Nine spa and wellness trends for 2021: a hospitality report

spa and wellness trends 2021

It’s time to look into our crystal balls and predict the future for the year ahead. Here are the trends we’ll be watching in our special report: Nine spa and wellness trends for 2021.

2020 has been an unpredictable year, and as we look into 2021 we’re all hoping that whatever the year ahead has in store for us is better than what we have been living.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought havoc on the hospitality and spa industries, but has also inspired innovative solutions and renewed consumer interest in health and wellness related topics and research.

Looking forward, Spa Executive has created our annual list of Spa & Wellness trends we’ll be keeping our eyes on in 2021. Much of this outlook is driven by recent developments. People have been spending a lot more time at home, and focus has shifted from some areas while heightened attention has been given to others. Mental health and sleep are top priorities, while anything that involves a group of people getting together in person is yesterday’s news. Meanwhile, developments with, and interest in, psychedelic substances continue unabated. Let’s start there, shall we?

Nine spa and wellness trends for 2021:

spa and wellness trends 2021

 1. Ayahuasca

Last year we tagged Psychedelic assisted therapy as a trend to watch, and one of the stars to emerge out of this is ayahuasca, an entheogenic brew native to South America that has been used in sacred healing ceremonies for centuries. Until recently, the tea commonly made with the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis shrub was virtually unheard of outside of certain circles. Today it’s being eyed as a potential treatment for mood disorders and neurological conditions like depression, addiction, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

The main natural component drawing researcher attention is dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Recent research at Complutense University of Madrid found that DMT promotes neurogenesis – the formation of new neurons – and induces the formation of other neural cells. This means that the compound has the capacity to modulate brain plasticity and suggests therapeutic potential for a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that the researchers found a way to negate the hallucinogenic effect by changing the type of receptor to which the DMT binds, increasing its potential for future administration to patients.

Researchers in Seattle also have plans to test ayahuasca as a treatment for depression in a phase I randomized controlled trial that has not yet begun.

Outside of a medical setting the global popularity of the hallucinogenic ritual is growing. The brew is illegal in many places but prior to the current pandemic, the New York Times reported that ayahuasca tourism to Central and South America was thriving, “with more and more people happy to fly thousands of miles to take part in weeklong ceremonies in Peruvian jungles, or to seek out more luxurious contexts, like a four-star resort that comes complete with masseuses, pools, and state of the art fitness centers.”

2. Private & bespoke bookings

Those with the means will be creating their own private travel and wellness experiences in which they’re not required to spend time in contact with other people. From guided tours and private cars, to private planes and boats and other forms of chartered travel, the wealthy wishing to travel will find ways to do so.

Metamo, for example, a travel concept offering immersive trips and customized itineraries to destinations across East Africa, will upgrade all bookings for parties of four or more travelers to private journeys through 2021. According to a media release, “This provides travelers the experience of a life-changing exploration with the peace of mind they are with a private small group of people they know and love.” And, according to Barron’s, Micato, another company that offers luxury African safaris, reported that bookings for private charter flights (rather than scheduled flights) on safari trips are up more than 25% over 2019, increasing from 42% to 68%…




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