Once British tourists were happy to return home from their hols with a suntan and a bottle of the local hooch. But today’s holidaymakers are looking for so much more….a greater sense of well being, a cleansed mind, body and soul or maybe even a new look. Indeed, latest research from MINTEL finds that last year alone we went on no less than 205,000 health and wellness holidays, where we benefitted from the likes of yoga classes, holistic healing, spa visits or even surgical recuperation. Indeed, in 2006 the British spent an estimated £135 million on these kinds of holidays and the fun doesn’t stop there, with sales set to increase by as much as 150% by 2011. ” it seems many British tourists are developing a taste for a holiday with a difference. Tired of the fly and flop package deals, they are opting for spa holidays, holistic breaks or in some cases a medical break for a session of cosmetic surgery or dentistry. Although this is a niche market, health and wellness holidays are steadily growing into a high value business, with the average cost of a trip well in excess of the holiday market norms. This market is fuelled by those looking to escape the pressures of a culture of long working hours and what some operators see as an urge to retreat from the debilitating effects of the consumer society,” comments Richard Cope, senior travel analyst at MINTEL.

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