The Rise of the Wellness Retreat

In recent months, I have started to realise how important it is to be outside, in the wild, even if just for a short morning walk. As restrictions start to ease, beach breaks overseas haven’t been at the front of mind, instead a longing for a wellness retreat, somewhere outdoors, closer to home where we can switch off phones and tech has been high on the agenda. After time spent in lockdown, achievable, every day adventures are what we’re craving.

The UK wellness retreat industry is predicted to see a real increase following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, according to experts.

The industry was amongst those hardest hit by the pandemic but with lockdown restrictions gradually being lifted, research from motorhome rental company, Camptoo, suggests that it is expected to boom – particularly retreats based around outdoor activities.

Yvonne Wake, a wellbeing and lifestyle consultant who hosts her own retreats, told Camptoo: “Lockdown has drastically affected the wellness retreat industry because of the social distancing rules and the inability to share space.

“However I do expect it to boom once restrictions are lifted as it is the one real thing that is absolutely needed after the past year of limiting conditions, being locked in, being kept away from our usual healthy pursuits, suffering mental health issues, being sad, not being out in the sunshine where we get our best chance of Vitamin D for extra immune protection and so much more.  We desperately need to get our health back on track.

The Health Retreat growth has been seriously on the rise for the last 20 years and these are now taking over from classic holiday destinations. Almost all countries which usually invite the family holiday groups will offer a health and wellness retreat.

Activity retreats are among the fastest-growing in the industry after having experienced a 928% increase in online searches from 2019 to 2020, before peaking in March-May, and Camptoo’s Head of Wanderlust, Ed Bassett, is expecting a similar uptake in interest this year as the UK gradually begins to ease out of lockdown.

“Activity-based holidays are among the fastest-growing in the industry, and there’s never been a more exciting time to be involved. The benefits of a wellness retreat are endless, but we really believe that adding something activity-based in the UK – whether it be kayaking, hiking, surfing, wild swimming, climbing, mountain biking – will take that experience to the next level.”

“These kinds of activity retreats are brilliant for the mind and body, reconnecting with nature, trying new things, meeting new people and will do no end of good after a tumultuous year. Hiring a camper or motorhome adds yet more adventure to your holiday and you can experience a self-isolated, multi-destination, multi-activity vacation and go as fast or slow as you desire”

Call to Adventure, partnered with Camptoo, are one of the companies expecting to experience a surge in interest in the coming months – particularly after seeing the online search trends favour their services so heavily.

Along with the huge spike in searches for activity holidays, ‘camping retreats’ ‘hiking’ and ‘biking’ also saw a big rise in online queries and all feature in the type of getaways provided by Call to Adventure. 

As well as the high demand for adrenaline-fueled pursuits, yoga retreats remain popular and saw an 890% increase from January to April in 2020, while searches for meditation retreats also jumped notably.

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