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Wellness Trends 2018

Wellness is on the rise – at home and away

Berlin, 7th March 2018. Wellness is all the rage. Around 50 per cent of Germans think that wellness holidays are trendy. Wellness breaks in a hotel are now lasting longer and are coming with higher expectations. People are also treating themselves to well-earned breaks in day spas or thermal baths. They have specific expectations depending on the type of wellness treat chosen. When staying at a wellness hotel, the focus is primarily on a holistic wellness experience and spending quality time with a partner. At the same time, an increasing number of children are accompanying their parents on a wellness holiday. It’s expected that even more people will book their holidays online. Generation Y – meaning future guests – prefers to buy their wellness experiences online.

The Wellness-Trends 2018 survey shows the latest trends in the German wellness market. The survey was carried out by the hotel cooperation Wellness-Hotels & Resorts, the online platform and the market research company GfK. Information was collected from 1,439 Germans who had an interest in wellness, 133 wellness hoteliers and the GfK TravelScope study.

Wellness holidays are trendy – and they’re getting longer

Over the last year, the number of people taking a wellness break in Germany of a few days or more has increased, resulting in a 12.8 per cent jump in sales. One in three Germans now considers a wellness holiday as an attractive travel option for himself. More than 53 per cent think that wellness holidays are trendy. “Looking at market developments, we can see that wellness is far more than just a short-term trend”, says Michael Altewischer, Managing Director of Wellness-Hotels & Resorts.” Wellness has been established in the German market for over 20 years and the demand for wellness offers in hotels is continuously increasing and will continue doing so in the future.”

A quarter of those who think that a wellness break is trendy have never been on a wellness holiday themselves. There is therefore a high potential of winning new customers. The growth in this industry can be explained through increased demand and that guests now choose to go on wellness breaks more often and stay longer. More than half of wellness holiday guests (52 per cent) go on two or more wellness holidays per year and tend to stay longer. “A wellness weekend (two or three nights) is still the most booked option but the trend is moving towards longer stays“, says Roland Fricke, Managing Director of beauty24. “Wellness breaks of between five and eight days are 27 per cent up on last year”. More than two thirds of those interviewed (67.7 per cent) say that they are interested in going on a wellness holiday for longer than a weekend.

Wellness for the whole family

For many years, it was very unusual to see families staying in a wellness hotel. Now, families are the fastest growing guest group of all the interviewed hoteliers (17.5 per cent). Couples are still at the top, representing more than half of all hotel guests. A wellness holiday is ultimately still a time for couples but things are beginning to change.

Family wellness hotels are becoming more and more popular, despite 59.9 per cent of guests stating in a survey conducted two years ago that they would prefer a wellness hotel without children. Working parents are now choosing to share their precious leisure time with their children. It’s important that everyone enjoys their holiday; so many wellness hotels offer professional childcare to give parents a break in the spa.

Beauty or relaxation?

Wellness guests have different expectations depending on which wellness facility is used. When using a thermal bath 57.6 per cent say that they want to feel instantly relaxed with the main emphasis being on the pool and sauna area. In a day spa, the majority of those interviewed (32.1 per cent) focused on the beauty treatments. Wellness hotel guests have the highest expectations with 50.4 per cent saying that spending time with a partner is important, 37.6 per cent stating that enjoying the treatments are essential and 35.2 per cent saying that the beauty treatments and relaxation are important aspects.

Therefore, wellness hotel guests rate massages and physiotherapy treatments (76.6 per cent) as well as relaxation areas (78.9 per cent) as the most important aspects of a wellness break in a hotel. Pools and the sauna area (each with 74.5 per cent) also rank highly. Last but not least, beauty treatments, gym offers, presentations as well as private spas were requested by more than half of all the wellness hotel guests interviewed.

Top-quality service from a wellness hotel

Guests who book a holiday in a wellness hotel expect a care-free, all-inclusive package. Wellness hotel guests have significantly higher expectations than those who use other wellness facilities (including hotels without any wellness offers). Almost all of the interviewees (94 per cent) expect a top-quality service when staying in a wellness hotel and 74.8 per cent would like wellness packages to include all services, for which they would be willing to pay a higher price. Guests would also like to have the option to check-in early or check-out late to extend their stay – providing they have use of the wellness area. The majority of the wellness hoteliers interviewed (75.2 per cent) offer a day spa option for their wellness area. “Most guests are happy to pay 50 Euro for half a day, with an absolute maximum being 100 Euro“, explains Daniela Briceño Schiesser from GfK.

