Wellness trends 2017

08 March 2017
A package booking but with the benefits of an individual wellbeing experience

Berlin, 8th March 2017

Wellness time in a hotel has been redefined. Over the past few years, wellness has become part of everyday life for many people – bringing with it higher expectations for this kind of time-out. What do guests currently want and expect? How does the under 30s target group change the market and how do the offers change? The Wellness Trends 2017 survey was conducted by Wellness-Hotels & Resorts’ cooperation, the wellness travel company, beauty24 and Trusted Shops (experts in consumer protection). This online survey looked at the preferences of 3,535 guests interested in wellness and 101 wellness hoteliers, which formed the basis for this year’s wellness trends.

Time-out with friends is becoming more popular

More than 80 per cent of the respondents like to treat themselves to wellness time-out at least once a year. The most important reason is to have some time-out from daily life. However, the desire to do something to improve health or combat stress are fast becoming popular motives. As well as taking a wellness holiday, short spa breaks that include thermal springs, gyms and wellness centres are becoming trendy. Wellness is becoming much more social; an increasing number of people would consider a wellness holiday with the family or friends, as well as with their partner. Michael Altewischer explains, “Having a good social life is an important factor for a happy life. Wellness time-out away from daily life is the perfect opportunity to combine relaxation with some quality time with friends.”

A package booking with an individual service

The current wellness guest has high expectations. Nowadays, people have far less time to relax and therefore expect an exceptional level of service in a calm atmosphere when staying in a wellness hotel. The fact that there are endless possibilities to practise all kinds of relaxation in everyday life raises guests’ expectations when it comes to having a perfect carefree package. Almost 90 per cent of guests say that an unlimited use of the whole wellness area should be included in a wellness package. The list goes far beyond the usual complimentary services like bath robes, slippers, spa towels, fresh fruit, refreshments in the wellness area and a bottle of water in the room. More than half of the respondents said that a physiotherapy treatment, like a back massage, should also be included. Even though half board is the most popular, more than a third are satisfied with just a breakfast buffet.

Over half the respondents said they would prefer more flexible meal times. Guests also wanted a varied wellness area. Four out of five guests think that the section dedicated to massage treatments should be part of the wellness area in the hotel. A variety of saunas and pools, as well as special relaxation rooms should also be part of the wellness area. Nowadays, just under 45 per cent of guests think it is necessary to have a beauty treatment area.

A wellness holiday is booked as a package. Only one in every ten guests would book services separately. Just over a third prefer the wellness package to be fully inclusive and a  third preferring to book additional services on top.

What is the maximum spend per person? According to beauty24.de, 77 per cent of guests tend to book a wellness holiday for two nights, with 88 per cent booking for two people. The average spend per couple is about 410 euros, that’s about 200 euros per person. “This figure has also been confirmed in the survey,” explains Roland Fricke, the Managing Director of beauty24. Almost 44 per cent are willing to spend between 121 and 200 euros per person, with more than a fifth saying that they would spend between 201 and 250 euros per person. Cheaper deals are also very popular.

In total, four out of ten Germans like to go for a bargain. Women are more likely to buy than men  if a wellness holiday is on offer. However, four out of five wellness guests will look very closely at what services are included before purchasing.

Health as a wellness goal

A balanced life that works in harmony with our natural rhythms is seen to be the ideal goal. The majority of the respondents said that they are generally happy with their lifestyle and a fifth rated their lives as good. However, over a sixth of the respondents said that they don’t live their lives following its biological rhythm, with the majority feeling exhausted much of the time. The desire to live around the inner body clock is increasing and guests like the idea of following a more individualised routine during a wellness holiday. Over half of the guests asked for maybe longer breakfast times or extended opening times in the wellness area. This wish for a healthy lifestyle is a more holistic approach to wellbeing, which includes nutrition and fitness. For more than one in every four respondents the main reason to exercise was to improve health. Beauty isn’t seen to be an important factor on a wellness holiday. “Being aware of our individual health is on trend and an important aspect of a wellness holiday. Wellness is health with an element of fun”, says Michael Altewischer, Managing Director of Wellness-Hotels & Resorts. (Detailed information including data sheets can be found in the separate trend article: Wellness goal health)

