Global Wellness Summit predicts 10 wellness trends for 2024

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has released its annual Future of Wellness trends report for the coming year.


By Wendy Golledge

30 January 2024

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has released its 2024 Future of Wellness report.

The annual report predicts changes in the health, wellbeing and spa industries and what will make waves in wellness in the year ahead.

Predictions include a new focus on postpartum wellness, the growth of social and emotional wellness for men and a drive towards climate-adaptive wellness. The report also focuses on the longevity megatrend and weight loss drugs.

The report’s authors state that “in the 15 years that the GWS trends team has been analysing the wellness space, there have been more shakeups in 2023 than in the last decade.

“This trends report illustrates how there is no longer one wellness narrative or unifying trend.”

Wellness has never been such a priority for people but what kind of wellness – and for whom – is undergoing transformation.

Picture credit: Heart Space by Krista Kim

The rise of highly-medical, high-tech longevity clinics is set to continue. Image courtesy of Fountain Life NY

Hardcare vs softcare

The 2024 Future of Wellness report argues that the wellness landscape is increasingly defined by very different, even contradictory, markets and mindsets. The GWS has labelled these ‘hardcare’ and ‘softcare.’

Hardcare describes the new hyper-medical, high-tech, expensive wellness market. Softcare captures consumers’ growing desire for lower pressure, simpler, less expensive wellness, where emotional and social wellbeing matter most.

Younger generations are already pushing back against high-pressure, commodified wellness. True wellness in the coming year, says the report, will be a messier, more joyful, simpler and cheaper affair.

European Spa brings spa you a summary of the 10 predicted wellness trends.

Trend #1

From manning up to opening up

Wellness has long provided a space for women but the same can’t be said for men. They’ve either been left out of the equation or wellness offerings have reinforced a clichéd view of masculinity.


The Future of Wellness report predicts a cultural shift is underway. As rising male loneliness is exposed, the wellness industry is responding with a new wave of solutions designed to help men reconnect with themselves, and one another.


There has been a rise in male retreats such as EVRYMAN and Junto, where unlearning stoicism and authentically sharing feelings is the focus.


The GWS anticipates that social and emotional wellness offerings for men will become more nuanced, more evenly distributed across all stages of life and more global.

Trend #2

Climate-adaptive wellness

The GWS is predicting a wave of innovations to cool our bodies, homes and cities in a bid to counteract the continued heating up of the planet.

Climate-adaptive wellness will see cooling approaches in architecture and design, more green space, tree cover and rooftop gardens.

The report suggests smart-tech cooling clothing will go mainstream, as will wearables that monitor the body’s heat indicators, from core temp and hydration to electrolytes. We will also see the continued development of climate-adaptive beauty.

Outdoor sauna and ice bath
Three Graces Spa's introduced ice baths as part of its outdoor spa garden last year

In terms of climate-adaptive travel, the GWS sees people swapping beaches and deserts for mountains, the Mediterranean for Scandinavia, and summer holidays for autumn or spring ones.

In the traditional wellness space, the prediction within the Future Trends report is that there will be a new focus on hot/cold therapy’s role in the body’s thermoregulation.

It’s suggested that many hotels and resorts will introduce cooler night-time wellness programming such as star-gazing and full-moon yoga.

Trend #3

Longevity has longevity

In the last year, longevity has seized the biotech, health and wellness spaces. No longer a trend, The GWS states it is now an industry pillar and an entire interconnected economy set to be worth $610 billion by 2025.


Highly-medical, high-tech and high-priced longevity clinics are the fastest growing wellness business genre. More than 1,000 clinics worldwide offer advanced diagnostic testing to identify issues before they become a problem.


A growing number of wellness resorts are becoming highly-medical longevity destinations, and well known players such as SHA Wellness and Clinique La Prairie are on the march, announcing aggresive expansion plans.


The Future of Wellness predicts a further avalanche of clinics in 2024 but warns the industry to start considering the hard questions, such as what is the impact of a ‘never die’ mindset on our mental health and on the death-acceptance movement?

A sofa in a flat with big windows
The GWS predicts homes will become multifaceted health hubs such as this home in Velvaere, a new wellness community in Park City, Utah

Trend #4

The Home as high-tech health hub

In previous years there has been an increased focus on wellness-centric home amenities like meditation rooms and cold plunge pools.

