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  • Luminary Wellness


Every year, the wellness industry produces predictions and reports on wellness and travel trends that may impact the industry in the coming year. 2023 was quite an exciting year as the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic started to clear up throughout 2022, leaving people and businesses hopeful for an even more robust recovery in 2023.

Global tourism figures could reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels this year, according to UNWTO's projections for 2023. In February 2023, there were 933 thousand foreign arrivals to Vietnam, up 3,060.8 percent from the previous year. The international arrivals figures look promising, thanks to Vietnam's tourism industry being fully open and the restart of international flights.

While travel, especially wellness travel, has not yet returned to its glory days, a strong bounce-back is anticipated, especially after years of turning inward, leaving people itching to be on the move or planning for their next exotic getaway again.

What is Wellness Travel?

The Global Wellness Institute defined wellness travel as “travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being." Wellness travellers look for more in their journeys than just picturesque scenery and urban ambiance; they want to make a genuine connection between the fresh experiences that travel offers their souls.

The demand for wellness travel is rising. From 2022 to 2030, the worldwide wellness tourism market is projected to develop at a compound annual growth rate of 9.93% and reach $1 trillion in value.

8 Wellness Trends in 2023

As we finish the first quarter of 2023, Luminary Wellness highlights the Top 8 Wellness Trends in 2023. Behind the latest technologies, treatments, and retreats, the COVID-19 experience has sparked some significant shifts in how consumers understand, experience, and expect wellness, which is one of the key drivers behind the trends.

The trends point to people's emerging wellness desires and needs, which have changed in many ways since the pandemic happened. Some observable shifts, according to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), are:

  1. Self-care for self-preservation and survival

  2. Prevention as a lifestyle and a public health priority

  3. Wellness and science must move toward each other

  4. Leaning into nature for nourishment and healing

  5. Balancing physical and virtual connections

  6. Mental well-being takes center stage

  7. A global values reset

With that observation, we would like to bring to you the 8 Wellness Trends in 2023 in the list below, curated from an array of leading wellness trend reports.

1. Mindful Movement

High-intensity workout routines are giving way to lower-intensity exercises and movements with purpose. Think movement retreats that include yin yoga, nature immersion, and forest walking meditation.

Condé Nast Traveler’s Biggest Wellness Travel Trends of 2023 reported that the latest meditative activities are set in movement, with new nature wellness retreats incorporating mindful kayak and paddle board excursions, and luxury wellness retreats offering sound bathing as a walking journey. People also rediscover the joy of walking, especially after episodes of pandemic lockdowns worldwide, and some leading trekking destinations are opening new bucket-list retreats and pilgrimages.

2. Transformative Wellness Retreats

In 2022, travelling for pleasure was popular as borders opened and everyone was longing for vacation time. In 2023, self-improvement travel with transformative wellness retreats may be popular as the search for meaning deepens.

Transformative wellness retreats usually take several days and are guided and intention-driven. Such retreats - meditation, yoga, nature immersion, and personal growth-oriented - are designed to address lifestyles, develop tools for stress management, as well as guide travellers to become their best selves.

Reporting on this trend, the SCMP recommended 5 new luxury wellness hotels to visit in Asia for immersive wellness experiences.

3. Wellness Rest and Sleep

Sometimes, time out alone isn't enough. CN Traveller reported that hotels and resorts are now offering profound rest programmes and retreats, such as The Body Retreat's Stress Reset retreat, which includes gentle wake-up taps on the door, nutrient-dense and blood sugar balancing food, and specific exercises that don't stress the body out. Guests also gather comfortably before bed for sleep hypnotherapy.

The importance of sound, personalised sleep health is also emphasized. The mindbodygreen reported that sleep health will get personal in 2023, with sleep-supporting products such as customisable mattresses, chronotype optimisation, sleep trackers, and sleep apps.

Forbes also observed a new trend among luxury hotels: a good night’s rest. Incredible sleep-specific amenities in hotels now go beyond a pillow menu, to high-tech smart mattresses, sunlight-mimicking lamps, mocktails with sleep-supporting ingredients, and even sleep-themed retreats.

