Reflections on the Industry: Today’s health holiday

The holiday experience generates relaxation and that feeling of well-being but are we searching for more?

In our smart world the meaning of health has changed. It has merged under the umbrella of wellbeing which brings together all aspects of our lifestyle. And when holidaying we become more aware and focused on health around us – the nutritious content of dishes printed on menus, the presence of fitness facilities and the spa’s signature treatments and therapies.

E-medicine and online diagnostics are all playing a part to encourage us to manage our own health, at home and away. And with ease of access to a wealth of resources online there are an increasing number of us combining health components with our holidays. From mindfulness, detox, diet or de-stress, more and more of us are taking these issues to tackle while taking a break in the hope we will return, renewed and invigorated!

Advanced technology and ongoing research have broadened our minds, while a renaissance in traditional and natural practices have renewed our beliefs in wellness therapies and treatments.

Chinese aesthetic medicine, fire meditations, floating therapy in ancient caves or non-invasive facelifts – there are treatments for most ailments in locations around the globe. A blessing from a High Priestess in Bali, sound therapy in Thailand, treatments with Argan Oil in Morocco, body screening in the Austrian Alps, health tourism is international.

The numerous cures offered are varied, colourful and creative. Tibetan singing bowls are prescribed for rebalance and harmony while intuitive horse therapy can help to reconnect you with your inner self. And with so many of us suffering distractions from every direction – phone, laptop and social media, mindfulness retreats aim to get you back to reality to live in the moment.

The media plays its role in influencing us. Each day reveals the latest research and newest statistics on every health topic from cancer-reducing activities, anti-ageing treatments, the new superfood addition and the latest official number of hours to sleep.

Films and television reflect this surge in individual health. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy charismatically took this subject on their jaunt to India seeking a healthier alternative for retirement. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel highlighted a faraway destination at a far cheaper cost. But it was the culture shock and change of living standards that gave them the release of letting go of the past and living for the moment. Their experiences and self-discovery have contributed to seeking wider experiences to reflect on ourselves and lifestyle options.

Low cost airlines have contributed to the growth in health tourism. They have played a major role in opening up routes and borders to more destinations to allow easier access to locations for health treatments at competitive costs.

Health Tourism is growing. It impacts our lifestyle and the choices we make. Holidays have become experiential so whether it is sound therapies, underground caves or spiritual healing, holidays are becoming healthier with time away from home to learn and adopt new health ingredients into our life.