The next time you book a flight, you may want to get to the airport a few hours early. Not just stereotypical dad early, but even earlier so you can chill out, get a manicure, a massage, or even take a fitness class. According to a CB Insights report on wellness trends for 2019, airports are becoming wellness destinations.
To prove that airports aren’t just an excuse to eat Panda Express at 8 a.m., CB Insights points to BeRelax, a chain of airport wellness retreats that has raised $24 million from investors who think there’s a future in getting spa treatments after the stress of security checkpoints. As JFK regulars know, it’s a similar service to those offered by XpresSpa, where travelers can work out the kinks from flying coach with either pre- or post-flight massages. Airports around the world, including in Singapore; Portland, Oregon; and Barcelona, all have spas, and CB Insights says the trend is growing.
It’s not just manis, pedis, and massages, though: Fitness companies are starting to target road warriors and business travelers who might spend more time in the airport than not and would like to exercise between connections. For instance, Roam Fitness offers cardio and strength training equipment (and showers) in its post-security facilities, and Sanctifly, a members’ club with locations at 90 airports, lets travelers book airport hotel gyms and other wellness facilities while in transit.
Wellness tourism is now valued at $639.4 billion, according to the Global Wellness Institute, so there’s no reason why the airports shouldn’t serve as a stepping-stone to your wellness-themed retreat.