Wellness-Trends 2021

Wellness-Trends 2021

Wellnessholidays between wanderlust and worries


  • Relaxation and a change of scenery: there is a great longing for wellness tips! People desperately need a break from Corona's daily routine. 
  • Pandemic causes a breakdown in the wellness hospitality sector.
  • No sign of corona blues: distancing in the relationship is not necessary despite the extreme togetherness during the lockdowns. Most wellness guests want to spend the stay with their partner.
  • Testing, testing, testing! In the hotel, guests want to feel comfortable and safe.
  • The topics health and nature are becoming increasingly more important. 
  • Non-refundable reservations are scarce: Flexible bookings are the way to go. Hoteliers are working to make this possible for their guests.
  • The basis of the Wellness Trends 2021 by beauty24 and Wellness-Hotels & Resorts is a guest survey with over 2,500 participants as well as an expert survey of over 150 wellness hoteliers conducted at the beginning of 2021. 

People are craving wellness vacations

Escape from the Corona everyday life and having a good time: For many people, this is the main reason for a wellness trip. At the moment, this desire is remarkably strong – due to the pandemic. Three quarters of participants in the survey are particularly longing for this time out right now. More than half of the people are seeking relaxation, two-thirds absolutely need a change of scenery.

"The pandemic is also affecting the mental health. The burden of the state of emergency is almost unbearable. The desire for a time-out from home-schooling, home office etc. as well as the possibility to recharge one's batteries is particularly high. Wellness journeys can provide much more than superficial well-being, says Michael Altewischer, managing partner of the Wellness-Hotels & Resorts, convinced. 

Pandemic causes turning point in wellness hotel industry

Guests are longing for a vacation and are showing a desire to travel as soon as possible. However, the increased demand for vacation in the summer of 2020 was far from being compensable for all the lockdown-related decrease of revenue. Hoteliers' hopes for the following months are also dampened due to the non-existent opening perspective. So far, the seven months of lockdown have had a significant impact on hoteliers' business volume. For the first time, the number of wellness hoteliers reporting a decline in demand for the current year is in double digits. 30 percent of respondents suffered a severe drop in demand last year. 

Expectations for the upcoming year are also significantly more pessimistic than before. Nevertheless, hoteliers are still keen on investing. Three quarters of hoteliers have made investments in their hotel in 2020. 60 percent have started renovation and construction work on their properties, which was actually planned for later dates. The hoteliers do not want to let the very tense situation get them down, even in these times. 69 percent plan to continue investing in the next months.

Couples time despite pandemic / Lockdown without love crises

The corona blues are spreading through the population – but they seem to have little effect on interpersonal relationships. After the first Corona babies were born, it quickly became clear that the forced togetherness of the lockdown is also a stress test for many partnerships. However, the pleasure of spending time as a couple has not disappeared. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they would most like to go on a spa vacation with their partner. 

Wanderlust meets federalism

First be able to plan again, then book: Almost every second person is thoroughly fed up with sitting at home and would prefer to go on a wellness trip several times a year. Nevertheless, there is currently a great deal of hesitation when it comes to booking. 69 percent of those surveyed are waiting to see how the situation develops. However, a fifth has already started planning, only 6.5 percent have already booked a wellness getaway for 2021. 

"This hesitation to book a wellness vacation is very understandable. There is great uncertainty – there are no clear rules or guidelines," says Roland Fricke. The managing director of beauty24 sees the current problem particularly in the fact that each federal state decides individually how and when to travel again. "This does not create any overarching security. I find it annoying that no standardized regulations can be made in politics. We need perspectives for the travel industry."

Safety at any price - just no risk when booking a trip!

What everyone is currently awaiting is a plan for when travel will be possible again. Short-term decisions don't help anyone. The wellness hoteliers – equipped with extensive hygiene measures – are ready for their guests. But they need a well-defined opening perspective because: Suppliers have to be commissioned, employees have to be called out of short-time work, beds have to be made and pools filled.

Flexible cancellation deadlines and safety during hotel stays: Above all, travelers want safety. Having to cancel trips at short notice has led to flexible cancellation deadlines as the most important booking criteria. Even the price becomes of secondary importance. Short-term cancellability is currently the most important thing for 77 percent of wellness travelers when booking a hotel. More than half of all participants would pay a higher price for it. With a distinction between a more expensive, but cancellable flex rate free of charge and a more favorable, not free of charge cancellable fixed tariff, only six percent would select the inflexible and more inexpensive variant. 

Almost a third would also like to purchase a "Corona supplementary insurance" when booking. This should cover the costs if vacationers having to go into quarantine at the hotel, as well as the medical or home travel costs.

"I think all travel providers, whether hotels, tour operators or online portals, are currently working on solutions to give guests the maximum possible flexibility and security when booking a trip. This will entail accommodating cancelations, in addition to travel insurance," says Roland Fricke.

Current cancellation conditions offer great flexibility

Wellness hoteliers have already taken a big step in this direction, with 86 percent of respondents adjusting their cancellation terms to reflect the current situation in the Covid-19 pandemic. One-fifth of them are even planning on maintaining the more flexible conditions in the long term. In practice, this means that in almost 90 percent of the hotels, bookings can be rebooked at short notice without an additional charge. In more than 80 percent of the hotels a short-term cancellation is possible – with a quarter of the hotels even free of charge up to the day of arrival, in 58 per cent of the hotels up to three days before arrival. Michael Altewischer adds that most wellness hoteliers are also very flexible and accommodating – especially with regard to cancellations due to Covid-19.

