Wellness tourism, the act of traveling to enhance health through physical and spiritual activities, has recently become more popular.
The market is currently valued at around $3.4 trillion and, according to travel search site Wego, that number is expected to grow further.
“Wellness tourism is no longer a niche industry and has made a solid impact on global tourism overall. More travelers are turning to health and wellness retreats as a chance to find more balance in their busy lives,” said Joachim Holte, chief marketing officer of Wego.
“Travelers seek a focused experience derived from alternative or historic cultural approaches that can result in a complete lifestyle change, for better health and balance in everyday life,” he added.
According to the Global Spa & Wellness Summit, the segment is growing 50 percent faster than total global tourism rates.
Consequently, Wego and travel review partner TrustYou, have used positive hotel reviews to reveal 2015’s top 10 destinations for wellness in Asia.
- Bali: The Indonesian island of Bali scored 88 percent of positive hotel reviews. Besides its coral reefs and white sandy beaches, Bali is known for its specialised yoga retreats and ancient temples. Today, a large number of airlines offer direct flight connections to the island. In addition, Bali’s Ubud town also made the list at 85.7 percent. It’s famous for its dense forests, museums, and historical sites.
- Phnom Penh: Cambodia’s capital scored 88.19 percent of positive reviews. The country’s largest city used to be a hub for the Khmer Empire and French colonists. It’s packed with historical temples and royal palaces. Also from Cambodia is Siem Reap, home to the Angkor temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It rated at 87.82 percent.
- Maldives: Though it’s now celebrated as a honeymoon and relaxation island, the Maldives was nearly unheard of to tourists until the 1970s. Today, it has multiple islands that are particularly dedicated to resorts. It made highly in 87 percent of reviews.
- Hong Kong: Through combining contemporary and traditional Chinese therapies, China’s Hong Kong got positive feedback in 87.43 percent of reviews. According to the United Nations, people who live in the territory have the world’s longest life expectancy. In Hong Kong, spiritual concepts like feng shui are taken very seriously. In buildings, the floors lack the number 4 due to its similarity to the Cantonese word “die.”
- Hanoi: Vietnam’s capital is rich in centuries-old architecture and Southeast Asian culture. In sixth position, it scored highly in 87.37 percent of reviews. It has many little temples and historical sites, making it a suitable choice for a self-exploration destination.
- Shanghai: China’s second entry on the list is its largest city. Though Shanghai is popular for its skyline and global financial status, it’s also rich in historical landmarks such as the Yu Garden. It made the grade in 86.57 percent of reviews.
- Hoi An: Another entry from Vietnam is Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its name translates into “peaceful meeting place.” Hoi An dates back to the 15 century, and is an example of a well-preserved Southeast Asian trading port.
- Beijing: China’s capital rated well in 86.20 percent of reviews to rank in eighth place. It has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Forbidden City, which carries the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty, the Summer Palace, which has a variety of lakes, gardens, and ancient royal palaces, and finally the Great Wall of China.
- Jaipur: is known as the Pink City of India due the stone colour used in most of its architecture. It devises many gardens and lakes, and even has an observatory as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other than that, it has many museums and cultural sites. It scored highly in 86.11 percent of the reviews.
- Osaka: Japan’s first entry got the thumbs up in 86 percent of the reviews. The country was long-known for its traditional spa therapies. It has many ancient temples and parks, famous for their soothing plum, peach, and cherry trees. The renowned “Shinto Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine” is one of the city’s oldest.