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Relaxation or bust: Vacationers slow down during their time off

It can be difficult to find time to unwind in one’s everyday environment – with errands to run, homes to clean, meals to make, children to chauffeur and the siren’s song of social media feeds to check. It’s even difficult for people to find the time to take time off. Despite the growing stakes around adventure travel, it turns out that when people do take their vacation days, more prefer to plan a relaxing holiday over an active one.

For the majority of consumers in countries across the globe, an itinerary that includes things like zip lines, shopping or shuffling past hundreds of paintings just isn’t their speed, according to a recent study by GfK. The market research firm looked at vacation preferences with consumers age 15+ in 17 countries, and found that 59% would rather have a vacation “where I relax and take it easy,” while 35% would opt for “an active vacation where I do or see lots of things.”

Those findings aren’t surprising in light of our recent THINK Report, which highlights the interest in activities and practices that slow the mind and bring attention to the present moment. The majority of Conscious Consumers are feeling a deep need to make some changes in their lives in an effort to benefit from a more mindful lifestyle.

In the US, consumers are realizing the relationship between stress and wellness. According to the American Psychological Association survey, 34% of adults report an increase of stress over the past year, and – interestingly – those that see a connection between stress and physical and mental health rose significantly from 2014 to 2015 (, 10 March 2016).

Our THINK Report research found that 38% of respondents are doing breathing exercises, 29% are meditating and 24% are practicing yoga to mitigate stress. It’s reasonable to believe that physically and mentally busy lifestyles aren’t just fueling the desire to take up stress reduction efforts at home, but those conditions are also leading to an interest in finding relaxation away from it all.

As marketers, it’s our job to help consumers connect the dots that lead to healthy, fulfilling lifestyles. And with the internal and external pressures influencing a need to create a sense of calm, 2017 might be the summer of mindfulness.


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