Hotelexecutive: The Rise of Sleep Tourism


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The Rise of Sleep Tourism

By Haley Payne Head of Commercial, Pure Wellness | April 2024

Beyond spas and fitness centers, a modern pursuit of well-being embraces innovative approaches.

According to Hilton's third annual trends report, this year will be marked by a pronounced emphasis on wellness travel, with "rest and relaxation" identified as the pivotal trend shaping the travel landscape for 2024. Beyond the traditional offerings like spas, yoga classes at sunrise, and fitness centers with the latest equipment, the pursuit of personal wellness has undergone a significant transformation. As a result, today's travelers, whether embarking on a business trip or a leisurely vacation with friends or family, are placing a growing emphasis on prioritizing sound sleep and rest. 

Known as sleep tourism, this phenomenon refers to the increasing trend of travelers seeking destinations and accommodations that specifically cater to enhancing the quality of sleep and overall well-being during their travels. From curated sleep packages to innovative amenities dedicated to improving sleep quality, the hospitality industry is witnessing a transformative wave as travelers want to sleep better, especially when away from their homes and stressors that don't always allow them to get a good night's rest. 

Yet, a crucial question emerges: how exactly can hoteliers guarantee a stay that places a premium on a guest's sleep and be more mindful of their habits? To cultivate an atmosphere of comfort and cater to those in pursuit of a revitalizing night's (or day's) rest, hoteliers should begin by focusing efforts on enhancing the features found in guest rooms. 

But first, we must understand what led to the rise of sleep tourism and prioritizing sleep health. 

Travelers today are seeking destinations and accommodations that prioritize quality sleep and well-being.

Why is Sleep Tourism in High Demand?

The rise of sleep tourism can be attributed to a confluence of factors that reflect evolving trends in travel and wellness needs. In response to the increasing importance placed on holistic wellness, there has been a surge in this type of tourism, with travelers seeking destinations that not only offer all of the amenities they love and use during a typical stay but also, unique and rejuvenating sleep experiences to take part in. This shift reflects a growing awareness of the crucial role sleep plays in maintaining good health and productivity, coupled with a desire for unique and thoughtful experiences centered around relaxation and serenity. 

With so many people not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, quality of sleep has always been an important conversation topic that has now penetrated the hospitality industry as it has become a paramount factor influencing travel decisions. Travelers understand the vital link between restful sleep and overall wellness.Just as they try and practice getting eight hours of sleep at home, when guests travel they also want a soundful and uninterrupted rest period. This evolution has prompted the hospitality sector to respond with tailored offerings meeting the growing demand for destinations to prioritize the rejuvenation of mind and body through a tranquil and revitalizing sleep environment. 

In response to the growing awareness of the crucial connection between restful sleep and overall wellness, the hospitality sector has evolved to address travelers' needs for a tranquil and revitalizing sleep environment. To meet this demand, hotels are now offering specialized sleep amenities that go beyond the conventional. Guests can indulge in the luxury of premium mattresses, pillows, and bedding to enhance comfort and support. Personalized sleep concierge services assist in tailoring the sleep environment to individual preferences, while blackout curtains ensure a dark and quiet space for undisturbed rest. Innovative features like white noise machines, aromatherapy, and sleep-inducing technology contribute to creating the perfect ambiance for a restful night. 

Furthermore, hotels may provide customizable room features, such as adjustable lighting and temperature controls, to cater to diverse preferences. With offerings like specialized sleep programs, hypoallergenic options, and natural sleep remedies, the hospitality industry is prioritizing the rejuvenation of both mind and body, making sleep an integral part of the travel experience. 

Additionally, advances in sleep technology and a heightened awareness of the significance of quality sleep for overall health have further fueled the development of travel offerings that incorporate innovative sleep solutions. As stress and burnout management become mainstream conversations in society today, destinations offering relaxation and sleep improvement programs are quickly gaining traction and booking far out in advance. The evolving landscape of sleep tourism reflects a broader societal shift towards prioritizing comprehensive well-being while people make their travel plans. Whether in a luxurious hotel or at a wellness resort, offering a package of comfort and relaxation is key. 

Healthy air quality in guest rooms not only reduces stress, but also promotes relaxation and enhances sleep.

The Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Sleep

One commonly overlooked aspect that can influence one's sleep quality is air quality. In fact, clean air is a major player in determining guests' comfort levels. Traditionally, concerns about air quality have revolved around outdoor pollutants like smog, allergens, and smoke, which are particularly problematic for those with respiratory issues. However, the significance of indoor air quality cannot be overlooked, and it may even surpass the importance of outdoor concerns, especially for travelers as indoor environments harbor potential threats like mold spores, bacteria, and fragrances intended to enhance ambiance but capable of causing irritation to guests. 

Beyond providing a clean breathing environment, improved air quality actively and greatly contributes to guests' health and wellbeing. Having healthy air quality not only reduces stress, but it also promotes relaxation and enhances sleep in a way many may not realize as we typically don't think about indoor air quality. Optimal air quality facilitates easier breathing, aiding the body in transitioning to a restful state and facilitating entry into REM sleep. Unburdened by the need to combat airborne particles, the body can achieve a state of rest more efficiently, ensuring guests wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. A good night's sleep is imperative for travelers facing important meetings and presentations, early morning exams, or adjusting to time zone differences. This positive impact on sleep quality holds paramount significance for the overall wellness of any hotel guest during their stay. 

Additionally, a guest room with access to purified air can be transformative for guests dealing with allergies and asthma, impacting even those not typically sensitive to allergens when traveling. For instance, someone usually immune to allergic reactions might experience sensitivity to regional plants, like cactus flowers in Arizona. Moreover, elevated airborne particle levels increase the risk of carrying harmful viruses or bacteria. Enhanced air quality not only bolsters comfort but also reduces the likelihood of airborne illnesses among guests. In the post-pandemic era, where travel hesitancy prevails, prioritizing air quality provides guests with peace of mind and makes them want to come back and stay at a property that keeps their health top of mind. 

Air purification systems work to cleanse the air within a space by effectively eliminating invisible toxins.

Allergen Protection for Optimal Sleep Environment

To complement this, hoteliers should also consider incorporating hypoallergenic mattress protectors and pillow encasements to shield against dust mite allergens. This additional layer of protection ensures that guests wake up feeling refreshed and revitalized by minimizing the body's efforts to fend off airborne particles, particularly those to which they may not be accustomed. The dual focus on air quality and allergen protection underscores the commitment to providing guests with a restful sleep environment. Addressing allergens and irritants in the sleep environment becomes pivotal in breaking the cycle, promoting rejuvenating sleep, and contributing to the long-term well-being of guests.? 

The dual emphasis on air quality and allergen protection underscores the commitment to creating an optimal sleep environment which is crucial for breaking the cycle, promoting not only restful sleep but also contributing to the long-term health of guests. Aligning with the growing demand for holistic well-being experiences, this commitment reflects a strategic approach to guest satisfaction and recognizing the interconnected nature of sleep and overall health. By recognizing and investing in improved air quality, hoteliers can strongly commit to wellness, fulfilling the increasing demand and setting their properties apart in the thriving wellness tourism market. 

Hypoallergenic mattress protectors and pillow encasements reduce exposure to dust and dust mites for a rejuvenating sleep experience.

Looking Ahead

According to Grandview Research, the global wellness tourism market was valued at $814.6 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.42% from 2023 to 2030. As the wellness tourism market continues its upward trajectory, hoteliers are uniquely positioned to elevate their guests' experience by improving air quality. Educating associates on the topic and continuing the conversation is also important. It is vital hoteliers train associates to understand the importance of air quality, how to maintain it, and how to communicate its benefits to guests. 

Well-informed staff can serve as ambassadors for your hotel's commitment to wellness. They also can continue the conversation with guests and get feedback, allowing hotels to keep improving and staying on top of wellness offerings. In addition to overall guest satisfaction, offering wellness benefits also can improve a hotel's bottom line. 

In the evolving landscape of contemporary travel, the rise of sleep tourism signifies a transformative shift in preferences, with an increasing number of individuals seeking experiences centered around rejuvenating sleep. In response to the growing recognition of the integral connection between restful sleep and overall wellness, the hospitality sector is adapting to meet these evolving demands. 

Today's travelers, actively prioritizing destinations and accommodations that offer optimal sleep experiences, no longer settle for merely comfortable accommodations. Wellness travel extends beyond plush robes and fine dining; it delves into creating rooms so pure that relaxation and sleep come naturally, meeting the wellness needs of every traveler. This strategic approach reflects not only a commitment to guest satisfaction, but also an acknowledgment of the interconnected nature of sleep and well-being in today's fast-paced world where one's health is a top priority

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