Modern life is stressful.
The newest, trendy remedy? Pay not to speak for a week.
Retreat is one of the fastest growing trends in the fastest growing sector of tourism: wellness travel, “said Beth McGroarty, vice president of research at the Global Wellness Institute, to Caren Osten Gerszberg, who documented her experience at a silent meditation retreat in Massachusetts for New York Times.
While silent retreats have been around for millennia, recent research has confirmed that their benefits include “reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improved sleep,” notes Gerszberg. McGroarty compared the popularity of meditation to yoga a few years ago.
Meditation is now a billionaire industry, according to Marketwatch, with more than nine million Americans meditating each year.
And those seeking silence are willing to pay a pretty penny. Meditation retreats, which last from a few days to a few weeks, can cost up to $ 600 a night in the U.S., Outside magazine reported in 2014.
Wellness is booming across all industries
As the Global Wellness Institute notes, “wellness travelers are very high-spending, high-income tourists.”
In fact, silent meditation retreats are nowhere near the only high-priced wellness experience in 2019. A number of luxurious wellness experiences have emerged in the past few years, Business Insider’s Katie Warren reported. These range from multi-day retreats like the Gwyneth Paltrow Wellness Summit, valued at $ 1,000 a day, to treatments and services, many of which come at high prices. For example, monthly cryotherapy packages can be purchased at NYC Clean Market for $ 999 per month.
Hotels are also taking advantage of the trend. The Ritz Carlton now offers spa rooms from $ 419 per night with showers with vitamin C water. And Westin Hotels have Running Concierges who take guests on guided runs and organize healthy meals.
The trend is also affecting real estate. As Hillary Hoffower reported for Business Insider, luxury buildings in the US are increasingly promoting amenities such as outdoor yoga decks, rooftop parks and “quiet gardens” to serve the interests of their residents.
Much of the interest in such services is driven by millennials, referred to as the “wellness generation”. In fact, a recent study by Sanford Health found that millennials value their health and wellbeing second only to family. And as Jeanette Settembre wrote for MarketWatch, some millennials spend more on wellness than on classes.