This year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) will be the first to have an onsite wellness and spa lounge.
There will be 35 exhibitors from some of the world’s most recognised health and wellness hospitality destinations taking part in the event, which reflects the burgeoning growth within the sector.
According to research from Colliers, the UAE spa industry is valued at AED1.7 billion and is expected to surpass AED1.85 billion by 2020.
That figure will come as no surprise to industry insiders with 200 spas operating in Dubai alone and a further 25 expected to open in hotels this year.
“The global wellness industry has witnessed incredible growth in recent years as more and more people incorporate healthy habits into holidays and corporate travel, with an increasing trend of travelers willing to commit their time and money to wellness proving to be a major driving force when making vacation decisions,” said Simon Press, senior exhibition director, Arabian Travel Market.
“The surge of interest has resulted in a 40% increase of exhibitors and dedicated wellness and spa buyers from the Middle East.”
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The wellness industry is expected to see a number of trends including a move towards healthy holidays such as eat well, detox holidays and get-fit boot camps.
Spas are also expected to become much more mainstream in 2017.
Those aren’t the only trends that are expected at ATM though, as Press explains.
“Safari holidays in Africa for example, are increasingly including yoga, spa and meditation as part of the itinerary,” he said.
“In Dubai, the Desert Yoga and Meditation camp took place in March 2016 for the fourth year in a row, clearly there’s an opportunity for the many desert resorts in the region to benefit from this trend and showcase the Middle Eastern landscapes and incredible sights.
“At this time of year everyone is thinking about their New Year resolutions, US-based digital marketing agency, iQuanti, revealed through data from google, that ‘get healthy’ was the number one search term associated with resolutions, searched 62,776,640, a 13.77 percent increase of over 2015.
“There’s clearly an appetite for health and wellbeing and therefore a great opportunity for the tourism industry here to capitalise.”
This year’s ATM takes place from April 24-27 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).