21 January 2020

Making predictions about future trends is never a safe thing to do, especially in an era where things change so fast and so unpredictably. However, as demographics shift and big data trends emerge, it becomes easier to make a safe bet on what guest will be looking for in their spa of choice over the next twelve months. By predicting their growth (or decline) in the near future, we can guess how trends will impact the spa and wellness industry through new opportunities, challenges and innovations.

These are just a few trends that big data and industry experts suggest will grow over the next year, but there are a lot more out there. Needless to say, the two things that are certain to drive the industry for the next decade or more are the environment and new technology.

1. Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Wellness

With a greater focus on personalised wellness, artificial intelligence (AI) wellness consultants and programmes will lead the world of data-driven wellness. Virtual reality will further integrate into the spa, with immersive games that focus on real-time biometrics and physiological data. The opportunity for saps to create unique experiences and use AI to create brand new treatments will only increase. According to Google Trend, searches for “Virtual Wellness” are up 242%.

2. Clean Nature and Digital Detoxification

As environmental concern drives the global narrative further, those living in more urban or polluted areas will be looking further afield for clean, unadulterated nature. As an increasingly valuable resource, the healing power of nature cannot be overestimated in the next decade. People are already seeking out ‘deep nature’ – places far from technology and civilisation – and we expect that desire will only increase. According to Finnish researchers, stress and anxiety levels drop dramatically after a 20-minute walk in nature. In the industry, we call this ‘ecotherapy’, and it is finally being recognised as a crucial part of total body wellness.

3. Sleep Wellness

A huge trend that hit us in late 2019 was all about sleep. From comfortable beds to hotel rooms designed around you own sleep patterns, there is already a movement of customers looking at the quality of sleep over the more traditional elements of hospitality services. In 2020, people will continue to prioritise, maximise and optimise sleep. According to Terry Cralle, co-author of the book “Sleeping Your Way to the Top”, hotels, apartments, spas (and employers) need to begin offering better soundproofing, natural lighting, better schedules and more respect for our need for sleep in the coming years.

4. CBD Everything

The boom in CBD is not surprising given the dramatic change in both public and political opinion on cannabis the world over. Although there’s still a long way to go before it becomes a global household item, the beauty and wellness industries are already utilising the wonder ingredient in a big way. A non-psychoactive strain of cannabis or hemp, it boasts a range of healing properties from anti-inflammation and anti-ageing to mental and physical wellbeing. That said, the year 2020 will probably see its fair share of snake-oil salespeople too. You have been warned! According to Google Trend, searches for “CBD Skincare” are up 367%.

5. Good Water Inside and Out

The value of water as a commodity and a healing tool is becoming more and more apparent to the new generations. From respecting those who don’t have access to seeing the health benefits of pure mineral water bathing, people are waking up to water on a global scale. What we drink is as important as what we bathe in, and an emphasis on water as a wellness resource is going to challenge spas to seize a leadership position in regards to water quality and the reduction of pollutants, according to RMIT University Professor Marc Cohen who is also a board member of GOCO Hospitality.

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