Generation Y is coming – the future for wellness holiday bookings is online

A growing number of wellness holidays are booked online. Currently, online bookings have a 43 per cent of the share and this is expected to rise over the next few years. “Future wellness guests tend to book online using their mobile devices”, says Roland Fricke. “Generation Y are continually glued to their smart phones – wanting to be constantly available. This doesn’t only apply when searching for information; it’s also becoming more important to book a holiday as quickly and as easily as possible.”

Currently, the older generation generates the wellness market’s largest revenue. Guests over the age of 65 are the most important travel group for wellness hoteliers, followed by the 50-64-year-old bracket. Both groups tend to book their wellness holidays offline.

However, the wellness generation of the future is clearly Generation Y (born between 1982 and 1996). Although this generation currently represents a relatively small share (14 per cent), it is showing a market growth of 53 per cent. Almost two thirds of this generation book their wellness holidays online. No matter how old the travellers are, they all have one thing in common: They prefer to book their wellness holiday directly with the hotel or via a wellness platform they trust. 84 per cent of online and offline bookings are done this way.

The choice of wellness breaks is larger than it’s ever been. When looking at the wellness hotel sector, there is something to suit everyone – whether young or old, single or a couple or travelling as a family. “We don’t need to worry about the future of wellness holidays”, explains Michael Altewischer. “Wellness on holiday is as important as it is in everyday life”. Wellness has become a huge part of our lives – whatever the generation.

Information about the wellness trends 2018 survey

The hotel survey was carried out between January and February 2018 with 133 wellness hoteliers. The guest survey on wellness trends 2018 was carried out by GfK in February 2018 and was commissioned by beauty24 and Wellness-Hotels & Resorts. The observations on travel behaviour are taken from the GfK-TravelScope survey (see below for more information on GfK).

About Beauty24 GmbH

The online platform for wellness holidays and short breaks has been awarded with the Trusted Shops quality seal. Since 2000, beauty24 has stood for high quality wellness holidays.  The beauty24 travel offers comprise of weekend short breaks as well as extended holidays in Germany, Europe and selected international destinations. All wellness offers can be booked online as well as through beauty24 call centre. Bookings are user friendly, transparent and easy. The cooperation partners vente-privee, limango, Amazon and brands4friends also promote various beauty24 packages. For advice and enquiries, a competent team of travel agents can be contacted on the helpline +49 30/789 54 0 or via email More information can be found at

About GfK

GfK is one of the largest market-research companies worldwide and has 150 companies in 100 countries. With around 10,000 employees worldwide, GfK offers expert knowledge to help companies make the right decisions. GfK TravelScope is an established GfK tool for the tourist industry, supplying information on holiday makers’ travel and booking behaviour. GfK Travelscope’s sources come from 19,000 households (amounting to 38,000 people) who give information about their holidays with at least one overnight stay. Travel details are then combined with social demographic information to get an accurate target group profile.  

About Wellness-Hotels & Resorts GmbH

The Wellness-Hotels & Resorts cooperation is the number one choice for holiday makers when searching for ‘wellness in a hotel‘ as well as being at the top of the German speaking wellness hotel industry since 1997.  Since the original pioneers joined, carefully selected owner-operated German wellness hotels, as well as international partners in the 4 and 5-star categories, are now part of the cooperation. Independent tourist experts check member hotels in all areas on application and then on a regular basis. The inspection takes around three days and is one of the most detailed inspections of all the wellness organisations that TÜV Rheinland carry out. More information about the quality seal can be found online: The latest brochure can be ordered online at or by telephone on +49 211 679 69 69.

The cooperation Wellness-Hotels & Resorts (WH-R) is the first address for wellness experiences and has been at the top of the German-speaking wellness hotel industry since 1997. Meanwhile, in addition to the first pioneers, carefully selected, mostly owner-managed German wellness hotels as well as international partners in the 4 and 5-star range belong to it. The cooperation also acts as a pioneer in the field of positioning in the wellness hotel industry and can already count top-positioned hotels, for example in the areas of Thalasso, Ayurveda or Medical and Mental Wellness, among its members. Independent TÜV experts test the hotels under the aspects of spaciousness, innovation and sustainability of the SPA area, among others. A comprehensive catalogue of wellness hotels & resorts can be ordered online at can be ordered online at and by phone at +49 (0)211 679 69 69.

More information and press-images:
Katharina Hafer & Wibke Metzger
Wellness-Hotels & Resorts GmbH | Haroldstraße 14 | D-40213 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 (0)211.679 69 60
Fax: +49 (0)211.679 69 68 |