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02/09/20

WELLNESS TRENDS: THE OUTDOOR

The growth of wellness

Wellness is a vital sector for the world economy. Growing steadily since 2015, it is one of the leading sectors of international development. Just think that, from 2015 to 2017, wellness tourism increased at a rate of 6.5% – almost twice as much as the increase of general tourism. And not only that: in 2017, wellness trips amounted to 17% of total tourism expenditure, and spa locations grew from 121.595 in 2015 to 149.000 in 2017. (Global Wellness Summit, 2018).

These data confirm that, now more than ever, wellness areas play a critical role in people’s health. But what are the trends that characterize this growth? Let’s look at some of them.

Outdoors

It has become increasingly clear that people have hectic lives, suffer from increased stress and show depressive symptoms. For this reason, they are ever more frequently in search of wellbeing, and of the ensuing happiness and relaxation.

Don’t you recognize yourselves in this description? Think of how many people around you are perfectly described with these words.
It has been shown that a hike in the woods, a bike ride or any other activity surrounded by nature, has multiple beneficial effects on our body. In this context, our mind can reach a state of introspection where stress is reduced, short-term memory is enhanced, there is greater awareness of the “here and now”, and focus and creativity increase (Global Wellness Institute, 2011).
It is precisely for these reasons that, even in the design and realization of spas, the human-nature relationship is becoming more and more important.

How so? For example, by opting for wellness areas with large windows, or creating an indoor-outdoor connection with doors and windows, and, where not possible, trying to recreate wellness spaces in gardens or courtyards.
This leads to an exponential increase in the benefits for the individual, thanks to the combination of the positive aspects of a wellness experience with those of the connection with the surrounding nature.

And not only that. Just think about the Northern countries and their way of experiencing wellness. Our mind immediately takes us to the Finnish saunas built in meadows and woods, with direct access to a lake to go through the proper cold reaction after the exposure to intense heat. The contact with nature is at its highest, and benefits for both body and mind are guaranteed!
It is possible to recreate the same philosophy even in spaces that are not prepared for it. In fact, on the market there are products that can enrich the wellness offer of a spa – in order to make a private garden or a hotel terrace unique. The Outdoor saunas blend with the surrounding environment and change with it over time. They recreate the same principles of the Finnish sauna: a deep connection with nature, in a tribute to the Nordic culture of open-air wellness.

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