- Silent meditation retreats are one of the fastest-growing trends in travel, Caren Osten Gerszberg reported for the New York Times.
- Meditation retreats range from a few days to a few weeks in length and can cost thousands of dollars.
- Silent retreats are among a handful of luxury wellness experiences, including wellness summits and hotel rooms with vitamin-C infused water, for which travelers are paying top dollar.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Modern life is stressful.
The latest, trending remedy? Paying to not speak for a week.
“The meditation retreat is one of the fastest-growing trends within the fastest-growing sector in tourism: wellness travel,” Beth McGroarty, vice president of research, at the Global Wellness Institute, told Caren Osten Gerszberg, who documented her experience at a silent meditation retreat in Massachusetts for the New York Times.
While silent retreats have been around for millennia, recent research has confirmed their benefits include “reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure and improved sleep,” Gerszberg notes. McGroarty likened meditation’s popularity to yoga’s a few years ago.
Meditation is now a billionaire-dollar industry, according to Marketwatch, with more than nine million Americans choosing to meditate each year.
And silence-seekers are willing to pay a pretty penny. Meditation retreats, which range in length from a few days to a few weeks, can cost as much as $600 per night in the U.S., Outside magazine reported in 2014.
Wellness is booming across industries
As the Global Wellness Institute notes, "Wellness travellers are very high-spending, high-yield tourists."
Indeed, silent meditation retreats are far from the only wellness experience with a high price tag in 2019. In recent years, a slew of luxury wellness experiences have cropped up, Business Insider's Katie Warren reported. These range from multi-day retreats, like Gwyneth Paltrow's $1,000-per-day wellness summits, to treatments and services, many of which come with hefty price tags. At NYC's Clean Market, for example, monthly packages of cryotherapy can be purchased for $999 a month.
Hotels are capitalizing on the trend, too. Ritz Carlton now offers wellness rooms that start at $419 per night and feature showers with vitamin C-infused water. And Westin Hotels have "running concierges" who lead guests on guided runs and organize healthy meals.
The trend is also affecting real estate. As Hillary Hoffower reported for Business Insider, luxury buildings around the US are increasingly touting amenities like outdoor yoga decks, rooftop parks, and "tranquility gardens" to cater to their residents' interests.
Much of the interest in these sorts of services is driven by millennials, who have been dubbed "the wellness generation." In fact, a recent Sanford Health study found that millennials value their health and wellness second only to family. And as Jeanette Settembre wrote for MarketWatch, some millennials are spending more on wellness than on tuition.