We may not have a crystal ball to tell us what to expect in the year ahead, but Expedia does have the next best thing: data. Video / NZ Herald

New year, new reason to book that fitness trip and indulge in wellness.

The beginning of the calendar and the January health drive predictably see an uptick in travellers searching for spa trips and wellness retreats.

Whether looking for some winter sun or alpine therapy, it seems as if tourists are looking to travel a little further in the name of wellness in 2023.

Research from Spaseekers.com into bookings and spa related search terms has revealed the global destinations trending this year.


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New Zealand was one of the top destinations in the Google searches of travellers after pampering. With spa-related searches up 126 per cent on 2022, it came in at number 14 on the list.

Croatia was the third most searched for spa destination, ahead of 2023. Photo / SuppliedCroatia was the third most searched for spa destination, ahead of 2023. Photo / Supplied

Croatia was a big hit with spa-seekers wanting to find some Mediterranean relaxation. With the thermal spas of Dalmatia being celebrated since Roman times, Croatia seems to be seeing a wellness renaissance – up 1000 per cent in search rankings, earning it 3rd place in the list.

Germany was a healthy second place on the top searched spa locations. This should come as no surprise. From the FKK (Freikörperkultur or “nudist” health resorts) to the Kneipp Walk (an alpine walking bath treatment) Germany is chocked full of spas and unique cures dedicated to the pursuit of gesundheit. Searches for German spas peaked at 12,400 per cent at the end of last year, landing it in second place.


Advertise with NZME.Kneipp Walk: Germany's spas have seen a huge rise in interest for 2023. Photo / 123RFKneipp Walk: Germany’s spas have seen a huge rise in interest for 2023. Photo / 123RF

However, it was Costa Rica leading the rankings for ‘Pura Vida’.

The central American paradise with a reputation for sustainable tourism, was the most searched for spa holiday, rising over 62,000 per cent on 2021.

Europe dominated the top 20 with 10 of the top searched destinations in the continent.

However, New Zealand’s world famous natural thermal spas and treatments saw it enter the top 20 as the only entry from the Pacific.

Pura Vida: tropical Costa Rica's reputation as a spa destination is growing. Photo / SuppliedPura Vida: tropical Costa Rica’s reputation as a spa destination is growing. Photo / Supplied

Top of the treatments for 2023

According to Spaseekers the top treatments searched for by adventurous spa visitors included “vaginal steaming” and crystal therapy.


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“Our research reveals that it is a yoni steam – also known as vaginal steaming – that is set to be the top trending treatment next year, with online searches for the experience up by 124 per cent,” said the report.

The yoni was followed closely by crystal healing massages, which saw a 91 per cent uptick over the past year, and traditional Turkish bath massages, which was up by 85 per cent.

A soak before a massage is a must. Photo / SuppliedA soak before a massage is a must. Photo / Supplied

Most searched for Spas 2023

1 Costa Rica 62,273%

2 Germany 12,400%

3 Croatia 1,019%

4 Moldova 250%


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5 Cambodia 191%

6 Maldives 190%

7 Ecuador 182%

8 Slovenia 177%

=9 Poland 175%

=9 Gambia 175%


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11 Vietnam 173%

12 Bulgaria 171%

13 Portugal 128%

=14 Oman 126%

=14 New Zealand 126%

=16 Ghana 125%


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=16 Romania 125%

=16 Nicaragua 125%

19 Austria 123%

20 Latvia 120%

20 Indonesia 120%

YoY increases according to Spaseekers


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