Africa: A Sanctuary for Chill Seekers
(CNN) — Looking for a spa break? In the past, the world’s chill-seekers might have ventured to Thailand or India to get their massage fix. In the future, they’re more apt to be Africa-bound.
A new report in the Global Spa and Wellness Monitor puts Sub-Saharan Africa as the world’s fastest growing region for wellness tourism. The number of spas has tripled since 2007, and spa revenue has leaped 184%.
The number of those lured to the continent for a little R&R has also soared. 2013 saw 4.2 million wellness tourists — a 90% increase from 2012. As a testament to this growth, this year’s annual Global Spa and Wellness Summit took place in Morocco — the first time the event was held on African soil.
“Africa is seen as the final frontier. It’s virgin territory,” says Magatte Wade, the Senegal-born founder and CEO of beauty brand Tiossan, and a keynote speaker at the summit. She attributes the continent’s spike in spas not only to the increase of international travelers, but to the growth of the consumer class within Africa.