. As we all know waiting at the airport, transporting and especially jet lag and poor sleeping, disruption of exercise routines, and excessess in eating, drinking, and sun exposure can leave a traveller more stressed and less well after a trip.

Many of us travel to get away from our everyday life, seeking new experiences and stress free life. In this context travelling seems almost the wrong thing to do. However, as more and more people pay attention to their health, they increasingly want to keep up their healthy habits when they travel. SRI International (2013,I) claims that a growing segment of travelers are taking trips specifically focused on maintaining and improving their personal health and well-being. WelDest customer survey conducted between May and September 2013 supports this idea. The research report is out in just a couple of weeks at this blog with results from Finland, U.K. Austria. Germany and Czech Republic.

A wellness consumer tries to integrate healthy habits into their travel

Many of us try to seek better ways to take care of ourselves, trying to change our lifestyle and taking responsibility for maintaining a good health. This trend is driving the wellness industry - that includes e.g. complementary and alterntive medice, nutrition and weight-loss, spa, fitness and mind-body activities, beauty and anti-aging, preventive and personalized health, and wellness tourism. (SRI International, 2013, II).

So when we travel, we try to integrate these lifestyle habits into our trips. The primary purpose for travel can be wellness tourism - so the whole idea is to travel is about being active and to take care of your mind, body and soul. Sometimes we may engage in wellness-related activites as part of a trip ("secondary purpose wellness tourism"). In both cases we represent important business opportunities for tourism destinations, regions and even countries who all fight to attract us as a customer segment.

The wellness tourism economy means big bucks

Wellness tourism economy is all expenditure  made by tourist who seek to improve or maintain their well-being during or as a result of their trip. It can be divided into "international wellness tourism receipts" and "domestic wellness tourism expenditures".

The sub-categories are featured below:

The source of this blog post is "Global Spa & Wellness Summit, The Global Wellness Tourism Economy, prepared by SRI International, October 2013" and you can purchace the full report from GSS site (link here).