The evidence of coastal Wellness Tourism21/10/2015 By Max Clapham
Max Clapham spoke at the National Coastal Tourism Academy’s Destination FeelGood celebration hosted in London on 24th September 2015. The event brought together leading experts in the field of wellness tourism, a topic which, through our Holiday Trends research, BVA BDRC are specialists in.
In his presentation Max used findings from research BVA BDRC had conducted for the NCTA and for our Holiday Trends report to discuss why and how coastal destinations could take advantage of wellness tourism. Wellness tourism is a holiday where the main driver of choice is to take part in activities that specifically enhance your health and wellbeing. Wellness tourism as Max explained is a market that is expected to see considerable growth in the coming years making it a very exciting prospect for coastal destinations.
Given that the coast was already instinctively equated with wellness the benefits of catering to wellness tourists are significant. Wellness tourists have a higher net spend than the average holidaymakers spending £617 compared to £542. This is coupled with the fact that wellness breaks are taken throughout the year, with an especially strong performance in the sometimes difficult spring and autumn seasons.
Our research has also looked at how destinations can maximise their opportunities in the wellness market. We found that the most important factor wellness tourists take into consideration when booking holidays is the natural setting, an area in which the coast already has a significant advantage. The important point for coastal destinations is how they market themselves to potential visitors and encourage the visitor self-development that is key to any wellness focused holiday. For empty nesters this is most likely to be nature based activities, such as exploring nature reserves or going on wildlife watches. For the pre-family market, aerial-based adventure activities such as hand gliding, sky dives, and zip wires will have the strongest appeal. If destinations can sell themselves on the right basis they will be primed to take advantage of wellness tourism for years to come.