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Destination spas fund study examining experiences of 2,600 health retreat guests
By Katie Barnes 15 Dec 2023
Relaxation is still the main reason people seek out spa retreats Credit: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia
A group of destination spas have looked at the demographics and motivations of 2,600 retreat-goers from more than 60 countries
The research was suported by Lapinha in Brazil, Bodyholiday in St Lucia, Danubius in Europe, Sheenjoy in China and Elysia (previously Golden Door) in Australia
The greatest relief was most commonly experienced by those suffering from stress (64 per cent), fatigue (61 per cent), back pain (57 per cent) and arthritis
Forty-five per cent felt considerable relief from medical conditions after a health retreat
Despite the growing popularity of health retreats globally, little to no research explores who goes to them, why and what benefits they get from participating.

With this in mind, a recent study in the International Journal of Spa and Wellness* looked at the demographics and motivations of 2,600 retreat-goers from more than 60 countries.

The research was supported by destination spa operators worldwide including Lapinha in Brazil, Bodyholiday in St Lucia, Danubius in Europe, Sheenjoy in China and Elysia (previously Golden Door) in Australia. Industry figure Marc Cohen was also a co-author.

Retreat motivations
One of the main reasons for going on a retreat is relaxation and a holiday (30 per cent), according to the findings, followed by improving general health and learning coping mechanisms (18 per cent) and reducing stress and improving mental health (also 18 per cent).

Nearly all respondents felt better (74 per cent) or somewhat better (22 per cent) after a retreat stay.

In addition, the vast majority felt so happy that they would return or recommend the stay (71 per cent) or were satisfied that it was worth the time and money (25 per cent).

Managing disease
Forty-one per cent of respondents had one or more medical conditions and of those, 45 per cent experienced considerable relief from symptoms and another 26 per cent said it helped slightly.

The greatest relief was most commonly experienced by those suffering from stress (64 per cent), fatigue (61 per cent), back pain (57 per cent) and arthritis.

Yet longitudinal and randomised controlled studies are still needed to prove the effectiveness of specific programmes.

Self-funding majority
Other findings confirm the importance of local source markets, with 64 per cent living less than 5 hours away from retreats.

The ongoing need to strengthen ties with medical institutions was also highlighted. Despite the potential for retreats to help with escalating healthcare costs, very few participants were referred by practitioners.

Instead, they visited retreats following recommendations (50 per cent) or online searches (37 per cent). What's more, a mere 3 per cent of people received either health insurance or government funding, with an overwhelming majority valuing their health so much that they paid for themselves.

Findings were published in the paper Vacation or therapy? Demographics, motivations and experiences of wellness retreat guests around the world in July 2023.


News
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24 Apr 2024
The US spa industry is continuing its upward trajectory, achieving an unprecedented milestone with a record-breaking revenue of US$21.3 billion in 2023, surpassing the previous high of US$20.1 billion in 2022. This data stems from ... More
24 Apr 2024
Short-term incentives to exercise, such as using daily reminders, rewards or games, can lead to sustained increases in activity, according to new research. Researchers found that even a simple daily reminder encouraged people to move ... More
24 Apr 2024
Spa and wellness veteran Shannon Malave has been named spa director at iconic US spa destination Mohonk Mountain House. Based in New York’s verdant Hudson Valley and founded in 1869, Mohonk is a historic Victorian ... More
23 Apr 2024
Six Senses Kyoto opens its doors today, marking the eco-luxury hotel and spa operator’s entry into Japan and a new addition to its urban collection. Situated in the historic Higashiyama district, the 81-key hotel is ... More
23 Apr 2024
The UAE’s first-ever Dior Spa has officially launched at The Lana, Dubai – the Dorchester Collection’s debut property in the Middle East. Bathed in natural daylight on the hotel’s 29th floor, Dior Spa The Lana ... More
22 Apr 2024
The Sacred River Spa at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan will reopen later this year with an all-new design plus enhanced treatments and experiences inspired by its river valley home. Nestled amid rich tropical ... More
18 Apr 2024
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has released new data on the US’ wellness economy, valuing it at US$1.8 trillion. According to the organisation's recent report – called The Global Wellness Economy: United States – the ... More
19 Apr 2024
UK sauna enthusiasts will converge at Galgorm Resort in Northern Ireland next week for the highly anticipated second annual UK Aufguss Championships. Hosted from 22-24, the event will see competitors from across the UK showcasing ... More
17 Apr 2024
Remedy Place, a US-based social wellness club brand, is poised for steady expansion in the coming years, with plans to open two new clubs annually moving forward Remedy Place is the brainchild of Dr Jonathan ... More
16 Apr 2024
Swiss longevity brand Clinique La Prairie (CLP) has inked a deal with Montara Hospitality Group to operate a resort at Tri Vananda – a purpose-built wellness community in Phuket, Thailand. Tri Vananda, envisioned as a ... More
15 Apr 2024
Six Senses has announced the grand opening of its first-ever property and spa in the Caribbean, called Six Senses La Sagesse. With a picturesque beachfront setting and surrounded by verdant hills, Six Senses La Sagesse ... More
12 Apr 2024
A brand new desert hot springs oasis, called Zion Canyon Hot Springs, is set to open in Southern Utah in Q3 of 2025. Situated 30 minutes from the majestic Zion National Park, the US$60 million ... More
     
