While investment in authentic and place-based destination spas continues to expand, it is clear that wellness tourism is diversifying and shifting to outlying metropolitan locations. More wellness businesses that have traditionally functioned as destination spa resorts are expanding into second and third-tier market cities, and wholly new ones are emerging.   

Primary cities will have a long-lasting “pull” for a big portion of the population due to higher education, healthcare, and job/career chances. While COVID-19 provides immediate obstacles, the networking activities that constitute the lifestyle patterns of society’s cultural and economic elites may find it more difficult to leave cities. There is also a push to build urban wellness centers, which now cater to the high-end market but are becoming more accessible and reaching a broader consumer base. In terms of long-term planning, urban livability will continue to spread, bringing more people to activated regions with a reduced carbon footprint, but low-density, rural leisure and living for the masses will not be practical in many parts of the world, including Asia and Latin America.

With a growing audience and heightened need for well-being, this will drive fresh and distinct demand in the future years. To reposition services and fulfill these evolving expectations, new spa and wellness businesses and creative performance models will be necessary. Developing successful spa-and-wellness proposals and new business models necessitates a delicate balancing act between knowing the spa-and-wellness market and the social and economic ecosystems in which it exists.

Aside from increased wellness-hospitality development, a shift in thinking from a “me” perspective to a bigger “we” one is becoming increasingly common around the world. As a result, throughout the last decade, there has been a renewed emphasis on sustainable building methods and architecture, as well as being cognizant of constructing with a lighter touch on nature.

It is vital to emphasize that the expansion of wellness-hospitality is not restricted to destination spas or typical hotels and resorts. There are substantial changes taking place in this market’s standalone facilities, mixed-use, and residential real estate sectors. These broader achievements in spa and wellness development support the trajectory of new demand entering the market. It is a good time to think about additional elements like site repositioning and renovations to engage these growing program kinds.