Wishing you a happy New Year as this is my first post of the year. I hope you all had a swell holiday.
This is a new year and as usual there are trend forecasts in the spa and wellness industry to give and idea of what and where people will be focusing on their pursuit of wellness, health and beauty.
So here are the forecasts for the new year by Spafinder Wellness 365 and curated for Naija by me:
- “Surf’s up: the new wave of wellness”: The surfing and stand-up paddle board market in the US and possibly in other holiday destinations in the world including Africa’s 10 best surf spots are also having a huge influence on the spa world. These activities are also becoming one of the world’s hottest wellness travel trends. “Surfing and wellness is just going to grow,” says Beth McGroarty who is Spafinder’s research director who authored the 90 page report. Nigeria or rather Lagos state is not known for surfing despite the fact that the state has a few spots where surfing for sport or for leisure can be developed. From my research there are about two surf spots south of Lagos- one at the beach (Lighthouse) and one at the Jetty (Tarqwa Bay); though the waters are not very clean. Beth espouses that surfing is an obsession – if you get bitten, you become obsessed.”
- Sexual Well being: taboo no more! : “Every kind of wellbeing is being explored right now,” said McGroarty. “People are getting more serious about wellness.” So it’s no surprise that sexual wellness is also part of well-being that is gaining ground. There is sensual fitness like burlesque classes, pole dancing or yoga for better sex, or through orgasmic meditation or alternative fertility centers.
- Move aside hammam services in Nigeria and welcome the Temazcal!!!: The temazcal – an indigenous Mexican sweat lodge steeped in tradition and ritual – will be taking centre-stage in the spa world, according to Spafinder. “This is the year of the temazcal,” said Ellis, explaining that the No. 1 luxury travel trend is that people want local, indigenous, cultural experiences, and that spiritual health is valued alongside physical health. In much the same way the hammam has expanded well beyond Turkey, “you’re going to see the temazcal go global,” said Ellis.
- “Parenting Well: serious spa and wellness for kids”: Parents are turning to the same wellness therapies they use to better their children’s lives said McGroarty. A generation facing unprecedented levels of childhood obesity, screen addictions and stress and anxiety is fueling this trend. It has also been observed that mindfulness is being incorporated in schools and kids taking to the mat with yoga classes.
There is a growing trend of ‘bodywork instead of homework’ that focuses on getting kids active, and wellness family vacations will become increasingly important.
I don’t know if this spa trend is going to pick up in Nigeria; it’s a trend that definitely needs watching. My take is that instead of spending money on spas for children, parents should get their kids to be active and involve them in recreational activities where they can bask in the sunlight and run about while meeting new people and making friends and encourage less tv watching and computer gaming.
- “The Adrenaline and Zen Cocktail: resetting the mind and body”: High-adrenaline, super-rush experiences (think sky-diving in Mauritius) paired with deep relaxation will become increasingly popular, said McGroarty. “There is a profound mind/body impact of combining an adrenaline rush with Zen relaxation,” she explained. “This is not a paradox; it’s a destination.”Whether it’s driving a racecar on a frozen circuit at Hotel Sacacomie in Canada or taking a symbolic leap at Campowerment, a sleepover camp for adults, the combination of super-extreme and wellness is one that works.I don’t know what adrenaline pumping experiences that are available in Nigeria so I’m not sure how this plays out but I for one would believe that after a strenuous day at work coupled with the crazy Lagos traffic the best form of relaxation would be a massage or a steam bath. I’m just saying.
- “Well-Fests: festivals shift from wasted to wellness”: Music festivals and other events are increasingly incorporating wellness into their lineup, and single-day wellness festivals like The Big Quiet in New York are growing in popularity.Despite the fact that we are all digitally interconnected we’re still lonely says McGroarty, and wellness festivals are a way for us to connect in person.Events like Wanderlust – international, multi-day celebrations of mindful living – or Festival Number 6 in Wales, which incorporates wellness activities like paddleboarding on the estuary into its music and cultural lineup, are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, and group meditation in many forms is a growing trend. There haven’t been any of such in Lagos which is where I reside unless we include the recent Lagos International marathon, the Color Me Rad in Lagos held at the end of the month of January and the walking workout series hosted by DanzEfx Studios held sometime in June last year. “It’s about being part of an event,” said McGroarty. “Wellness events will be a standard search within travel.”Also part of the trend: the spa industry’s own Global Wellness Day, an international celebration of wellness set to take place 11 June this year.
- “On Demand: Uber-izing spa and wellness”: An increased demand for immediacy and expanded hours, combined with more consumers who rely on app-driven services, is fueling the Uberization of the spa industry, with companies like Zeel and Soothe that offer massage-on-demand growing rapidly.
Additionally, Ellis said she sees room for both on-location and at-home service to flourish.
- “Skincare gets Seoul-ful: the Korean beauty explosion 2.0”: Korean skincare is exploding as a trend, with stores like Sephora launching entire K-Beauty sections, and Macy’s partnering with Peach & Lily for a bricks-and-mortar store.
Involving a multi-step process involving cleansers, creams, sheet masks, pore treatments, overnight masks, essence oils, even makeup application and more, Korean skincare is already shaking up the way skincare is shown at retail, organizing products by steps rather than brands.
It’s a new paradigm in beauty which is more proactive rather than reactive, deliberately meditative, and explores self-care as a right, and not beauty as a luxury. With Korean skincare companies launching 20 to 30 products a month, “the speed and intensity is making Korea a world headquarters for skincare,” said McGroarty.
It is said that Korean spas also follow a multi-step circuit and involve the whole family. She also mentioned that these spas a very social and very affordable. This slow, more meditative self-care is a welcome shift and a metaphor for what’s happening in wellness.
We are yet to feel the impact of “the Korean beauty explosion” here in Nigeria but I’m sure we will definitely catch up on that sooner than later.
- “Healthy cruising: the ship of excess has set sail”: Today’s cruise ships are creating some of the largest and most comprehensive spa and wellness facilities in the world, said Ellis, and with cruise ship travel showing a 6.55 per cent annual growth rate, there is an increasing opportunity for wellness to take center-stage.Today’s cruise ship spas are no longer in the bowels of the ship, but are front-and-center, with beautiful designs and lots of natural light. Wellness brands like Canyon Ranch are now on board cruise ships, and a rise in popularity of rivercruising offers additional opportunities for growth. On-shore wellness experiences and voluntourism are also big trends, and wellness cruises could become places of medical tourism, said Ellis. So for those of you that are planning a trip for your honeymoon, second honeymoon etc or annual vacation, do some research on ship cruises and take advantage of the wellness services they offer and also enjoy the vastness of the sea and nature.
- “Workplace Wellness Grows Up: creating a culture of wellness”: Workplace wellness is not new, but is going into a second phase, said McGroarty.
Companies are no longer asking whether workplace wellness makes sense financially, as there have been many studies showing it does, but instead are shifting towards caring about people.
With the average Fortune 500 company spending 80 per cent of its profits on employee medical costs, according to Ellis, there is “a huge opportunity for spa and wellness, because they are going to be looking for people to help them lower those costs.” Though I do not believe that most Nigerian companies spend up to 80% of their profits on employee medical costs, I do believe there is an increased awareness of employee health tied to productivity but just among pockets of line-managers who are directly involved with their employees but not by company management or board of directors who are the ones who have the power to implement this and make it as part of their company’s medical/health package for even the least of their employees. Thanks for hanging out with me. xoxo Bel