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Modern life is stressful.
The latest trend remedy? Pay not to speak for a week.
“The meditation 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, told Caren Osten Gerszberg, who shared her experience at a. documented a silent meditation retreat in Massachusetts for the New York Times.
While silent retreats have been around for millennia, recent research has confirmed that their benefits are “lower stress, lower blood pressure, and improved sleep,” notes Gerszberg. McGroarty compared the popularity of meditation to yoga a few years ago.
Meditation is now a multi-billion dollar industry, with more than nine million Americans meditating each year, according to Marketwatch.
And those seeking peace and quiet 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 states: “Wellness travelers are very high-spending and high-yield tourists.”
In fact, silent meditation retreats are nowhere near the only high-priced wellness experience in 2019. A number of luxury wellness experiences have popped up in the past few years, Business Insider’s Katie Warren reported. These range from multi-day retreats, like Gwyneth Paltrow’s $ 1,000 a day wellness summit, to treatments and services, many of which come at high prices. For example, monthly packages of cryotherapy can be purchased for $ 999 per month at the NYC Clean Market.
Hotels are also benefiting from the trend. The Ritz Carlton now offers spa rooms from $ 419 per night with showers with vitamin C-fortified water. And the Westin Hotels have Running Concierges who take guests on guided runs and organize healthy meals.
The trend also affects 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 these types of services is being 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 they do on tuition.