Exploring Wellness Travel In The GCC For 2021
Last year, no one could have predicted that COVID-19 would put a halt to aviation and subsequently worldwide travel altogether, causing the tourism industry to suffer a 17% dip in global revenue.
Eat, work, sleep, repeat has been our daily mantra ever since. While we’re thankful for the extra downtime in 2020, we think you’d agree that it’s due time for inspiring and rejuvenating adventures!
As things gradually get back to (somewhat) normal, 2021 is looking hopeful for those who can no longer contain their wanderlust.
But before you start packing, remember that time you returned from a holiday and immediately thought, “I need a vacation to recover from that vacation”? Well, you’re not the only one!
To help you get the most out of your future travel plans and to leave you invigorated, energised, and healthy, we’re taking a dive into a popular holiday trend — wellness travel.
We’ll also be dishing out the top health and wellness tourism trends you need to know about, as well as the most sought-after destinations in the GCC for planning your 2021 itinerary with your wellbeing in mind!
But first, let’s break down the term!
Wellness travel is a holistic experience, a new frontier towards “living your best life”.
More and more people are opting for retreats that promote their health and overall wellbeing.
In fact, it’s expected that tourism will transition away from the usual leisure travel and move towards restorative vacations with a focus on physical and mental health.
You can now get rid of all that anxiety, tension, and stress caused by COVID-19 at wellness destinations which provide the essence of holistic therapy and spirituality.
For example, you can book a relaxing trip to Costa Rica and spend your days surfing on a private beach while attending regular meditation sessions in the surrounding peaceful jungle.
Like your wellness a bit more sweaty and fast-paced? Sign up for bootcamp holidays to help you achieve your fitness goals. Lose weight, tone up, or just get active in a stress-free environment.
The options are literally endless and cater to all kinds of preferences and needs.
Let’s have a look at some of the top wellness travel trends you don’t want to be sleeping on:
Three of our favourite words!
Sustainability takes centre stage as eco-conscious travellers now have the option to vacay in the most environmentally friendly way.
Eco-holidaymakers are less likely to fly frequently, opting for long-haul holidays and staycations to destinations that focus on minimising the environmental impact of their stay on the planet.
2. Wellness Staycations
Given the significance of mental and physical health over the past year and the unpredictability of travelling abroad, it’s no surprise that wellness staycations are becoming a popular travel trend.
Care for your body by eating, drinking, exercising, and sleeping well while getting your holiday fix without the stress of international travel.
3. Tailor-made Anti-stress Holidays
Stress and anxiety were two popular words in 2020 as we were collectively cooped up in isolation.
As stress levels continue going through the roof, some much-needed rest and recreation (R&R) are just what the doctor prescribed to release all that pent up anxiety.
Customised wellness vacations and stress-relieving retreats provide an immersive experience of personalised fitness coaching, health examinations, and luxury therapeutic spa treatments with additional educational programs — all tailored to your specific needs.
4. Healthy Hibernation
After such a hectic year, travellers are looking to enjoy a longer summer by escaping the winter months and literally chasing the sun by going on healthy hibernation holidays in warmer countries.
Leave the many layers of winter clothing behind for a season-long and get a much-needed dose of sunshine while rebuilding your immunity (and sanity) after a year of solitude.
Top Wellness Travel Destinations For 2021
There are a variety of options in the GCC for wellness tourism, either in-land or just a short travel away.
The Middle East has become a unique holiday destination for health-conscious tourists with an abundance of world-class spas, health resorts, wellness centres, and healthcare facilities.
Traditional therapies that place a higher emphasis on preventative healthcare like homoeopathy, Ayurveda, and yoga have contributed greatly to the sector’s continuous growth, catering to a devoted clientele who travel at least once a year on average.
Ongoing development of smart technologies, including artificial intelligence and various other technological platforms, reinforces the region’s health and wellness possibilities and puts it right on track with international agendas on promoting digital transformation in tourism.
One prime example is The Retreat Palm Dubai. The five-star resort offers ways for total rehabilitation, from zero-alcohol and smoke-free policies for an all-rounded cleanse and detox to restoring your body with rich nutrients found in their homegrown salads.
Guests have various wellness activities to choose from, including retreats (yoga, weight-loss, detox, and fitness), customised classes, consultations, and one-on-one sessions.
The city of Salalah, located in Oman, is surrounded by the region’s borders of mountains and desert. The rainy season between June and August leaves behind a lush, green tropical paradise of unparalleled beauty. And it’s between its freshwater lagoons and private beaches that wellness travellers are hiding out to recoup.
Al Baleed Resort Salalah offers getaway retreats designed for visitors to experience health with an injection of luxury. The holistic experience begins with a private consultation, followed by an array of wellness activities while paying attention to your diet and selected restorative spa therapies.
Yoga is a great way to promote your health and wellness, and the Indian state of Goa is the perfect place to visit if you want to enjoy a yoga vacation or practice yoga more seriously.
There are countless yoga retreats to choose from, with the majority being in north Goa and open between October to May. Most focus on holistic wellbeing and offer Ayurvedic and other natural therapies.
Check out The Beach House Goa, an all-inclusive wellness centre, where rehabilitation blends with modern technology. The various spa and yoga programs include daily yoga sessions, holistic therapies, and nutrient-rich balanced meals while monitoring your pH levels and body measurements.
Guests can also opt for more intense programs such as juice fasting or full-body reboot options.
With so many powerful benefits, wellness travel is a much-needed escape not only from the ordinary but also from the harmful factors that affect our physical and mental health.
So, examine your wellness goals, pack your yoga pants, and book a trip to a safe retreat where you can finally leave the stress of 2020 behind!
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