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Wellness Tourism: Why Travellers are Hooked on This New Destination

Posted by | 01-11-2019

We all know the feeling: You embark on a week-long trip thinking you’ll come home more refreshed than ever. Instead, you need a vacation to...well...get over your vacation. Why is it that the romance and relaxation we envisioned when planning our trips never pans out that way in real life? Is it the jet lag? Or maybe it’s the boredom that sets in when you do nothing but flop on a beach for 7 days. It could also be the fatigue that creeps up after museum-hopping for 6 hours straight.

It’s for these reasons that wellness tourism is becoming so popular. Travellers are burnt out from trying to keep up with jam-packed itineraries. Plus there are all the Facebook photos you gotta take so your friends know what a fabulous time you’re having, right?

Wellness tourism will make you ditch all that nonsense. The main priority becomes putting your health first. The goal? Check out feeling better than when you checked in! 

What types of vacations promote wellness? 

Ever go on a yoga retreat to India or book a spa getaway in Ontario’s countryside? These are all examples of wellness tourism. Spending a few days in California doing nothing but surfing could also be considered travelling for your health. 

According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness tourism industry is expected to reach nearly $19 billion USD by the year 2022. It’s been nearly 10 years since Eat, Pray, Love glorified the quest of self-discovery. But the kind of travel that Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) embarked on still resonates with millions of soul-searchers today. 

Research from the same report shows that the U.S., Germany and China have made the most money from wellness tourism since 2017. Rounding out the top 10 are India, Canada and the U.K. Many countries around the world are now marketing their own ‘wellness offerings’ -- touting everything from scenic mountain view retreats along Canada’s Pacific coast to therapeutic sand baths in the hot deserts of western Egypt. 

What are the benefits of wellness travel?

If you’re still not convinced that wellness travel is any different from your typical vacation, think about this: All vacations are an exercise in overindulgence. You cram as many of the city’s top restaurants into breakfast, lunch and dinner -- then spend your evenings soaking in the ‘night life’ as you bar-hop from one venue to the next. And don’t forget all the shopping and sightseeing you feel pressured to squeeze in. Sometimes, this can feel even more exhausting than a typical week at the office or chasing after the kids at home. 

Wellness travel forces you to shut it all down and spend your vacation focusing on one activity per day. Whether it’s an afternoon of parasailing or quiet meditation, the benefits of wellness travel are plenty. Here are just a few:

  • Taking part in some planned physical activity while on vacation can help you incorporate exercise into your daily routine back home
  • Exploring healthy, nutritious meals during your trip will not only entice your taste buds but help you revamp your overall eating habits
  • Wellness travel can inspire you to make some key changes in your life back home; these changes can involve things like your career or choice of friends

As an aside, many people set out on wellness vacations with the goal of losing weight. But this should never be the priority. Stress reduction and an improvement in your mental and physical state are key. Weight loss is just a bonus!

Isn’t wellness travel expensive? 

Wellness tourism has typically been linked to luxury spa getaways or pricy ski retreats in the mountains of Italy. But these are just marketing gimmicks aimed at getting people to spend more. It’s important to recognize you don’t have to shell out tons of cash to improve your health. There are so many more options out there when it comes to wellness travel.

For example, instead of booking an all-inclusive yoga retreat in B.C., consider renting a modest cabin along the coast. To fulfil your love of yoga, check out a few drop-in classes in the area. You can then spend the rest of your vacation visiting free pottery classes at the local community centre or arranging an excursion to a nearby farm. 

Your travel budget should never keep you from incorporating activities that make you feel good. By doing a bit of research and connecting with locals, you’ll see there are lots of opportunities for wellness -- no matter where in the world you may be.

I’m home. Now what?

Once the romance of your vacation is over, you may find it difficult to practice wellness in your everyday life. Physiomed can help you keep your health on track with our therapeutic services. Our RMTs can help you reduce stress with massage therapy or ease chronic back pain with the help of our highly-trained chiropractors. Physiomed is dedicated to improving your quality of life, even long after the vacation has ended! 

For more information on achieving optimal wellness or to book an assessment, contact us here

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Dr. Scott Wilson

Dr. Scott Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of Physiomed; one of Canada’s largest franchised networks of inter-disciplinary healthcare clinics. A graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Wilson founded Physiomed in 1994 and has since grown Physiomed to over 30 clinics in Southern Ontario and British Columbia. With hundreds of practitioners from over a dozen disciplines, Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have helped over 100,000 Canadians with physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, orthotic therapy, compression therapy and clinical conditioning as part of a program of rehabilitation and health optimization. In addition to helping patients improve their physical and mental well-being, Dr. Wilson has also mentored hundreds of practitioners to provide better care while enjoying more fulfilling careers. He is also a keynote speaker on many health related topics including how physiotherapy, chiropractic and health & wellness treatment can help with stress, weight loss, and unlocking the true potential within to achieve lasting physical well-being.

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