Where are the world's best wellness retreats?
Wego, the leading travel search site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, and big data and travel review partners TrustYou, reveal the top 15 destinations with the best hotel reviews for Wellness throughout Asia for the first quarter of 2015.
Wellness tourism has been described as travelling to seek improved health and well-being, through physical and spiritual activities.
"The Global Spa & Wellness Economy Monitor values wellness tourism at US$3.4 trillion, a number that's expected to continue to grow exponentially each year," said Joachim Holte, Chief Marketing Officer of Wego. "Wellness tourism is no longer a niche industry and has made a solid impact on global tourism overall."
"Some destinations automatically imply relaxation and recharge by their very nature and reputation, so it's no surprise that Bali is at the top of the list scoring 88 per cent of positive hotel reviews for wellness," Holte continued.
"Bali has a reputation for perfecting the wellness retreat combining specialised luxury spas, using unique traditional and natural therapies. Its growing popularity is reflected in the number of airlines now offering direct flight connections from as far away as Dubai, as well as an expanding portfolio of spa resorts."
"The Island of the Gods registers twice in the top 15 with Ubud, in Bali's hinterland, scoring 85.7 per cent; the location a hub for seekers of rejuvenation and a renewed life balance."
Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap capture the exotic flavours of traditional Asian healing and relaxation, following Bali in number two and three spots at 88.19 and 87.82 per cent respectively.
Separated only by very small percentage points at 87 per cent, the luminous water and luxury resorts in the Maldives came in fourth, with Hong Kong combining contemporary and traditional Chinese therapies taking fifth place, and Hanoi in sixth position.
Shanghai, Hoi An, Beijing, Jaipur and Osaka followed scoring 86 per cent, which shows the diverse spread of wellness tourism, with each destination offering a variety of options for and their own take on traditional spa therapies.
India, which has its own history of health and wellness traditions through Ayurveda therapies and yoga, features three times in the top 15 with Jaipur and New Delhi (placed 12th, 86.11 percent) and Mumbai (15th, 84.73 per cent).
"With the increased popularity in yoga around the world, India's ministry of tourism are currently drafting a policy to promote the exercise in a bid to attract more foreign visitors to experience it in the country from which it originated," Holte said.
South Korea appears at 14th position, represented by Seoul scoring 85.35 per cent in positive hotel reviews by guests.
"More travellers are turning to health and wellness retreats as chance to find more balance in their busy lives," Holte added. "Traveller tastes are changing and becoming more diverse. Entire new markets are arising from within the spa and wellness category, including medical and cosmetic tourism. Travellers seek a focussed experience derived from alternative or historic cultural approaches that can result in a complete lifestyle change, for better health and balance in everyday life."
"The travel industry and all its supporting businesses are benefiting from this lucrative segment which is growing almost 50 per cent faster than overall global tourism rates, according to the Global Spa & Wellness Summit," Holte concluded.