In need of a quick wellness fix?

So, you haven’t yet tried Tibetan sound therapy at the Saxon Hotel? What about a fynbos exfoliation at The Twelve Apostles Hotel in Cape Town, or an uplifting green tea body wrap at Cybele Forest Lodge and Spa? The fact is that health and wellness tourism is a growing trend both locally and internationally.

Fiona Jeffrey, managing director of World Travel Market, says: “This is no longer the sole domain of well-heeled women with nothing else to do. Well-being is now the bottom line for every consumer.”

These days, spas and alternative therapies have gone mainstream, as opposed to only being an option for the more wealthy traveller.
“Spas in particular are becoming extremely relevant to today’s traveller and are becoming more affordable, targeting the middle-income groups as well as the wealthy. Cosmetic treatments were the trend over the past few years, but this has been replaced by a far-reaching and booming health and medical tourism business,” says Jeffrey.

This feel-good tourism sector is one of the fastest growing areas of travel and tourism, and our home-grown travel industry is catching up to the trend.

Locally, the Bush Spa concept has been around for a good few years. It was the domain of the very high-end (and generally, international) consumer destinations such as the Sabi Sand Reserve, these days most three- to four-star establishments boast some kind of health and wellness option. This option may not be a fully kitted-out in-house spa, but massages, pedicures and facials may be organised on request either at nearby salons/spas or in the privacy of your own room.

One trend we have seen locally is the emergence of the day spa. Places such as the Mangwanani African Day Spa on the Hennops River (and at three additional locations around the country) and the Mount Grace Country­ Hotel and Spa are gaining their slice of the market. Visit the Dinokeng area, and one has a choice of seven or eight fantastic spa offerings, including the rather exotic Zau, Jan Harmsgat se Spa, where massages are given in the garden among various artworks made from tin cans, bottle tops and so on. No, it’s not traditional tourism, but that’s the point. The field of health and wellness is creating another option for short-term “travellers” in need of a quick wellness fix, and the day-tripper is becoming a very valuable consumer. There is no doubt that this market will continue to grow from strength to strength and we’ll all be the better for it.

To book ...

  • For a Tibetan Sound Therapy treatment at The Saxon, visit or Tel 011 292 600. Non-hotel residents are welcome, but must book in advance.
  • Visit or Tel 011 219 5600 for more information on Cybele Forest Lodge and Spa.
  • To book at Mangwanani African Day Spa, visit or Tel 012 371 2100.
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