January 2024

Wellness Meets Wholeness – A Holistic Philosophy

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Wellness Meets Wholeness – A Holistic Philosophy

The stresses of modern living make the need to take care of one’s physical and mental health more of a priority than ever. The latest tourism trends confirm this, and all speak to wellness as being an essential and integral part of the travel experience. Singita has long upheld a commitment to wellness, and interprets these trends holistically by weaving them into every aspect of our guest experience.

The inextricable connection between physical and mental health informs how we approach wellness – holistically woven into every aspect of our guest experience

Why is wellness important?

As the adage goes, 'a healthy body is a healthy mind'. A phrase that has been widely used to express that because mental and physical health are so closely linked, when one is in good physical and mental health you are achieving true wellness. Therefore, improving your physical health will benefit your mental health and vice versa.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations' agency working to promote health, wellness can be defined as engaging in a series of healthy daily rituals to attain better physical and mental health, but if one is not participating in daily healthy practices or wellness activities, it begs the question, “Am I thriving, or am I merely surviving?”

Perhaps prioritising our wellbeing amidst the uncertainty of the current world allows us to maintain some semblance of control? The Global Wellness Institute, a non-profit organisation with a mission to empower wellness worldwide understands that the idea of wellness is multidimensional – and extends beyond even just the physical and mental. The concept refers to a state of overall health and wellbeing. Comparatively, we do not share the same bodies, the same belief systems or the same set of circumstances. So, how is one to know that one's journey is leading them to a desired level of wellness?

The wellness industry offers a world of solutions where conventional medicine sometimes lacks in providing certainty and relief. Perhaps the question is not “how can I improve my health?” Or “how do I become well?” But rather, “how can I become more connected with myself to better understand myself, my needs, and my holistic wellbeing?”

Experiences rooted in creating a deeper sense of relaxation, self-improvement and wellbeing are increasingly sought out by travellers

Travel as a path to wellness

Travel is flourishing again and the hospitality and tourism sectors around the world are back on their feet with a focus on wellness tourism, which is becoming an important vehicle for the recovery of the industry. While people travel for a variety of different reasons, wellness getaways are something that many people are increasingly seeking out.

Adrian Kaplan, Singita's Executive Head of Marketing, after attending the SKIFT Global Forum 2023 conference held in New York, says “Wellness is definitely one of the major trends going forward. People are looking to escape everyday life and reset the mind, body and soul through wellness tourism.”

Holidays which seek to revitalise or renew only the mind or only the body within the confines of a spa have been superseded by vacations rooted in a deeper sense of relaxation, self-improvement and wellbeing.

Renee Rosettenstein, Singita’s Wholeness Co-ordinator confirms this, “People are seeking time in nature through a variety of different experiences that give them a greater sense of place. At Singita we provide options such as yoga, but really wellness is a golden thread that runs through every aspect from food to safari to stargazing.”

'Wholeness' looks at wellness through a multifaceted lens – considering nourishing food, restorative treatments, and enriching experiences

The future of wellness

Dubbed the ‘no-normal’ era of wellness travel by Expedia, the industry is seeing a vast shift in consumer behaviour encapsulating all manner of experiences – from travellers seeking to reduce their carbon footprint by carbon offsetting and by doing so, supporting sustainable development, to a Scandinavian lifestyle concept encouraging people to spend more time outdoors, as being immersed in nature has proven to boost mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing.

Lindy Rousseau, Singita’s Chief Strategist says, “Our philosophy at Singita has always been holistically inspired. More than just a luxury lodge experience that offers purposefully designed programmes of therapies and wellness activities, Singita seeks to appeal to a new kind of traveller that yearns for the transformative power of nature, a sense of belonging and human connection through authentic, community-driven experiences.”

Singita has always sought to harness the transformative power of nature to foster a sense of belonging and connection

Global trends also talk to the importance of connection, not only for people to connect with their loved ones but also to visit local communities, fostering a positive understanding of local cultures. Research by Live the World an online travel agency based in Antwerp that focuses on off-the-beaten-track experiences, says that Gen Z in particular crave authentic and unique experiences – they seek a deeper connection with the places they visit and the people they meet. We’ve had such positive feedback from guests who have visited the cultural village in Singita Malilangwe or taken time to meet the onsite artisans who work in the communities near Singita Volcanoes National Park.

Lindy Rousseau continues to say that by spending time getting to know the local communities allows Singita guests to feel more deeply connected with the experience and leave with a true sense of place. Our guests also increasingly express a desire to learn while on holiday with us – and spaces like our newly appointed conservation rooms give them an opportunity to do this.

Opportunities to learn and contribute add to a sense of wellbeing. At our lodges, guests are able to engage with our conservation and community programmes for a deeper and more meaningful experience

Wholeness at Singita

At Singita, we have a Wholeness Philosophy. More than just a list of healthy activities, Wholeness is woven into the tangible and intangible elements of the entire Singita experience. It is a feeling that we want our guests to leave with, a way of life, a way of being. We want our guests feeling lighter, relaxed, fulfilled and with a deep sense of calm, feeling ultimately more connected.

Whatever trends are on the horizon for 2024 and beyond, one thing that is certain is that wellness will remain front and centre, and that Singita will continue to evolve our philosophy to continuously align with our guests' ever-changing needs.

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