Phew! What a year! In between the pandemic, civil unrest in some parts of the country and the upcoming elections, South Africans have had a rather stressful year.
As more countries open their doors to vaccinated South African travellers, experts predict that many South Africans will travel to seek rest and tranquillity.
Tourism Authority of Thailand director Chiravadee Khunsub predicts a boom in wellness tourism now that many destinations that pride themselves on these experiences are reopening borders.
"Health and beauty spas will become vacation hot spots for South African travellers for the rest of 2021 and beyond," Khunsub said.
"The explosion of wellness tourism throughout the world, and in Thailand specifically, points to a renewed focus on general well-being, with preventative and alternative medicine becoming increasingly popular among people who want to use their travel experience to rejuvenate the body and the mind. Thai massages, for example, promote relaxation, but also help restore the body and mind to a state of equilibrium, which has physiological benefits."
Khunsub said the tourism industry was incorporating wellness into its offerings.
“The link between physical well-being and mental health is being explored in more detail, and we believe that awareness is the driver behind the success of the wellness tourism industry. This has been a turbulent time in history that has had a profound effect on people’s health now more than ever.
“We’re expecting an influx of wellness tourists who want to address underlying conditions and who are in search of alternative healing methods as part of the experience of discovering new places and cultures."
Taking a break
Wellness holiday options are plentiful. You just need to find one that suits your needs. With work fatigue setting in for many travellers, most would book a few days at a retreat where they can spoil themselves with holistic treatments, healthy food and peaceful activities like journalling, meditation or yoga. Some will even ditch social media for that time.