08 Jan

ABTA finds one in three people prioritise wellness on holiday

  • Holidaymakers who plan to do wellness activities will spend over four hours a day doing them
  • They plan to spend the most time away from tech – 108 minutes a day on average
  • More than two million people plan to take a wellness trip in the next 12 months 

Research from ABTA – The Travel Association reveals that people are increasingly incorporating wellness into their holiday, with one in three (34%) people planning to take part in activities focussed on improving their wellbeing such as yoga, meditation, spa and holistic treatments or taking time away from tech1.

Holidaymakers plan to spend almost four and a half hours each day (269 minutes) on average doing a combination of wellness activities – with the most time being spent avoiding technology such as smartphones, laptops and tablets. People will spend nearly two hours a day (108 minutes) on average, and a further quarter (24%) more than four hours a day (240 minutes or more), making a conscious effort to keep away from their gadgets. 

Whilst holidaymakers are keen to avoid too much time spent on their devices, the popularity of wearable technology, which many people use to track their health and fitness activity, shows no sign of slowing down. One in ten (12%) people take an exercise tracker, such as a Fitbit, away with them, rising to one in five (20%) people in the North East.

Physical fitness is most important for holidaymakers who want to focus on wellness, two-thirds (67%) of people plan to do activities such as yoga, pilates and nature hikes – with more than one in ten (14%) planning to spend over four hours a day on them. 

The next most popular wellness activities on the list are spa treatments (42%) and meditation/silent time (39%). Just over one in ten (14%) plan to try holistic therapies such as Reiki and chakra balancing. 

The main reason why people are planning to take part in wellness activities is to relax and unwind (60%), with young holidaymakers being the most likely to prioritise mental wellbeing (46% vs 35% average).

More people than ever are seeking ways to alleviate stress and boost wellbeing, and over two million UK holidaymakers are planning to take a wellness trip in the next 12 months2. Trips are also up 20% globally since 2015, with most wellness holidays are taken in Europe3 and destinations such as Germany, France, Austria and Greece increasingly investing in this area. 

This increase reflects the growing demand for a wider range of choices when it comes to going away – with ABTA Members seeing an uplift in travellers seeking opportunities to focus on their mindfulness, nutrition and physical and mental wellbeing. By 2022 it’s predicted that 1.2 billion wellness trips will be taken each year globally3.

Victoria Bacon, ABTA’s Director of Brand and Business Development, said:

“Travel companies are increasingly catering to people who want to focus on their wellbeing when away – whether it’s incorporating it into their holiday or taking a dedicated wellness trip. From adventure to youth to cruise brands, we have a wide range of ABTA Members who can ensure holidaymakers get exactly what they want from their trip, such as offering accommodation that has specific facilities or comprehensive wellbeing programmes. 

“With the start of a new year, many people turn their attention to holidays for the year ahead. It’s a great time to book as there is an abundance of deals and offers available, and an endless amount of choice too, so booking early helps you get the best value for money for the holiday of your choice. For those looking to get away, whether it’s to focus on physical or mental wellbeing, visit a popular destination or to try something new – now is a good time to explore your options.” 

Holidaymakers who have booked with an ABTA Member will have access to the support, protection and expertise provided by ABTA, so people can travel with confidence. You can find an ABTA Member by visiting abta.com/findamember.

For further information, contact:
ABTA press office, press@abta.co.uk or 020 3117 0596
Emily Jones, Media and PR Manager, ejones@abta.co.uk or 0203 117 0592

Out of Hours: Contact the Duty Press Officer via landline: 020 3693 0183
Web: www.abta.com
Twitter: @ABTAtravel

Notes to editors
1All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from an online survey with a total sample size of 2,081 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken by YouGov Plc between 4th and 5th July 2019. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)
2ABTA’s 2019 Consumer survey reveals 5% of people are planning a wellbeing break in the next 12 months. 5% of total UK holidaymakers (47,000,000) = 2,350,000. Total UK holidaymaker data sourced from the Office for National Statistics Travel Trends: 2018
3Global Wellness Institute report 2018

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence. 

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members. 

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.