Comfort and safety: extensive hygiene measures required in hotels

As with the booking, the guests' desire for safety is also great on site at the hotel. Three quarters of wellness guests wish for extensive hygiene measures in all hotel areas. Particularly distance is desired in the Spa and in the restaurant areas. 

However, a quarter of the guests states that they would like to feel safe during their vacation, whilst being reminded as little as possible of the pandemic. "Safety in the hotel also has something to do with feeling comfortable," Roland Fricke is convinced. "We live the philosophy of wellness and want to pass that feeling on to our guests. In my opinion, it's reasonable that everything possible must be done in the hotel to ensure that guests feel comfortable."

Setting the focus on testing

On the side of the hospitality sector, these plans are already in place. In addition to extensive hygiene measures, Covid-19 testing plays a crucial role. "As long as the Corona vaccinations are not sufficiently provided, testing is the most important aspect of creating the highest possible level of safety for guests and employees," says Michael Altewischer. The topic also resonates strongly with our guests. A good quarter of respondents are in favor of Covid 19 quick tests on arrival and regularly during their stay at the hotel. "This result is really remarkable. At the time of the survey at the beginning of the year, hygiene concepts to protect against the spread of disease in hotels were on everyone's lips. The strategy of counteracting the spread by extensive testing was hardly mentioned in the german media at that time. Thus, it is even more remarkable that numerous people already supported this possibility then. Due to the discussion that has arisen in the meantime about intensive Corona-testing in the german speaking countries, the acceptance of this strategy got certainly much greater in the meantime," Michael Altewischer is convinced. Roland Fricke agrees: "I think this will become part of the safety concept so that people are allowed to travel again. A rapid anti-gene test on arrival at the hotel: that's fast, creates safety and makes sense."

Outdoor wellness is more important than ever

Nature stands in the focus of the vacation: Experiences in nature are already longer in the trend, they became more attractive with the pandemic. For 90 percent of the participants, spending time outside is part of a wellness vacation. More than a quarter of guests say this will be even more important to them in 2021 than before.

The most popular activities are walking, hiking and bike tours. Two-thirds of guests want to pursue these particular activities. Most hoteliers provide support in planning such excursions. 78 percent even provide equipment such as hiking maps or backpacks, and almost as many offer lunch packages. 

45 percent of guests are interested in guided hikes or bike tours with the aim of exploring the region. More than 50 percent of people, however, are simply interested in fresh air. 43 percent want to be outdoors as much as possible on their wellness vacation – from eating to leisure activities to spa treatments. "The hardware becomes less important. Now, the hoteliers have to focus primarily on their available resources,” Michael Altewischer points out.

Increased health awareness through Corona

It has become more important to many people to care about their health more continuously due to the pandemic. Most of them want to provide wellbeing not only for the body but also for their mind and soul. The number of those who want to support their health with a wellness vacation has been growing for years. 97 percent of guests are interested in health topics. 

As the Wellness Trends 2021 show, this is based on a more holistic understanding. It is true that more than half of the participants would like to continue supporting their health mainly in a passive way with the help of medical massages and other spa services. However, 36 percent state that they prioritize healthy eating on wellness vacations, a third would like to participate in sports and activity offers, and a more than a quarter would like to take part in relaxation programs such as yoga. "If you keep in mind the statements about wanting to spend time outdoors, then nutrition, exercise, sports and relaxation outside are the most important offerings in the near future" says Roland Fricke.

Strengthening the immune system to regain health

Corona has also shifted the focus to offers for strengthening the immune system. More than one in five guests are interested in this topic, and 29 percent of the wellness hotels already have special offerings in regard to this.

In addition, offers in the wellness hotel, which aim to mitigate potential Covid 19 late effects, are met with great interest. Doctors point out that many Corona patients continue to suffer even after they have officially recovered. Long-term effects include respiratory problems, persistent fatigue, disorders of the senses of smell and taste, and joint pain. 

83 percent of participants in the survey could imagine using wellness services to reduce these symptoms. These are services that do not exist yet, but they could become very interesting in the future. 

The greatest wish in 2021: wellness vacations again, finally – hoteliers and guests both agree.



About Wellness Trends 2021

To identify the Wellness Trends 2021, beauty24 and the Wellness-Hotels & Resorts conducted two online surveys between mid-January and mid-February 2021. 2,566 guests interested in wellness took part in the guest survey, the expert survey was answered by 154 wellness hoteliers.


About beauty24 GmbH

The online travel portal for wellness and short holidays with the Trusted Shops seal of approval. beauty24 has stood for high-quality wellness holidays since 2000. The travel offer of beauty24 includes short holidays over the weekend as well as extended trips in Germany, Europe and selected international destinations. All wellness offers can be booked both online and via the beauty24 call center. The booking is user-friendly, transparent and simple. Via the wellness hotline 030/789 54 0 or via e-mail at service@beauty24.de, the consultants are personally and competently available for all questions concerning the booking. Further information is available at https://www.beauty24.de.

About the Wellness-Hotels & Resorts GmbH

The cooperation of 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 found online at https://www.wellnesshotels-resorts.de/en/about-us/services/wellnesshotel-catalogue

and / or ordered by phone at +49 (0)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 https://www.wellnesshotels-resorts.de can be ordered online at https://www.wellnesshotels-resorts.de 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
https://www.wellnesshotels-resorts.com | presse@wh-r.com