Wellness travel craze suits SA's natural tourism offering all too well...

2016-11-14 19:00 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - Africa's iconic tourism industry is currently a major drawcard for travellers with the new-found interest in wellness travel.

This is according to the Global Trends Report for 2016, released in London at the World Travel Market (WTM) in association with Euromonitor International. 

The report states that safari holidays, one of the continent's most important segments, are increasingly including yoga, spa and meditation as part of the itinerary.

The idea of "wellness in the wilderness" also resonates with travellers seeking unique and authentic experience, resulting in a demand for spiritual travel with an adventure component.

Furthermore, the Global Wellness Summit found that in 2014, wellness travel - defined as travel with a purpose of improving health and wellbeing - was growing at 74% more than regular global travel.

Another factor on the rise in Africa's tourism is the emphasis on sustainable and reduced footprint holidays, with increasing importance placed on ensuring the benefits of tourism, are directly and indirectly shared with the local economy. 

"Wellness in the wilderness combines a number of emerging travel and consumer trends, and Africa lends itself to adventure and relaxation in a natural environment which can also satisfy the demand from travellers for a sustainable and responsible experience," WTM Senior Director, Simon Press, says. 

South Africa, in many ways, leads the pack with sustainable tourism. 

SEE: Treading lightly: 5 SA Adventures that aid conservation


More and more African and South African establishments are being recognised for their sustainable achievement. 

So much so that an incredible one-third of tourism organisations that were longlisted for the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards earlier this year are based on the African continent. Of these, 11 establishments are South African. 

Last year, SA also outranked the US as the top global sustainable tourism destination according to Responsible Travel. 

"South Africa and Kenya are embracing this trend, but we believe the entire region could benefit. The great animal migrations seen across Botswana and Tanzania could be the focus of a wellness or mindfulness travel experience," Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner says. 
 
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals.  

A photo posted by Seb James (@sebjayh) on

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