2017 Top 8 Global Spa and Wellness Trends
TOP 8 GLOBAL SPA AND WELLNESS TRENDS FOR 2017
INSIDE THE 2017 REPORT
When 500+ wellness experts from 46+ nations gather to debate the future of wellness, you have one uniquely authoritative and global view of the trends set to unfold. And that’s what happened at the recent tenth-anniversary Global Wellness Summit in Kitzbühel, Austria, which (with its specifically future-focused theme for 2016, “Back to the Future”) brought together leaders from the travel, spa, beauty, fitness, nutrition, technology, medical, economics and architecture worlds, to identify not only what the top wellness trends in 2017 (and beyond) will be – but why.
With a wave of annual wellness trends reports, the future shifts that Summit experts identified have a distinct “get real” quality: from architects finally designing buildings for human health to many new directions ahead in mental wellness to the wellness industry reaching beyond its (narrowing) association with wealthy elites.
And much innovation lies ahead: from a new focus on both “silent” and creativity and arts programming (whether at hotels, spas or fitness studios) to the 2,000-year-old sauna tradition getting a 21st century reimagining.
“No other forecast is based on the perspectives of so many wellness experts, from renowned economists, academics or futurists to the heads of global hospitality, spa and beauty brands,” said Susie Ellis, GWS Chairman & CEO.
“And it makes for a powerfully collective, global and informed set of predictions.”
After the trends were identified, Global Wellness Summit researchers expanded on the global angles and examples to illustrate the ways they’re already taking shape in our world.
1. Sauna Reinvented
From theatrical Sauna Aufguss events to jaw-dropping amphitheater saunas…sweating will get more spectacular and social in years ahead. A hot topic at the 2017 Summit was not only how the world needs to learn from European bathing/sauna culture, but how the Europeans themselves are now busy reimagining the sauna experience.
2. Wellness Architecture
From an information-packed panel on “Wellness Architecture and Design,” design and wellness experts detailed how everything in buildings will be rethought in the future: air, ventilation, water, light, sleep, and sound/acoustics – even designing “in” more human movement.
3. Focus on Silence
A new focus on silence at wellness destinations and spas came through loud and clear in Wellness Summit presentations. Future destinations will need to put a deeper, more comprehensive focus on the true “art of living” – from helping people “do” to helping them “be” – and that will include a much more powerful focus on silence and nature.
4. Art & Creativity Take Center Stage
Yes, adult coloring books – but well beyond: from classical concerts to intensive painting classes at hotels, wellness retreats, spas and studios. If the arts have historically been in spas’ DNA (genetic material that’s been lost), the future is restoring a very different looking “mind- body” connection, with more creativity/arts programming a crucial future wellness trend.
5. Wellness Remakes Beauty
Borders between beauty and wellness blur: the $999 billion beauty sector gets a shake up thanks to seismic shifts in the way we aspire to and perceive true beauty. The science behind beauty shows how our brains actually perceive beauty, persuasively arguing that we need beauty in our lives: it brings hope, connectedness and, ultimately, wellness.
6. The Future is Mental Wellness
Mental wellness will be the biggest future trend, period: from wellness destinations bringing in neuroscientists and psychotherapists – to meditation becoming seriously mainstream, while evolving into new breeds – to part-mind, part-body workout brands – to apps that track your mental state.
7. Wellness Industry Takes on Cancer
The Wellness industry stops turning away cancer sufferers and, instead, provides comfort, solace and positive recovery paths. Cancer sufferers, typically underserved when it comes to wellness options, have made significant gains due to organizations like Wellness for Cancer.
8. Beyond the Ghettos of Wellness
In a world where rising inequality and a sense of “unfairness” is leading to a global, populist backlash – a wellness industry that’s become narrowly associated with wealthy elites faces the need for change.