With interest in ‘wellness tourism’ booming, the latest data from Expedia Group, the world’s travel platform, reveals how both domestic and international visitors in greater numbers are seeking out UK locations famed for relaxation and their natural beauty.
Recent research found that wellness is a fast-emerging tourism trend, and that more than two million UK holidaymakers plan to take a wellness trip over the next 12 months. (1) Wellness tourism is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 7.5% through 2022, considerably faster than the 6.4% growth estimated for overall tourism. By that date, it is predicted that 1.2 billion wellness trips will be taken annually. (2)
Expedia Group data covering the whole of 2019* (January-December) shows that some of the UK’s renowned naturalistic destinations recorded significant growth across the year. Areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the Cotswolds, Lake District and Scottish Highlands all recorded an increase in tourism demand of almost 25%, compared to the previous year.
The data also underlines high growth in demand for other destinations appreciated by visitors for scenic walks through stunning countryside, relaxing spa retreats and range of leisure activities. Accommodation providers in the South West of England saw growth in demand of almost 20% year-on-year with several hotels across the region running promotions with Expedia Group which included discounts for spa facilities. The historic city of Bath, famed for its natural spas, enjoyed an increase in demand of around 15%, compared to the previous year.
Counties such as Yorkshire, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset all experienced double-digit year-on-year growth as holidaymakers sought to enjoy breaks in UK regions that offer relief from the hectic nature of everyday life.
Commenting on the data, Director, Market Management at Expedia Group, Daniel Scharbert, said: “Wellness tourism has become increasingly popular with the UK ranking in the top 10 wellness tourism markets globally. As travellers prioritise wellness in their everyday lives and even while travelling, this market is set to become more valuable.
“This data shows how Expedia Group is helping to attract both domestic and international visitors to destinations right across the UK through our marketing and technology tools, enabling hoteliers to successfully reach travellers looking to enjoying a break that benefits their mental and physical wellbeing.”
* Data includes UK lodging demand from FY2019 (Jan-Dec, 2019) compared with the same period the previous year.