At some point, we’ve all felt holiday brain drain – that feeling that the grey matter isn't working at full capacity when you return to the office after a break away.
Reportedly, going on a vacation –
especially to a warm climate -- may
even lower your IQ.
So it makes sense that there’s a whole new
industry looking to reverse that trend, where travellers will have the option
of choosing destinations, hotels and holiday packages designed to keep their
minds in good health.
Forbes magazine reported that brain training
will be the next ‘‘trillion-dollar
industry”. According to market research firm Sharp Brains, the worldwide brain health
and fitness digital software market is already worth $295 million, and is
expected to grow between $1 billion to $5 billion by 2015. Additionally, a 2012
trends report commissioned by the InterContinental
Hotels Group found that in the near future, travellers will be more likely
to spend part of their vacation somewhere like the New York Public Library, London’s Royal Geographic Society, Idler Academy, Intelligence Squared debates, or
check in to the Library Retreat in
Koh Samui in order to pamper their brain power.
So it’s not surprising that the InterContinental
Hotels Group is teaming up with TED, a
non-profit forum for global talks and lectures, to add a bit of mental
stimulation to traditional holidays and business trips. The hotel group could
tap into the “brain spa” lecture series that TED has rolled out globally. Already
these talks have been a major hit worldwide and talks exist in 81 languages.
Just as working out at the hotel gym can
boost your overall fitness, certain brain exercises can make you better at
solving problems and lead to self improvement. Tapping into some of the world's
most innovative minds while away on holiday or on an executive excursion may
not be a bad thing -- we might even be prepared to travel for it.
“Hotels and resorts are becoming schools of
life,” said Elisabeth Ixmeier, co-founder of Healing Hotels of the World, a
group focused on well being and travel. “Properties will soon offer lectures on
room TVs, they will have libraries with books about healthy, happy lifestyles
and be in this sense, philosophical schools.”
Last year, luxury hotel chain Morgans launched a “minibar for
the mind”. The box contains 250 conversation starters and columns written by
lecturers from the School of Life,
who also conducted a series of talks at the Morgans’ London hotel on reading,
conversation, romance and culture. Spanish hotel chain Sol Melia teamed up with Mario Alonso Puig,
a leadership expert and well-known life coach to offer guests positive thinking
classes at some of its properties including the Melia White House Hotel in London, the Melia Berlin hotel and the Melia Madrid Princesa Hotel.
Cruise liners regularly offer activities to
stimulate the mind. Celebrity
Cruises has teamed up with educational tourism company Smithsonian Journeys to offer talks
by marine biologists, naturalists, astronomers or aviation historians, while Silversea Cruises has its own enrichment
program with guest speakers including celebrity chefs, bestselling authors and
Packing Plato in with your sunscreen or uploading
Nietzsche onto your e-reader may just be the start of things to come. Who
knows, you may soon be going on vacation to see Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg
speak, or booking a fly and teatime package with the Dalai Lama.