4. Emotional Detox

The link between emotions and physical health and immunity has become increasingly accepted. Travellers now look for programmes or retreats that can help them release unhealthy thoughts and accumulated anxieties.

Wellbeing Escapes recommends 5 retreats and programmes offering the perfect environment to unwind, de-stress, heal, and bring out the spiritual side.

Psyche purging is also gaining popularity and recognition. Deep-dive psychological retreats, such as Path of Love, create activities and a safe environment for emotional detox - people gather to release their deepest emotions, be soothed, and walk away renewed. As the CN Traveller put it, “It’s about being deeply held, deeply seen, and at the end, deeply joyful.”

5. Biohacking

The term “biohacking” means “the activity of exploiting genetic material experimentally.”

Biohacking, the quest to manipulate biology to resist sickness and ageing and become superhuman, is nothing new. To improve their health, our predecessors created low-tech hacks like fasting and chanting, as well as traditional remedies.

Think AI, brain-computer interfaces, nanorobots, probiotics, cloud computing, and blockchain technologies when thinking of the latest biohacking craze. With the aid of technology, we are now able to control molecules, alter genes, control bacteria, track and monitor health indicators, and alter sensory inputs. The ability to regrow organs, or limbs, may soon be a reality with regenerative technologies.

The Wellbeing Escapes reported some examples of biohacking that are gaining popularity in spa and medical treatments, including:

  • Cryotherapy

  • Hyperbaric Oxygen chambers

  • Vitamin IVs

However, biohacking also raises moral, legal, and ethical concerns.

6. Holistic Wellness in the City

The Global Wellness Summit’s (GWS) The Future of Wellness 2023 Trends report forecasted that city wellness is no longer perceived as a luxury - it has become a necessity. Diverse, creative urban wellness structures will be embraced in 2023 to cultivate citizens' well-being.

Destination Deluxe also mentioned that the city wellness trend is all about incorporating wellness into the daily hustle and bustle of city life. The luxury wellness brand Aman opened its first city hotel in Manhattan, New York, where guests can get access to a jazz club, a greenery-filled terrace, an indoor pool, a sauna, and a cryotherapy chamber - all amid the busy downtown. Meanwhile, Six Senses also plans to open its first city hotel in Rome.

Holistic wellness in the city provides the facilities, programmes, and services for citizens to thrive, not just survive.

7. Integrative healthcare approach

In recent years, there has been a surge in integrative wellness approaches. Along with hi-tech wellness treatments, the infusion of traditional Eastern medicines and concepts into modern routines is becoming more popular, CN Traveller reported. These include traditional herbology, Qi Gong, Pai Sha, and even Ba-Zi (a Chinese astrological concept).

Certain practitioners, like Katie Brindle of the Hayo'u Method, incorporate these practices into their routines when treating complex ailments. The idea is that illnesses develop from emotional cores and energetic blockages. Using integrative tools, the conditions can be identified holistically; customers can also learn about their 5-element profiles and receive tips to navigate their well-being journey.

8. Corporate wellness

The pandemic has changed the way we work significantly. There is a growing recognition for the well-being of the teams - physically, emotionally, and most importantly, mentally. The GWS reported that the rise of workplace wellness will see more meaningful solutions instead of superficial wellness schemes. Memorable gatherings, and edgy in-person experiences, such as meetings held in ice baths, have become a new trend to be reckoned with.

Together with the recognition of corporate wellness, there is an increasing acceptance of a new term: workcation. Remote work has become more acceptable post-pandemic, and more hotels are offering workcation packages and rentals with features to attract remote workers, such as the Work from Hyatt packages.

2023 Wellness Trends Summary

The trends above indicate a shift in consumers’ mindset and preferences, placing more importance on their well-being. The landscape of hotels and resorts is changing; more hotels and resorts will embrace a wellness-inclusive model to accommodate the growing demands of consumers. We can see that people are placing more focus on taking care of their well-being, whether at home, at work, or while travelling.

Interested to see what these trends mean for your business? Please talk with us to find out how these wellness trends can help shape your future business model or offerings.

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