Common senses: Wellness & the travel experience4 minutes
Authentic, experiential travel is changing the way people explore the planet. Over the past decade, it's given rise to trends such as house swapping, the slow food and travel movement and sustainable tours. But one of the hottest travel trends for 2018, according to the Global Wellness Trends Report, is something called transformative wellness travel.
Focused less on traditional, stand-alone wellness amenities, treatments and experiences, the aim of transformative wellness travel is to weave every aspect of the travel experience into a “necklace" of linked wellness experiences.
Tech-savvy millennials have a growing desire to take experiential travel and immerse themselves in a wellness narrative. This trend is already making waves on the hospitality front, with the launch of such story-based destinations as the Six Senses Bhutan and the planned Red Mountain Resort in Iceland.
But while the destination is key, for many future wellness travelers the journey itself is just as important—and this gives forward-thinking airlines a unique opportunity to engage wellness-seeking passengers from the moment they step onto the plane.
A growing market of 830 million
Globetrotters made 830 million wellness trips in 2017 alone, according to the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor. Capturing the hearts and minds of this demographic is key in ensuring passenger loyalty and repeat business.
Panasonic Avionics is creating a transformative wellness travel narrative—powered by our new Wellness solution—to help airlines connect with these passengers.
Developed to improve passenger health, comfort and overall wellbeing inflight, Wellness is the latest category launched on Panasonic's NEXT platform. With it, we're looking to transform the passenger experience for wellness travelers—and even non-wellness travelers—the world over when it takes wing with our initial launch customer in early 2019.
The solution comprises three key capabilities: Active Noise Control, Premium Seat Lighting and nanoetm technology, which improves inflight air quality through the use of ultra-fine electrostatic atomized water nanoparticles. Panasonic is also exploring potential partnerships with Mimi Hearing Technologies, which provides personalized playback capabilities via advanced audio enhancing algorithms, as well as Detalytics, which aims to integrate health advisory applications into seatback systems and passengers' mobile devices.
The power behind the Wellness suite is Panasonic’s NEXT Cloud. It’s the commercial aviation industry’s first cloud platform to manage enterprise data, develop and deploy applications faster and deliver actionable insights.
A healthier way to travel
Though these solutions might, on the surface, appear to offer up totally separate experiences, the keyword moving forward is "synchronicity."
Almost everyone can relate to the uncomfortable nature of air travel. You're in a vehicle that gets used by millions of people over and over again. You're in a small, contained space and that can tend to make people nervous. If somebody sneezes next to you inflight, what's the first thing you think?
Although most carriers try to provide a healthy, relaxing inflight experience, there are certain elements that passengers just can't avoid because of the confined space they're in, or the long distances they're traveling. And since so many of these hurdles are connected, the inflight entertainment and connectivity solution set that tackles them should be as well.
Engaging the wellness passenger
The global wellness travel market was valued at more than $650 billion in 2017, and is expected to grow substantially in the years to come. Engaging the passengers' imaginations—in particular those of millennial women, who are the primary consumers of experiential and wellness travel—is key as this trend evolves.
Wellness is an opportunity for airlines to differentiate themselves and attract a younger, more health-conscious, holistically minded passenger base. Incorporating experiential travel solutions and mindful wellness narratives will improve the inflight passenger experience for these kinds of travelers. It's about the wellness of the passenger, but it's also about developing a sense of loyalty for the airlines as well.