Food is the new yoga

Wellness is also a culinary delight. Food is becoming a much more important element of a successful wellness holiday. One in three participants said that the food should be delicious. The perfect time-out should include an individual daily schedule, with more than half wanting more flexible meal times. The food quality also plays an important role, with every other person saying that regional produce is important. That doesn’t mean that a heavy meal with cream sauce is required; 38 per cent said they would prefer light, low calorie wellness dishes. The under 30s, in particular, are especially interested in the new nutritional trends, which are becoming a lifestyle choice. Superfood, slow food, low carb, seasonal or natural food – wellness hoteliers can pick up on these new trends to attract the younger generation. For example, over a fifth of the under 30s said they would be interested in doing a cooking course as well as learning about food science as part of a wellness holiday. The young are also especially interested in the quality of the food, with particular importance being placed on organic produce. More than one in six are interested in nutritional advice and food trends. “This is a perfect opportunity to attract young people and to surprise the older generation with some new culinary trends. Food is always a conversation topic and if the food in a wellness hotel is found to be outstanding, what better reason is there for a referral? It’s all about word of mouth”, explains Roland Fricke. (Detailed information including data sheets can be found separately in the trend article: Food is the new yoga)

Keep an eye on the younger generation

Wellness hoteliers should not only focus on the younger generation’s attitudes towards nutrition, the Wellness Trends 2017 survey results also highlighted many other reasons. In comparison to the average German, the under 30s were more likely to use wellness offers in a day spa rather than in a wellness hotel. Gyms and wellness centres are also very popular within the youth market. The under 30s also tend to enjoy a wellness offer with friends, with almost a quarter going on a wellness holiday with family. In contrast to the older generation, the young preferred to combine wellness with activities that could be enjoyed together. In general, half of the participants were happy with the current fitness offers, however, a quarter of the under 30s were not satisfied. The over 30s tended to look for more individual activities like strolling, cycling or walking, whereas the young preferred group activities and the newer fitness trends like bounce or Zumba classes, which are often done in a gym. Self-optimisation is also important for the younger generation. In conclusion, wellness hotels need to go further than just providing the usual complimentary services, they need to start attracting the younger guests with more individualised offers. “The next three years will be important and it will show who has managed to position themselves with offers tailored to particular target groups. Wellness hotels will face fierce competition with other flexible wellness companies”, says Roland Fricke, from beauty24. (Detailed information including data sheets can be found in the separate article: Target group young generation)

Security and trust are important elements when making a booking

Online shopping security has never been more important than it is today – this also includes booking a wellness holiday online. Every other respondent (52 per cent) said that payment security is very important, with 34 per cent saying it’s important and only 4 per cent saying it’s not really relevant.

Payment security protects online shoppers from non-delivery or non-refund of goods and services.

German consumers also take customer reviews into consideration when booking, with 63 per cent of respondents saying that customer reviews were important criteria and 10 per cent saying it was the most important criteria when deciding whether or not to book a wellness offer online. Nowadays, many online shops are awarded with quality seals, with Trusted Shops most popular seal representing security, advice and protection. How important are these seals when booking a wellness holiday? More than half of the respondents (53 per cent) said that online shops that have been awarded with a seal are important when booking a wellness holiday, with 26 per cent saying it is very important. “The study clearly shows how important security and trust are for German consumers when booking a wellness holiday online, which more and more travel organisations are now taking into consideration. Europe’s leading trade mark has now more than 500 clients in the travel industry”, explains Martin Rätze, legal expert at Trusted Shops. (Detailed information including data sheets can be found in the separate article: Target group young generation)


Wellness trends 2017 shows that more than half of guests would like to book a package holiday but with the benefit of more flexibility at the destination. Wellness holiday makers also wish to have a better variety of food and would appreciate more flexibility when it comes to restaurant and spa opening times. Guests also tend to focus more on relaxation and health. “Guests would like to experience what they miss out in daily life – to have an individual daily schedule, where they can pick and choose offers that are of interest”, says Michael Altewischer. “Therefore, it’s essential to keep an eye on this upcoming generation because they also treat themselves to time-out”, adds Roland Fricke.

WELLNESS-HOTELS & RESORTS (W-H-R) is a cooperation of fifty hotels located in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands and Italy. It is the leading association for spa-experiences and since twelve years located on top of the german spa-hotel-industry. Meanwhile, next to the first pionieers, there are carefully selected, mostely owner-managed german spa-resorts and international partners in the four or five star-rated-segments. Independent TÜV-experts proof the spa-area of the hotels under the aspects of generosity, innovation and sustainability. A bulked catalogue of WELLNESS-HOTELS & RESORTS (in German) can be ordered at: www.wellnesshotels-resorts.de and +49.(0)211.679 69 69.

Weitere Informationen und Bildmaterial:
Joana Rutenbeck, Pressereferentin
Haroldstraße 14 | 40213 Düsseldorf
fon: +49 (0) 211.679 69 60 | fax: +49 (0) 211.679 69 68
www.wellnesshotels-resorts.de | presse@wh-r.com