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The Surge of Wellnes Tourism and Adventure Travel

Wellness tourism refers to travel activities and experiences that are focused on promoting and enhancing one’s physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. It centers around activities that prioritize self-care, mindfulness, and overall wellbeing, catering to individuals seeking rejuvenation, relaxation, and personal transformation during their journeys. 

There’s a misconception that wellness travelers are an elite group who exclusively frequent destination spas, health resorts, or meditation retreats. However, the reality is quite different. Wellness tourism encompasses a much wider and more diverse range of individuals, each with their own motivations, interests, and values. While wellness may indeed be the primary reason for travel for some, for others, it’s merely an additional aspect of their trip.  

With the recent surge of wellness travel, it’s no surprise that the world has also seen a rise in adventure travel. The connection between wellness and adventure is profound, as both pursuits provide travelers with transformative experiences that cater to both physical and mental wellbeing. Adventure travel offers opportunities for personal growth, self-discovery, and pushing one’s boundaries in exhilarating ways. Whether it’s trekking through rugged mountains, embarking on a wilderness safari, or engaging in adrenaline-pumping water sports, adventure travel aligns seamlessly with the desire for holistic wellness. 

Many wellness travelers seek out adventure as a means to challenge themselves physically and mentally, fostering resilience and a sense of accomplishment. Moreover, the natural environments typically associated with adventure travel—such as remote forests, pristine beaches, and towering peaks — offer serene settings conducive to relaxation, meditation, and spiritual rejuvenation. 

The rise of adventure travel alongside wellness tourism reflects a shift towards experiential, purpose-driven travel experiences. As travelers increasingly seek meaningful connections, personal growth, and holistic wellbeing, the convergence of wellness and adventure continues to redefine the landscape of contemporary tourism. 

AdventureWomen, an adventure travel company based outside of Boston, Massachusetts, recently surveyed over 800 of their past guests. When asked how their guests select a trip to take, the results did not focus on specific destinations. Rather: 

  • 50% wanted to experience a different culture.  
  • 36% wanted to be physically active. 
  • 15% wanted to test their limits/step outside their comfort zone. 

Paige Davis, President of AdventureWomen, reflects on her nearly two decades in the travel industry: “In my experience, the focus of tours has evolved significantly. Traditionally, they revolved around bus-centric sightseeing and educational activities. However, there’s been a notable change. Nowadays, there’s a heightened emphasis on engaging in active pursuits during the day, followed by relaxation and access to spa amenities at hotels. Our guests express a desire to exert themselves during daylight hours and indulge in pampering come nightfall.”

Facts and Figures 

  • In 2012, “wellness tourism” was measured to be a $439 billion market. Since that time, wellness has become a major force in the global tourism market reaching $720 billion in 2019. (Global Wellness Institute) 
  • The United States recorded the highest wellness tourism spending worldwide in 2022, reaching almost $256 billion in 2022. Germany ranked second with spending exceeding $70 billion U.S. dollars. ( 
  • The number of people concerned about their health and wellbeing has rocketed since the pandemic began. An Ipsos study in 2021 noted that 62% of Americans believe health is more important to them than before the pandemic. And this has, as countless more reports will attest, changed the way many of us want to travel. (National Geographic) 
  • Similarly, the adventure tourism marketing was estimated at $288 billion in 2021 and is forecast to reach $2,824 billion by 2030. ( 


For a complete list of AdventureWomen destinations and itineraries, please visit:



AdventureWomen is proudly women-owned and operated since 1982. We offer dynamic explorations brimming with empowerment and discovery. Each adventure includes meaningful encounters with local women driven by our unwavering belief in the value of women-to-women cultural experiences. Our trips all over the world transform strangers into a family of friends transcending boundaries.