HOSPITALITYDESIGN: Global Wellness Summit Reveals Top Nine Wellness Trends for 2021


Will Speros •
January 29, 2021


Xigera Safari Lodge; photo courtesy of GWS

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has revealed its top nine wellness trends for 2021, as part of a recent virtual press event. Emerging from a year that included a global pandemic, economic meltdown, a reckoning of racial injustice, and polarizing politics, GWS argues that a mental wellness crisis altered every aspect of human life in 2020.

The organization’s forecast is outlined in the 97-page 2021 Wellness Trends Report and features the input of hundreds of top wellness executives, economists, doctors, investors, academics, and technologists. The trends include:

  • Hollywood and the entertainment industries jump into wellness: GWS foresees a future of increased collaboration between big media brands and the wellness community.
  • The future of immune health: There will be ongoing concerns for immune health even beyond widespread vaccine distribution. GWS anticipates a greater number of evidence-backed approaches to enhance immune health, as opposed to “immune-boosting” supplements and therapies.
  • Spiritual and numinous moments in architecture: A new emphasis will be placed on sacred and numinous design moments, which will yield an increase in built environments conceived to move our souls.
  • Just breathe!: Therapeutic breathwork, which benefits overall health and even treats conditions like hypertension, will continue to grow in popularity.
  • The selfcare renaissance: Historic wellness practices within healthcare will reemerge.
  • Adding color to wellness: In order to generate change, the wellness industry must put increased value on Black consumers and wellness professionals, and address the different ways Black people experience wellness offerings and spaces. The report highlights that wellness enterprises dedicated to valuing diversity and more equitable access ultimately represent the future of wellness.
  • Resetting events with wellness: The importance of technology and hybrid events that combine in-person and virtual participation will be paramount in fostering a wellness community beyond COVID-19.
  • Financial wellness is finding its voice: The GWS report suggests that the stigma of money conversations will decrease. This growing openness on personal finance is expected to support a larger mental health awakening based on research that financial stress is greatly tied to health issues, including anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems.
  • The year of the travel reset: Findings show that travel will evolve in a more conscientious way as the world reopens, and a reset in our travel behaviors will likely address overtourism and promote regenerative experiences grounded in nature and purpose.

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