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Common Senses: How Wellness Impacts The Flying Experience

Gaston Sandoval
01/07/19 3 MIN READ

Authentic, experiential travel is changing the way wellness travelers explore the planet. Over the past decade, it’s given rise to enduring trends such as house swapping, the slow food and travel movement, and sustainable travel. But one of the hottest wellness travel trends for 2018, according to the Global Wellness Summit’s annual Global Wellness Trends Report, is something called transformative wellness travel.

Focused less on traditional, stand-alone wellness amenities, treatments, and experiences, the aim of transformative wellness travel is to weave every aspect of the wellness travel experience into a more organic “necklace” of linked wellness experiences.

Tech-savvy millennials have a growing desire to take experiential travel to the next level by fully immersing themselves in a wellness narrative. This trend is already making waves on the hospitality front, with the launch of such story-based wellness destinations as the Six Senses Bhutan and the planned Red Mountain Resort in Iceland.

But while the destination is always key, for many future wellness travelers the journey itself will be just as important—and this gives forward-thinking airlines a unique opportunity to engage wellness-seeking passengers from the moment they step onto the plane.

“Developed to improve passenger health, comfort, and overall well-being inflight, Wellness is the latest solution category launched on Panasonic’s NEXT platform.”
Gaston Sandoval
VP OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT AND MARKETING

Our Approach to Transformative Wellness Travel

Globetrotters made 830 million wellness trips in 2017 alone, according to the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor. Capturing the hearts and minds of this growing passenger demographic is key in ensuring passenger loyalty and repeat business moving forward.

Panasonic Avionics is actively creating a transformative wellness travel narrative—powered by our new Wellness solution—to help airlines connect with these passengers.

Developed to improve passenger health, comfort, and overall well-being inflight, Wellness is the latest solution category launched on Panasonic’s NEXT platform. With it, we’re looking to transform the passenger experience for wellness travelers—and even non-wellness travelers—the world over when it takes wing with our initial launch customer early next year.

The solution comprises three key capabilities at the moment: Active Noise Control, Premium Seat Lighting, and nanoe technology, which improves inflight air quality through the use of ultra-fine electrostatic atomized water nanoparticles.

A Healthier Way to Travel

Though these solutions might, on the surface, appear to offer up totally separate wellness experiences, the keyword moving forward is “synchronicity.”

Almost everyone can relate to the uncomfortable nature of air travel. You’re in a vehicle that gets used by millions of people over and over again. You’re in a small, contained space and that can tend to make people nervous. If somebody sneezes next to you inflight, what’s the first thing you think?

Although most carriers try to provide a healthy, relaxing inflight experience, there are certain elements that passengers just can’t get away from, either because of the confined space they’re in or the long distances they’re traveling. And since so many of these passenger experience hurdles are connected, the IFEC solution set that tackles them should be as well.

Wellness Travel is Growing

The global wellness travel market was valued at more than $650 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow substantially in the years to come. Engaging the passengers’ imaginations—in particular, those of millennial women, who are the primary consumers of experiential and wellness travel—will be key as this trend evolves.

Wellness is an opportunity for airlines to differentiate themselves and attract a younger, more health-conscious, holistically minded passenger base. Incorporating experiential travel solutions and mindful wellness narratives will improve the inflight passenger experience for these kinds of travelers.

Because what we’re really looking at doing is giving the airlines a way to attract customers who want to come back and fly with them again. It’s about the wellness of the passenger, but it’s also about developing a sense of loyalty for the airlines as well.

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