2015 Top 10 Global Spa and Wellness Trends
TOP 10 GLOBAL SPA AND WELLNESS TRENDS FOR 2015
The 2015 Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast is developed by a team of research analysts, editors and industry experts, and is based on ongoing surveys of the thousands of spa, wellness and beauty providers in the Spafinder Network, thousands of travel agents and hundreds of thousands of consumers—as well as interviews with industry leaders and extensive analysis of current market research.
Our goal when researching and writing our annual Top 10 Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast is to provide the insight and information companies in the wellness industry will need to make sound decisions in the year ahead—and help businesses, consumers and the media understand how economic, cultural and social shifts will impact not only our industry, but also people’s lives.
In the sea of trend lists appearing each new year, we think our unique forecast stands out, taking an intense, research-driven view of what’s trending across the global wellness landscape from spa experiences to fitness, beauty, travel, nutrition and even workplace wellness. And unlike a standard slideshow, our report dives deep into the why, how and where each trend is developing.
Each year themes emerge, and this year, we discovered that in a world overwhelmed by technology, there is a search for simplicity; as well, a harkening back to lost, healthier ways of living.
Read on to discover the boost in meditative “Forest Bathing” experiences and more retreats where trees and silence take luxury “Beyond the Stars.” New master-planned “Wellness Communities & Cities” offer “front porch” values like growing one’s food and knowing your neighbors.
And in trends like “My Fitness. My Tribe. My Life,” we see how social fitness will continue to transform the very ways people live, socialize, dress and travel by answering basic human needs for true community in an age of loneliness.
In the global quest for the authentic and indigenous, the trends take an unexpected turn, with wellness traditions from Islamic worlds ascending, and food and beauty ingredients from regions like the Middle East and Africa set to grab headlines. And one trend would be unthinkable just years ago: the wave of medical/recreational marijuana legalization across the U.S. (and soon in Uruguay and likely other global regions) means cannabis is getting a “wellness makeover,” with new spa, beauty, travel and yoga connections.
We sincerely hope you enjoy our 2015 report and like us, find new reasons to be excited about this amazing industry within which we are all grateful to work. Here’s to the year ahead!
1. Forest Bathing: Mindfulness Meets Nature
The term “forest bathing” has nothing to do with water, and is more than just a poetic way of describing a “walk in the woods,” something humans have, of course, been doing for five million years (if never less so than today). The Japanese government coined the term in 1982, a translation of “shinrin-yoku,” which literally means “taking in the forest atmosphere.”
2. Cannabis: New Spa & Wellness Connections
After decades of prohibition, marijuana is suddenly undergoing a makeover: more people worldwide view it as socially acceptable and medically important, and whole new markets and products are busily being invented. Once-lowly “weed” has become a real industry, growing like weeds.
3. Wellness Traditions from the Islamic World
There is no more powerful consumer trend across the developed world than the hunger for all things authentic and indigenous, impacting what we now most want to eat (the latest global “superfoods” and ancient grains), to where we most want to travel (suddenly a far wider, exotic map). It’s why the spa/wellness scene is increasingly a global village, with approaches like Indian Ayurveda and yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine now embraced worldwide.
4. Industrial Revolution: Blue Collar Wellness
Conduct an online search for the words corporate, employee or workplace wellness, and you’ll be rewarded with millions of results. Due to skyrocketing global health care costs, aging populations and record levels of preventable disease, programs promising cost-savings, less absenteeism and a more productive workforce are big business.
5. Wellness Homes, Communities & Cities
Back in 2007 Spafinder named “spa real estate” a top trend, after tracking the rise of a new breed of residence that essentially let people live at a luxury spa. The concept was pioneered by high-profile destination spas, like Canyon Ranch Living, which launched in Miami Beach in 2007, and Miraval Living, which planned to open in New York City around 2008. And the first wave also saw destination spas like Red Mountain Resort & Spa (Utah) and Terme di Saturnia (Italy), and numerous hotel/resort spas, add condos and villas. Fueled by the early 2000’s economic boom, by 2007 over 250 global spa real estate options were listed at www.spafinder.com. Then the recession hit, and many of these projects (on the drawing board or newly launched), crashed right along with the economy.
6. My Fitness. My Tribe. My Life.
As trend forecasting becomes trendier—rowing is the new spinning…hot Pilates is the new Bikram…party fitness is the new Zumba—fitness fads of the minute garner deserved attention from the media, wellness influencers and the physically active public. But these persistent hyper headlines warrant some big picture reflection before chasing the latest fads once again. The big story is that the fitness landscape is shifting permanently.
7. Spa On Arrival (& En Route)
It used to be that while traveling for business or pleasure, spa treatments were a luxurious add-on, something fitted in between a meeting and dinner, or perhaps an afternoon treat during a visit to a new city. Now, however, spa treatments and other wellness offerings are being prioritized both en route and on arrival – either to get a head start on relaxation or to kick-start productivity by shaking off travel fatigue. For growing numbers of travelers, a workout or spa experience is becoming the final entry on the travel itinerary – an indispensable post-flight ritual.
8. Hyper-Personalized Beauty
Skinny Jeans. Army Brat. It List. These are the gutsy names of new eye shadow colors from some of the world’s biggest cosmetics brands. But as much as big companies have ratcheted up the attitude with their makeup branding, their attempt to connect with consumers’ sense of self will have to compete with the emerging—and fastest-growing trend in beauty: hyper-personalization.
9. Gut Reaction
“Listen to your gut…” Though this is a phrase typically uttered when it comes to following your instincts, it is also one of the hottest trends for 2015 and could be some of the best advice for your overall wellbeing.
10. Beyond the Stars
Some say it was an awestruck journalist, trying to convey the level of luxury offered by the newly opened Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai in 1998, who first described it as a “seven-star” property. No such designation exists (or ever did), as none of the rating systems used by various governments and hospitality associations worldwide offers rating higher than five stars.