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The Rise of The Activacation: Move over beach selfie… make way for the ‘Welfie’

September 4, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Hotels.com™ has released new data* revealing a new wave of young travellers who are swapping beaches and beers for action-packed, celebrity-inspired fitness getaways, with this summer expected to see a boom in ‘welfies’ – workout selfies.

Results from the Hotels.com Activacations Survey show that a whopping 80% of 18-35 year olds now consider keeping fit one of the mostimportant parts of their holiday experience, compared to 66% of baby boomers.

The survey carried out by travel experts Hotels.com shows that the rise of the ‘activacation’ is also down to a barrage of social media ‘fitfluencers’who are combining sun, sea and sport.  Social media is poised for the ‘welfie’ to make waves this summer with young holidaymakers now more likely to upload a sweaty workout selfie (16%) than a sexy swimwear shot (10%).

Millennial travellers are generally looking for richer, more unusual holiday experiences and admit that they use exercise to meet new people (27%) and explore new places from an alternative perspective (32%). Wanting to create unique memories (42%) and prove that they’re making the most of their holiday on social media (29%) also ranked highly.

Many holidaymakers are happy to give up top-notch food (42%), relaxing, (38%), sightseeing (32%) and even alcohol (24%) to get their fitness fix on vacation. Fitness is now so ingrained in the holiday experience, demand for superior fitness experiences from hotels has also reached a newhigh. State-of-the-art fitness facilities (26%), personal training (20%), healthy menus (25%) and free wearable fitness tech (17%) all feature high onthe hotel wish list.

Whilst men seek to take part in extreme physical activities on vacation, such as cross-fit (12%), beach boot-camp (12%) and wakeboarding (16%), a quarter (25%) of women are opting for holistic wellness holidays with meditation, yoga and tai chi topping the activacation agenda. The top five activities travellers would be prepared to try are:

  • Strength and body weight training (69%)
  • Mountaineering (45%)
  • Personal training (34%)
  • HIIT swimming (26%)
  • Hot yoga (25%)

Hotels.com Marketing Manager for Australia & New Zealand, David Spasovic said, “We love that exercise is playing an increasingly important role in rewarding holiday experiences. This evolution of holiday priorities is particularly apparent in millennial travellers who are demanding more from their trips, and on the lookout for that Insta-worthy exercise shot – be it a view-tastic hike or hotel gym with all the trimmings.

“Fitness options are now so important that people are choosing hotels based on how they’ll help them keep fit on vacation – and the hotels on Hotels.com are really upping their game.”

Top wellness hotels around the world

The Westin Verasa Napa, California

Thanks to its new Gear Lending Programme, guests of The Westin Verasa Napa have access to New Balance shoes and clothing during their stay. Go it alone or have the running concierge take you out through wine country. The gym and pool offer more fitness-focused options and the special SuperFoods Rx menu ensures meals are always healthy. The Westin Verasa Napa is available from $436 per room per night.

BodyHoliday Cap Estate, St. Lucia

The whole property is fitness focused and you can unleash your inner camper here with some archery, fencing or water sports. You’ll definitely earn some “likes” with a shot of your spin class in the Tree House Studio, a glass-encased room perched in a tree. Then there’s yoga out on the Zen Deck – a giant platform, 25 feet high in a giant tree. The BodyHoliday, Cap Estate is Adults-only and available for packages.

1711 Ti Sana Detox Retreat & Spa, Milan

Perfect for detox, weight management and lifestyle improvement, guests are invited to revitalize and heal in this tranquil environment. Offering a comprehensive approach to wellness, Ti Sana’s signature ‘Healtheatarian’ tailored wellness programmes combine organic vegan nutrition, therapeutic physical activity and holistic therapies to ensure guests leave feeling rested and refreshed. The 1711 Ti Sana Detox Retreat & Spa is available from $228 per room per night.

Park Hyatt Tokyo, Tokyo

A 47th floor sky-scraping gym! The gymnasium and aerobics studio flank either side of the pool on the sky-lit 47th floor of the hotel, giving jaw-dropping views of the Tokyo cityscape and the sacred slopes of Mt. Fuji. The gym is equipped with LifeFitness weight training and fitness equipment, and personal trainers assist guests and members with tailored fitness programmes. Of course, you can always just do some laps too. The pool is amazing. The Park Hyatt Tokyo is available from $704 per room per night.

Riyad El Cadi, Morocco 
Hotel Riyad El Cadi is the first to offer sightseeing tours for runners in the Moroccan king’s city Marrakech: a sightseeing tour combined with some easy jogging. The 9.3km tour begins at Hotel Riyad El Cadi with your host – a personal fitness coach with in depth knowledge of the area. They will lead you from the main mosque of Marrakech, the 12th century Koutoubia, via the legendary Hotel La Mamounia to the calm oasis of the Agdal Gardens.The Riyad El Cadi is available from $177 per room per night.

For further information, visit the Hotels.com website www.hotels.com, or download the Hotels.com mobile app, available on iOS and Android, to get access to hundreds of thousands of properties worldwide.

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