Alternative Therapies Are Making Waves In Wellness Travel

#Travel & Tourism
BY Carmi Heyman
Managing Director (ES)
16 Apr 2021

A recent report by the UK’s Mental Health Foundation says that 75% of people in the country have felt so stressed in the last year that they have felt 'overwhelmed' or 'unable to cope'.

This is not simply because of the effects of Covid. Younger generations are more consistently aware of mental health issues than those that have come before them, which has led to a huge rise in curiosity about the concept of wellness.

Breaking The Stereotypes 

Wellness travel doesn’t always involve yoga retreats, spa treatments or cycling tours. With massively increased interest, the industry is looking at extending its product offering with new ways to boost people’s wellbeing. Alternative, traditional methods and therapies are coming to the fore.

One of the simplest examples of this is the rapid rise of veganism in the past decade. Airlines, hoteliers and destinations as a whole should now consider the dietary needs of vegans as an adjunct to wellness. The rise of vegan-friendly destinations – from Greece and Mallorca to Bali and India – is definitely on the horizon for 2021.

An example of traditional treatments being considered is acupuncture. Rooted in traditional Chinese medicine but now joined with modern medical science, acupuncture practices are a unique integration of the old and new. Strong evidence exists that acupuncture is effective for chronic pain conditions.

For the braver travel businesses, though, alternative therapies don’t have to stop at traditional practices. For example, Hong Kong tour operator Behold Retreats offers plant medicine excursions, which provide personalised psilocybin and ayahuasca holidays to legal markets.

Taking it further, Dutch retreat Synthesis provides psychedelic experiences involving high-dose, legal truffles containing psilocybin, whilst promising personal growth, emotional breakthrough and spiritual development. 


‘Biohacking’ began making headlines in 2020, and is expected to continue trending. A science-charged version of self-enhancement, biohacking, according to Tony Robbins is “changing our chemistry and our physiology through science and experimentation to energise and enhance the body”.

By discovering eating patterns and a lifestyle best suited to individual body types, these therapies are receiving genuine commercial interest. If they are good enough for Clinique La Prairie in Switzerland, then the industry needs to take note.

For further insights, see our full Amplify Travel & Tourism eBook here. To speak to Carmi, contact her via LinkedIn here or email her at carmi@thisiscrowd.com.


Carmi has a keenness for all things social and digital. With her experience at big players such as KPMG and BBDO, combined with her consultancy and project management skills, Carmi has helped brands reach new digital heights.

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