Have you heard about “Wellness Tourism or Wellness Real Estate?”
According to The Global Wellness Institute wellness tourism is “a travelling philosophy associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being” (Not to be confused with the Medical Tourism that represents travelling in order to receive treatments).
Wellness Tourism is not just an esoteric term, it is the sum of two very powerful and growing industries: The tourism and the wellness industries. Combined, these two represent the fastest growing economies with an estimated value in 2018 of $6.8 trillion (Data from The Global Wellness Tourism Economy Study).
The Wellness Real Estate is also a rapid growing industry that is projected to reach $197 billion by 2022 (Data from The Global Wellness Institute).
You may be wondering how does this apply to the Short-Term Rental business?
“Wellness” is a worldwide movement that has followers coming from every walk of life. Travelers looking for wellness are not only seeking for Yoga retreats or cabins in the Amazonian Forest, they are looking at lodging options that will enhance their wellbeing wherever they go.
How can you take advantage of this economy, attract guests looking for “wellness” experiences without redesigning your STR from scratch and breaking the bank?
First, know that the whole premise behind a healthy environment is based on 3 basic interior design elements:
Now, let me share 10 easy tricks you can apply to your STR(s) to attract travelers seeking for wellness experiences
#1 Bring the nature indoor
You can simply add plants, a water feature or a living green wall!
Here’s my top 5 low maintenance and easy-to-grow plants, perfect for your STR (and your cleaning crew!):
#2 Pothos (also one of the best air purifying plants!)
#3 Snake plant
#4 Spider plant
#5 Lucky bamboo (3 stems means happiness, 4 is to avoid-it said to bring negativity, and 10 means perfection!)
#2 Rethink your color palette
Use more natural tones – neutral colors on walls with an accent of green, blue, earth tones…
You may be scared to choose light colors for your furniture like a couch for example, but if you cover it with a nice easy to wash slip cover and you make sure to have spare ones, it can help create a nice cozy and relaxing atmosphere.
Depending on where your STR is located, leather could also be a good option as it is easy to wipe clean and resistant.
Fabric typically used for outside furniture like Sunbrella can also be used inside and are spills and stains resistant.
#3 Never underestimate the power of light!
Make sure there is plenty of natural light coming in, helps with the energy bill. For night, add soft LED bulbs for a more relaxing environment. Another nice touch for guests that are having trouble sleeping or relaxing when they are on the road is a circadian lightning option as the JOURNI Mobile Task light //healthelighting.com/products/journi–mobiletask–light
#4 Create a meditation “zone”
Find new use for your waste spaces! The corner of a room can be the perfect spot to set up a meditation area. If you have an outdoor space you can also install a small fountain, a Buddha statue and luxurious plants around a small grass spot or a large rock on which guests can comfortably sit.
#5 Incorporate Natural Elements in Your Decor
No need to undergo a full renovation here! Just add a few elements here and there to create nature inspired spaces! You can build a wood planks accent wall, install linen curtains, add hay baskets for blankets or extra cushions, wood furniture, sisal area rugs …
Wood planks are a good option for high traffic areas like a mud room, an entry way or a corridor. They not only look good, but they are also a lot more resistant to scratches and bumps than a plastered wall.
They are also great for kitchen islands with seating that can be a nightmare to clean after each rental!
#6 Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body
Provide coffee table and self-reflection books to your guests for downtime or relaxing moments before sleep. And to encourage them to take advantage of the outdoors, make bikes, kayaks, snowshoes available. Just make sure to have enough liability coverage with your insurance company prior to offering these amenities.
#7 Music soothes the soul
Music has been recognized has a great therapy so why not create a playlist from local bands or a relaxing one for meditation or bedtime!
#8 Make a list of all the “wellness” activities offered in your area
Watersports, spas, yoga centers, hiking trails…
#9 Inspire your guests with simple healthy recipes suggestions
Promote local and seasonal products and great ideas to prepare shakes, salads, vegetarian recipes… (don’t forget the proper kitchen tools like a good blender or a salad spinner for example)
#10 Transform your outdoor space into a relaxing Oasis
Transform your outdoor space into a welcoming gathering and relaxing area. Depending on the available square footage, try to create different zones: dinning, relaxing (snoozing!) and as mentioned before, meditation…
Surround the area with green plants, chose wood furniture (like teak for instance that is very durable and low maintenance), add a fake grass area rug, party lights…
For your outdoor furniture cushions, try to choose water and sun resistant ones like from the Sunbrella line.
Especially made outdoor rugs can also be easily cleaned with a garden hose and they are usually drying fast.
A green garden really helps create a welcoming outdoor space, but it can also mean a lot more work for your maintenance/cleaning service. Try to keep it simple yet appealing!
Sophie Chagnon is an avid traveler and a design & architecture enthusiast. She owns and manages short term rental properties and is a Premier Partner on VRBO (765623-1226996). Sohpie helps owners and future owners in designing, renting and managing their vacation rental properties. She founded //www.utop.ca and //www.facebook.com/utop.ca where she blogs and comments (mainly in French) on various topics related to the vacation rental industry.