Now, the GWS predicts homes will become multifaceted health hubs, with medical-grade health-monitoring systems and smart furnishings that adjust in real-time to individual wellbeing needs.

The home as high-tech health hub is a futuristic trend within the wellness real estate sector, the fastest-growing wellness market of all: now worth $398 billion and forecast to grow to $887.5 billion by 2027.

Trend #5

A wellness check for weight loss drugs

The GWS predicts the impact of new weight loss drugs Ozempic and Mounjaro on the wellness world will become more intense in 2024. At least 70 new drugs are in development, with cheaper, very effective ones hitting the market this year.


The drugs, which recast weight loss as a matter of biology rather than psychology and willpower, have created challenges for behaviour-change-focussed wellness resorts.


The report predicts that more wellness/health companies will pivot to prescribing weight loss drugs but also questions their long-term health impacts and the fact they cannot deliver holistic health – exercise, healthy food and mental wellness are still needed.


In 2024, The GWS predicts the wellness world will start to interrogate how it could provide more honest, whole-health weight-loss approaches while also creating specific wellness companion programmes for those taking weight loss drugs.

Trend #6

The power of the pilgrimage

The 2024 Future of Wellness report predicts a continuation of the growth in walking and making a purposeful connection with nature.

A record numbers of travellers are going on hikes infused with spiritual exploration and cultural heritage and these ‘pilgrimages’ – which engender slow, meditative travel – are a trend for the year ahead.

Walkers in Bhutan
Hikers transverse the Trans Bhutan Trail. Photo courtesy of Trans Bhutan Trail

The report suggests that savvy resorts will offer wellness programmes which incorporate walking journeys between sacred sites, perhaps with participation in religious services such as meditating with monks.

Trend #7

The rise of postpartum wellness

While true postpartum wellness would mean a dramatic change in the current post-birth experience, with access to an integrated medical and wellness team that could support new parents, the GWS is predicting a rise in luxe postpartum retreats.

Comprehensive postpartum wellness is now taking many directions. Increasingly, ‘posh’ postpartum retreats are delivering days or weeks of postpartum recovery (at a price).

New apps such as Mavida Health are addressing the mental health of new parents and femtech startups are dedicating their offer to postpartum care – from C-section recovery to pelvic floor care products.

Trend #8

Sports in hospitality

People are embracing social, empowering sports and, as a result, sports is now being included more in the hospitality equation.


High-end wellness destinations are also catering to recreational athletes who are serious about their sport, letting guests train and learn from their sports idols. For example in 2024, Aman Resorts is unveiling retreats led by five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova.


The report predicts continued growth in sports tourism, where people travel to watch events. But it suggests destinations will move people from spectators to participants – such as the 2024 Paris Olympics offering pre-Games marathon for regular people to experience the thrill of the course.


In 2024, the GWS suggests a new category will be added to the tourism lexicon: sports-meets-wellness travel.

Trend #9

Immersive art for wellness

The GWS suggests we are entering an era of multi-sensory, wildly immersive art, which allows spectators to engage all their senses and to transform their mental wellbeing.

Museums, hotels and spas are incorporating multi-sensory art experiences into their offerings. In doing so, they are prioritising wellness as an integrated offering.

Six Senses resorts, for example, are creating multi-sensory somatic experiences, like bio-alchemy sculptures infused with scents, and flotation experiences suffused with ocean sounds..

The report suggests adaptive art will continue to take hold and push the boundaries of what sensory immersion and art-as-wellness can mean.

Two women talking on a stage
Olympic gymnast Simone Biles chats to GWS Chair Susie Ellie at the 2023 Global Wellness Summit. Image courtesy of om Dean

Trend #10

Under the radar

GWS Chair and CEO, Susie Ellis, shares some of her emerging themes to watch in the final trend section of the report.

These include destigmatising mental health issues and creating new solutions, given the skyrocketing global rates of mental un-wellness.

The need for more mental wellness solutions percolated across last year’s Global Wellness Summit, with Simone Biles chronicling how mental struggles necessitated her withdrawal from the 2020 Olympics in her keynote.

Amy McDonald, CEO at Under a Tree Consultancy, also argued we must lower age limits at wellness centres and spas, so teens can benefit from evidence-based healing treatments.

Ellis also flags a new future of ‘Blue Zones 2.0,’ where communities will actively engineer environments that make it natural to make healthy choices.

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