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Spa Life International
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NEWS
Destination spas fund study examining experiences of 2,600 health retreat guests
POSTED 15 Dec 2023 . BY Katie Barnes
Relaxation is still the main reason people seek out spa retreats Credit: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia
A group of destination spas have looked at the demographics and motivations of 2,600 retreat-goers from more than 60 countries
The research was suported by Lapinha in Brazil, Bodyholiday in St Lucia, Danubius in Europe, Sheenjoy in China and Elysia (previously Golden Door) in Australia
The greatest relief was most commonly experienced by those suffering from stress (64 per cent), fatigue (61 per cent), back pain (57 per cent) and arthritis
Forty-five per cent felt considerable relief from medical conditions after a health retreat
Despite the growing popularity of health retreats globally, little to no research explores who goes to them, why and what benefits they get from participating.

With this in mind, a recent study in the International Journal of Spa and Wellness* looked at the demographics and motivations of 2,600 retreat-goers from more than 60 countries.

The research was supported by destination spa operators worldwide including Lapinha in Brazil, Bodyholiday in St Lucia, Danubius in Europe, Sheenjoy in China and Elysia (previously Golden Door) in Australia. Industry figure Marc Cohen was also a co-author.

Retreat motivations
One of the main reasons for going on a retreat is relaxation and a holiday (30 per cent), according to the findings, followed by improving general health and learning coping mechanisms (18 per cent) and reducing stress and improving mental health (also 18 per cent).

Nearly all respondents felt better (74 per cent) or somewhat better (22 per cent) after a retreat stay.

In addition, the vast majority felt so happy that they would return or recommend the stay (71 per cent) or were satisfied that it was worth the time and money (25 per cent).

Managing disease
Forty-one per cent of respondents had one or more medical conditions and of those, 45 per cent experienced considerable relief from symptoms and another 26 per cent said it helped slightly.

The greatest relief was most commonly experienced by those suffering from stress (64 per cent), fatigue (61 per cent), back pain (57 per cent) and arthritis.

Yet longitudinal and randomised controlled studies are still needed to prove the effectiveness of specific programmes.

Self-funding majority
Other findings confirm the importance of local source markets, with 64 per cent living less than 5 hours away from retreats.

The ongoing need to strengthen ties with medical institutions was also highlighted. Despite the potential for retreats to help with escalating healthcare costs, very few participants were referred by practitioners.

Instead, they visited retreats following recommendations (50 per cent) or online searches (37 per cent). What's more, a mere 3 per cent of people received either health insurance or government funding, with an overwhelming majority valuing their health so much that they paid for themselves.

Findings were published in the paper Vacation or therapy? Demographics, motivations and experiences of wellness retreat guests around the world in July 2023.
MORE NEWS
US spa industry hits record-breaking US$21.3 billion in revenue in 2023
The US spa industry is continuing its upward trajectory, achieving an unprecedented milestone with a record-breaking revenue of US$21.3 billion in 2023, surpassing the previous high of US$20.1 billion in 2022.
Immediate rewards can motivate people to exercise, finds new research
Short-term incentives for exercise, such as using daily reminders, rewards or games, can lead to sustained increases in activity according to new research.
Shannon Malave appointed spa director at Mohonk Mountain House
Spa and wellness veteran Shannon Malave has been named spa director at iconic US spa destination Mohonk Mountain House.
Six Senses unveils urban wellness retreat in Kyoto inspired by Japanese Zen culture
Six Senses Kyoto opens its doors today, marking the eco-luxury hotel and spa operator’s entry into Japan and a new addition to its urban collection.
US named world’s largest wellness economy, reaching US$1.8 trillion valuation
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has released new data on the US’ wellness economy, valuing it at US$1.8 trillion.
Galgorm Resort gears up to host UK Aufguss Championships next week
UK sauna enthusiasts will converge at Galgorm Resort in Northern Ireland next week for the highly anticipated second annual UK Aufguss Championships.
+ More news   
 
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The ultimate spa and wellness resource, Universal Companies is an international distributor of produ [more...]
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Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, United States
28-30 Apr 2024

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Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow,
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