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Saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs: how holiday parks plan to tackle wellness tourism

Holiday parks already have a pretty good reputation if it comes to health related holidays. Often located in rural or forest areas, close to nature and with many physical activities available they make perfect places for wellness tourists. What’s wellness tourism? We’re glad you asked.

Wellness tourism is defined as travel for the purpose of promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities. It is a $639 billion market worldwide and it is growing rapidly, expected to hit $919 billion by 2022. Another reason holiday parks are building their offering with the wellness tourists in mind is that domestic wellness tourists spend 178 percent more than your average domestic tourists.

As mentioned before, there are some obvious ways in which operators in this sector try to entice that type of tourist to book holidays with them: bike rental, fitness centers and healthy environments,. However there’s one particular type of activities that the wellbeing tourists love which can differentiate holiday parks from many hotels. Private hot tubs saunas and spa suites are extremely popular in holiday parks and resorts and incidentally they're also one of the main things that wellness tourists look for.


Hot tubs

Everyone knows that hot tubs and holiday lodges go together like bacon and eggs. Even glamping sites often install private hot tubs on decks their glamping pods. The hot tub’s type that is required will naturally vary depending on its location, space and budget available. Most of the time it will be a portable tub, in the case of smaller establishments it will be inflatable and easily collapsed while not in use, but more often than not the holiday park operators will want to install more advanced stationary hot tubs on decks of their lodges to add to the exclusive experience.

There are also holiday sites that will opt for wooden more old-school hot tubs to maintain the style consistency across their accommodation. Wooden hot tubs are also perceived as more sustainable and environmentally friendly so they not only appeal to the visitors whose main priority is health and wellness, but are also attractive to customers that are concerned about the environment.

There are also built-in and custom-made tubs which are usually prefered by big holiday parks like Centre Parcs, Parkdean Resorts or Bourne Leisure as they usually require bigger investment and longer process of installation.


Hot tubs are clearly the most popular spa equipment out there, but in terms of health benefits there is nothing quite like saunas. Linked to everything from fewer health problems to a longer life saunas are a perfect way to satisfy customers looking for the ultimate health and wellness holidays. Although it is rarely seen in holiday lodges itself, the nature of sauna allows it to be located in a separate manufactured wooden room close to the lodge, especially that the trend for outdoor saunas is on the rise!

It can also be placed in on-site fitness facilities or spa suites in which many holiday parks started to invest in the recent past. They may require some space to install but they’re a great investment for holiday parks and a great advertising point too.

There are various types of saunas that are in demand in the leisure and hospitality sector, with the electric and wood burning saunas being obviously the most popular. However there is a different type of saunas that is gaining momentum in the wellness tourism community - infrared saunas. They’re much more accessible, especially for people who don’t deal very well with heat or have respiratory problems.

Steam Rooms

The close cousins of saunas, steam rooms also are powerhouses when it comes to health benefits. From moisturising the skin, to helping with cold symptoms and improving the functioning of the respiratory system. Moreover it relaxes the muscles and enhances recovery so it is easy to see why the steam room trend is picking up in the holiday park & resort sector. 

A steam room, much like a sauna, can be installed in a swimming pool facility or spa suite in a holiday park or resort. Many venues locate their steam rooms in the same rooms as saunas and public hot tubs, to make it easier for guests to enjoy all three experiences.

But the opportunity lying in the rise of wellness tourism is not only reserved for sauna builders and hot tubs dealers. Spa design agencies and other related companies should also think about treating the holiday park and resort market with more importance, especially that site operators in that field have been investing heavily in the expansion and development projects due to the growing staycation trend in the past couple of years.

If you want to take advantage of that trend, you should look for face-to-face conversations with holiday park operators, spa owners and resort directors. In today's world where people (and top decision makers especially) are surrounded by information and adverts it might be difficult to catch their attention or set up a meeting. The solution to that is to exhibit at the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show 2020, which is the most important event in this industry and hosts decision makers from big enterprises such as Centre Parcs, Parkdean Resorts or Bourne Leisure as well as thousands of independent sites across the country.

To learn more about how you can speak to 18,000 decision makers from the leisure and hospitality industry, email us at:!

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