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Top Choices for Wellness Travel in 2020

New survey shows where people are traveling to put their life and spirit back on course

Stressed Gen X-ers making welless travel a focus for the coming year, resolving to improve themselves moving forward are focusing on wellness of the mind and spirit – even more than the physical.

A survey by global luxury travel network Virtuoso of advisors specializing in the growing niche of Wellness Travel found that reducing stress and anxiety are paramount with travelers in the New Year. They named meditation and mindfulness as the top wellness travel pursuits and cited spiritual and mental wellness as significant emerging trends.

The Wellness Persona

The survey revealed that the typical wellness traveler is a Generation-X woman who most frequently goes on trips with a small group of friends or solo. With today’s increasingly hectic lifestyles due to work, family and other obligations, travelers are looking to wellness trips to provide a relaxing escape that restores balance and transforms mind, spirit and body. They are also seeking skills while away to help maintain that calm and support their mental, spiritual and physical health once they return home.

Where to Find Wellness Adventures

Asian destinations emerged strongly as favorite wellness settings. Although the U.S. tops the list of wellness travel destinations, Bali and Thailand follow close behind. Two other Asian locales, Bhutan and Vietnam, appear high on the roster of wellness destinations on the rise. The prevalence of meditation, yoga, spirituality, fresh cuisine, spa treatments and outdoor activities makes Asia compelling for travelers focusing on wellbeing.

Wellness Travel Keeps Pace with the Future

Virtuoso specialists report that wellness travel sales are pacing solidly for 2020. Fifty-three percent say sales will be steady from 2019, while 45 percent say they expect sales to increase. The future is even more positive: a powerful 98 percent say the trend will continue to build.

Key results from the 2020 Virtuoso Wellness Community survey:

Top Wellness Travel Motivations    


1. Stress and anxiety reduction

2. Rest and relaxation

3. Body/mind/spirit transformation

4. Getting away from it all

5. Spiritual renewal

Top Wellness Travel Activities

1. Meditation and mindfulness

2. Spa treatments such as massages

3. Yoga

4. Healthy eating

5. Outdoor adventures

Top Wellness Travel Destinations      


1. United States                                                                        

2. Bali                                                                                      

3. Thailand                                                                              

4. Costa Rica                                                                          

5. Italy            


Top Wellness Travel Destinations on the Rise

1. Bhutan

2. Croatia

3. Vietnam

4. Portugal

5. South Africa

Top Emerging Wellness Travel Trends

1. Hotels with wellness amenities

2. Spiritual retreats

3. Mental wellness

4. Travel with a purpose

5. Developing skill in a wellness activity