Eye On Apparel: Wellness Travel Is Just The Ticket
CGi Heart / Supavadee butradee / Shutterstock.com
While popular resort destinations and sought-after spa services shift with trends, one consistency remains: vacationers long to experience something new and return feeling refreshed. Wellness travel, one of the fastest-growing tourism markets according to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), offers this and more to travelers through niche experiences designed to enrich personal goals and values.
Far more than sunbathing and sightseeing, wellness trippers are looking to nurture aspects of their wellbeing. From health, nutrition and fitness to nature tours, personal growth, spirituality, mind-body connection, and spa and beauty tours, there’s truly something for everybody—and the list of options continues to lengthen. In 2020, global wellness tourism was a $802 billion-dollar market, according to Allied Market Research, and it’s projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2030, growing at a rate of 7.2% per year.
Wellness tourism was on the upswing even before the pandemic, but having more consumers home and concerned with health and safety led to a greater focus on personal wellbeing, according to Allied Market Research. At the time this largely consisted of isolated activities like at-home fitness and digital therapies, but when mandates lifted and consumers started traveling again, they began tackling their wellness goals head-on, from de-stressing to getting pampered, to detoxing the body or facilitating a spiritual awakening. Some of the most popular niches are nutrition, physical fitness, nature and adventuring, personal growth, spirituality and self-care, which can be enjoyed independently, under the guidance of specialists or in a group setting.
From a business standpoint, wellness tourism is positioned to invite many brands to get involved. From a hotel that sells branded apparel, to personalized robes that are given to spa guests of a certain tier, to bathing suits imprinted with a mantra that was the theme of a spiritual retreat, there are many ways for brands to make their mark and contribute to the end-user experience. When catering to this market, there are two types of travelers to note: primary and secondary. Primary wellness travelers are exclusively traveling for wellness, such as a digital detox or a self-love retreat, and domestic wellness travelers in the U.S. spend 178% more than the average traveler does, reports GWI. Secondary wellness travelers dip their toes in the water, and though they may take a fitness class or nutrition workshop while away, they aren’t vacationing strictly for wellness.
Because wellness travelers spend flexibly and are willing to pay a premium for a feel-good boost, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual, brands can offer the right wearables to convey the feel of a first-rate trip, and also to spread the brand’s message by presenting travelers with useful items that remind them of the inspirational getaway.
Consumers in North America are responsible for more than one-third (37.8%) of the global travel market, according to the Global Wellness Institute. This year, the North American market is projected to reach $311 billion alone, and is mostly driven by the U.S. and Canada. Where are all these travelers going? According to GWI, three-fourths of wellness trips are booked in destinations across North Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.
A breezy dress that’s easy to wear for daytime activities or nights out, is the Women’s Viscose Bamboo Organic Tee Dress. Made from a blend of bamboo and organic ring-spun cotton, the silky-soft dress is moisture-wicking and breathable. Made in the USA and available in four neutral shades, shown in pewter.
Royal Apparel / PPAI 269959, S1 / www.royalapparel.com
Trip-goers participating in outdoor events, whether fishing or meditating, can benefit from the comfort of the Teema® Stone Blanket. Each blanket, which measures 84-inches-long-by-71-inches-wide, undergoes a stone washing process, so no two are exactly alike. Made with Turkish cotton, which softens over time, recipients will reach for this long after the trip. Shown in ice.
Pro Towels / PPAI 112755, S8 / www.protowels.com
Travelers participating in outdoor activities will be pleased to receive a Color Blocked Pack-N-Go®. Best suited for mild weather conditions, the polyester jacket is wind- and water-resistant, and conveniently packs into its own front pocket with a zipper closure. Once packed, the unisex, half-zip jacket can also be attached to luggage and backpacks using its self-fabric loop. Shown in navy/forest.
Charles River Apparel / PPAI 111644, S10 / www.charlesriverapparel.com
Help guests ease into relaxation and warmly welcome them with the Kimono Robe & Slippers Gift Set. It includes a white, embroidered, unisex Turkish Kimono Style Robe, made from 100% cotton with a textured waffle weave, and a pair of Quilted Velour Slippers, with branding printed on its tan cotton twill stripe. The items are presented in a white, custom drawstring travel bag.
Towel Specialties / PPAI 113150, S7 / www.towelspecialties.com
Brands can make a beautifully memorable statement with the Triangular Bandana, decorated with edge-to-edge dye sublimation. Reusable and machine-washable, the bandana ties on the back of the head to reduce ear pressure. It’s also moisture-wicking to keep wearers cool and offers full coverage from below the eyes to the neck.
Terry Town / PPAI 230911, S7 / www.terrytown.com
The Alternative Backstage Vintage Jersey Tank Top is perfect for an early-morning yoga class or mindfulness session, and also for day-to-day wear when returning home. Comfortable with a lived-in feel, the loose-fitting, polyester and cotton tank has a high-low hem and a lower-scoop neckline, giving it a flattering shape. Shown in vintage pink.
Hanes / PPAI 191138, S10 / www.brandwearunited.com
The Comfort Colors® 1567 is a unisex, hooded sweatshirt that’ll become wearers’ new favorite grab-and-go choice. The cotton and polyester sweatshirt offers a relaxed fit and is preshrunk to allow for minimal shrinkage. It also includes a ribbed collar, cuffs and waistband and a color-matched flat cord. Choose from a traditional or vintage look. Shown in pepper.
Gildan Activewear / PPAI 250187, S13 / www.mygildan.com
Help travelers pack light for day trips while still bringing along essentials, such as cards, cash and a cell phone. The Comfort Colors-branded Garment Dyed Canvas Belt Bag has one main, zippered compartment with an antique brass zipper. Made from 100% cotton, it features an adjustable strap with a plastic buckle. Available in khaki and black (shown).
S&S Activewear / PPAI 256121, S12 / www.ssactivewear.com
With several opportunities for branding, the Mountain Standard® Homegrown Fleece Pullover gets the message across with style. The pullover is water-repellent and dries quickly when wet and is finished with Anti-Abrasion MtnRipstop™ on shirt areas that typically take a beating. Shown in red wine.
Hit Promotional Products / PPAI 113910, S13 / www.hitpromo.net
The OC801 Cap gives a worn, vintage feel, adding personality to any brand. Its tea-stained mesh back panels offers breathability, while its low crown keeps the sun out of wearers’ eyes. Due to the washing, no two caps are exactly alike. Shown in Bahama blue/tea stain.
Outdoor Cap Co., Inc. / PPAI 213485, S10 / www.outdoorcap.com
Danielle Renda is an associate editor at PPAI.