The health or ‘wellness’ tourism trend is relatively new in the UK but it is seemingly taking the country by storm. By taking a break from stress-filled lives, health clubs are a great way for customers to enjoy a period of rest and relaxation, with many of them not needing too much transport away from a major city. This will undoubtedly also be great news for investors, who should make the most out of luxury hotel sites as they continue to grow in popularity.
The origins of health tourism
Many may think that health spas are a therapeutic way to escape our modern hectic lives. But, if anything, the origins of such tourism stem back to the 17th and 18th centuries, when natural mineral springs in Bath, Harrogate, Buxton and Cheltenham were popular spots for pleasure and social gatherings. As the 20th century emerged, these places continued to be popular, especially for convalescence during the First World War. However, the numbers began to dwindle due to lack of investment, and by 1946, there were only ten spots in the whole of the UK. The issue was so severe that the world-popular hot springs in Bath were banned from public use in 1978.
As public paths fell into disrepair, this opened up a market for private firms and hotels to take advantage. With the opening of Champneys in 1925, private health farms were initially quite expensive, but as more firms entered a competitive field and the treatments became more popular, prices have fallen dramatically in recent years.
With an aging population, longer working hours, more stressful lifestyles and complementary medicine being more accepted, the spa hotel trend is in full swing at the moment.
A healthy investment
With holidaying this way becoming more and more popular among Brits, this is the perfect time for hotel investors to tap into the luxury hotel market.
The great thing about these large estates is their customisability, as they go beyond just spas and relaxing treatments. They can be adapted so that property owners can offer a variety of different facilities and services to their customers. This includes the very lucrative wedding venue market which brings in millions of pounds every year.
It is not just country retreats either. It is a whole new generation of luxury hotels in London too. Many will offer top-end technology, beds, spas, celebrity chefs and service, all with facilities that act as a step-up from what you would experience at home. Younger guests are also enjoying an interest in informal contemporary luxury products and boutique hotels. An example of this is the Savoy in London refurbishing itself for a new generation.
With such an array of properties available on the market, this is the time to be bucking on the trend. You will need a strong financial backing for a deposit and initial amendments, repair and maintenance, but it surely will not be long until you start raking in the profits. A spark of luxury will go a long way.