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Health and wellness tourism : where to go to be on top form ?

Since few years, we are witnessing to a growth in people’s personal health awareness. Consequently the demand in health and wellness products and services has significantly increased by both local and international tourists.

Rédigé par le Mardi 3 Février 2015

According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The domain of health and wellness tourism includes numerous activities such as thermal springs, thalassotherapy, day spa and hotel spa, spiritual retreats, medical surgery…

In 2013, the wellness tourism economy represented $439 billion (14% of all tourism spending) and is projected to grow by 9,1% annually through 2017, a growth rate that is nearly 50% higher than that of overall global tourism.

While France is the historical destination for thermal spring, some other destinations have been able to stand out :

- Health tourism : Rheumatisms, arthrosis or muscle pain problems

To combine pleasure and body soothing, Hungarian thermal springs are the best place to go. The abundance and the diversity of mineral waters make the country one of the first destination in the world for this practice.

A high skilled workforce combines with a very good hospitality offer and many personalize services (such as massage, fitness centre, dietetic program…) make the 102 thermal stations very diversified and adapted for many pathologies.

- Esthetical surgery tourism: Where and why ?

Since few years and accentuated by the crisis, esthetical surgery tourism has made a boom and is on the way to become very successful!
Tunisia and Morocco are getting popular due to the fact that they are close to France, and that they are able to speak French, but also because of their very attractive prices. Often half price compared to France, the all journey included (flight, hotel, surgery, food)! For example a liposuction that costs around 3 000€ in France, it only costs between 1 500€ in Tunisia. Some travel agencies are even specialized in that kind of aesthetic tourism in Tunisia like for example.

Even if all of this seems to be very appealing to you, you still need to be careful before to involve yourself in that kind of surgery. Here are few advices that may help you in your research :

- The surgeon has to be registered at the Council of the College of Physicians and surgeons of the country
- The quotation has to precise the nature of what has to be done and the potential postoperative consequences
- Make sure a check-up will be possible when you come back to your country
- Make sure to read all the clauses concerning insurances. What kind of compensation will you get in case of complication ?

- Wellness Tourism : Need of relaxation

More and more, tourists privileged their hotel choices for example concerning the standard of the hotel, services proposed, like spa area (services, types, product used such as Guerlain, La Prairie, Clinique…), and also take into account the different World Spa Awards in order to enjoy the best experience ever. In 2014, “World Luxury Awards” gave the award of the “Best Luxury Destination Spa” to Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa in Morocco.
Taiwan is a high roller Wellness Tourism destination. Years ago, Wellness Tourism was considered as a part of regular tourism and now it has become a separate category. Today, people want to achieve more in less time and this leads to stress.

Wellness Tourism Trends for 2015 :

- Business and Wellness:
Many wellness tourism resorts and hotels offer special packages to business professionals.

- Wellness gadgets:
Wearable wellness or fitness gadgets include watch, blood sugar monitors, wireless pulse monitors, calorie trackers, smartphone exercise device and more…

Wellness wearable devices can motivate people to stay fit and healthy.

- Short breaks or honeymoon:
Many tourism facility providers offer special tour packages to honeymoon couples. Couple can enjoy couple spa, natural spring bath and traditional massage therapy in beautiful locations. In 2014, Mauritius was the first destination for honeymoon.

- Thermal Spa Destination:
Destination like Bali, Malaysia, Italy… Thermal Spa Destinations have become great tourism spot.

2015 will be year of exciting development for health and wellness tourism in several countries.

Example of Wellness destination: Villa Stephanie in Baden-Baden (Germany), specialized in spa services.

A ranking of the best Spa Vacation from TripAdvisor (according to the popularity) into the world: Phuket (Thailand) / Istanbul (Turkey) / Tulum (Mexico) / Marrakech (Morocco) / Arizona, California (USA) / Budapest (Hungary) / Costa Rica / Bali / Fiji / Bath (UK) / Baden-Baden (Germany) Maldives, Seychelles and more …

Different type of Spa: Ayurvedic Spa, Resort / Hotel Spa, Medical Spa, Destination Spa

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