Wellbeing is becoming a fast-emerging holiday trend, according to new Abta research.

More two million UK holidaymakers plan to take a wellness trip in the next 12 months, according to the study.

And industry forecasts suggest that 1.2 billion wellness trips will be taken each year globally by 2022.

Trips are up 20% worldwide since 2015, with most wellness holidays taken in Europe.

Destinations such as Germany, France, Austria and Greece are increasingly investing in this area to meet the demand. 

A third (34%) of in the more than 2,000 people polled for Abta plan to take part in activities focused on improving their wellbeing such as yoga, meditation, spa and holistic treatments or taking time away from technology.


More: Sustainable travel at forefront of Abta 2020 trends report


The main reason is to relax and unwind (60%), with young people being the most likely to prioritise mental wellbeing – 46% verses an average of 35%.

Holidaymakers plan to spend almost four and a half hours a day on a combination of wellness activities – with the most time being spent avoiding technology such as smartphones, laptops and tablets.

However, one in ten (12%) people take an exercise tracker, such as a Fitbit, away with them, rising to one in five (20%) people in the north-east of England.

Physical fitness is most important for holidaymakers who want to focus on wellness.

Two-thirds (67%) plan to participate in activities such as yoga, pilates and nature hikes – with more than one in ten (14%) planning to spend over four hours a day on them. 

The next most popular wellness activities are spa treatments (42%) and meditation/silent time (39%). Just over one in ten (14%) plan to try holistic therapies such as Reiki and chakra balancing. 

More people than ever are also seeking ways to alleviate stress and boost wellbeing.

Abta brand and business development director Victoria Bacon said: “Travel companies are increasingly catering to people who want to focus on their wellbeing when away – whether it’s incorporating it into their holiday or taking a dedicated wellness trip.

“With the start of a new year, many people turn their attention to holidays for the year ahead. It’s a great time to book as there is an abundance of deals and offers available, and an endless amount of choice too, so booking early helps you get the best value for money for the holiday of your choice.

“For those looking to get away, whether it’s to focus on physical or mental wellbeing, visit a popular destination or to try something new – now is a good time to explore your options.”