Home' Spa and Clinic : SPA Vol-73 Autumn 2018 Contents Feature
According to the Chairman of Wellness
Tourism Association, Accor Hotels,
Andrew Gibson, “almos t ever y major hotel
corporation has taken an interest in the
wellness traveler based on an increased
demand by business traveler s seeking to
maintain a healthy lifestyle with wellness
options when they travel.”
It’s a smar t move and could be the point
of difference many hotels need in this ever -
changing tourism mar ket. The sudden r ise in
demand in wellness destinations seems lar gely
due to our increasingly stressful lifestyles.
The Global Wellness Ins titute’s Chair of
the Wellness Tourism Initiative, Katherine
“ T he r ise in popularity of wellness holidays
reflects where we are all at in our daily
lives and what we really value . As our lives
have gotten crazy busy, the thing we crave
the most is time out to reconnect – with
our selves, our family or friends and nature.
And what is interesting is that people are
prepared to spend more on this type of
vacation. According to the GWI Global
Wellness Economy sur vey, wellness travel
spend is growing at twice the r ate of global
tr avel expenditure (6.8% ver sus 3.4%).”
One of the reasons for this quick grow th
is the fact there is no ‘typical’ wellness tourist,
ins tead, people from all kinds of backgrounds
and ever y demogr aphic are interes ted in
refueling during their valuable annual leave.
“ Sure, you may see lots of stressed or
burnt out women aged 35-50 years old at
wellness retreats, but, really, wellness tr avel is
a mindset,” says Droga.
“ It can be any age or gender. It’s a
person who is putting their own journey of
tr ansfor mation and wellness as a priority, and
that segment just keeps growing.”
However, when looking at the over all
tendencies of wellness tourists, there
seem to be two categories: About 11%
are heading on a trip specifically for an
immersive wellness experience, whereas the
remaining group is the secondar y wellness
travelers (89% of all wellness trips) who
incorporate some wellness as par t of an
existing business or leisure trip.
Droga continues to explain wellness
tourism isn’t limited to adults only mentioning
kids yoga classes on the rise, but at the same
time acknowledges it’s a bit of an untapped
area for the industry.
“Connecting with kids in nature is a no
brainer and as a parent, this is often what we
try to do on holidays with our kids any way.”
When it comes to most popular wellness
destinations, South East Asia is up there
of fering more spas and retreats than any
other par t of the globe. Australia may not be
the fir s t country that comes to mind when
hearing the word ‘wellness’, but it’s slowly
emerging as a wellness destination in the
“The appeal or drawcard of Australia for
international visitors has always been our
amazing natural experiences and wildlife
connections,” Droga explains.
“The call to adventure and to experience
something truly tr ansfor mative from your
holiday is totally possible in Austr alia as
it’s per fectly situated to seize more of
the wellness mar ket. We have some tr uly
iconic world class wellness retreats in this
country, like Gwinganna and Gaia to name
just a few. It’s just that, as a country, we are
not promoted internationally as a wellness
As the wellness tour ism industry grows ,
so does the risk for an unregulated market
and potential fr auds or ser vices that don’t
live up to their promises. This is where the
newly founded Wellness Tourism A ssociation
comes in. President of the WTA, Anne
Dimon, explains its purpose.
“The term ‘wellness’ is liberally and
r andomly being used to position and sell a wide
range of products, programs and experiences.
The tourism industry is just one of the many
wellness sec tor s that falls under the ver y broad
ter m that needs some par ameter s, definitions
and st andards - not only for the sust ainability
of the industry but for consumers who want to
spend their time and money with companies,
brands and individuals who have met some
sor t of standard.”
“ T he WTA is not looking to ‘regulate’ the
wellness tourism industry but to formulate
those basic standards and definitions that will
help consumers navigate and find the best fit
to suit their objective, plus help the industry
itself to move for ward with credibility.”
“ Definitions [of ter ms such as ‘wellness
tr avel’ and ‘wellness resor t’] and standards
have just been created by the member s of the
WTA, which will help to shape the industry
and maintain credibility within it,” Gibson adds.
It’s safe to say the future of wellness
tourism is looking bright, which is great news
for our over all health and wellbeing, and
gives new meaning to the ter m ‘all-inclusive
holiday’ – ins tead of unlimited food and
drinks , wellness tour ists enjoy unlimited
healing both mentally and physically.
Fulf illing one of its fir st objectives, the newly-founded Wellness Tourism
Association has created a glossar y of terms that will become the basis for common
under s tanding, plus fur ther def ine and bring needed standards to the growing
global wellness tourism industry.
WELLNESS TRAVEL Tr avel that allows the traveler to maintain, enhance or kick-s tar t
a healthy lifestyle, and suppor t or increase one’s sense of wellbeing.
WELLNESS TRAVELER Often refer red to as the ‘primar y wellness traveler’, an
individual who has wellness as the primar y purpose of their travels.
WELLNESS VISITOR Often referred to as the ‘secondar y wellness traveler’, an
individual who work s elements of wellness into their travels for business or pleasure.
WELLNESS VACATION/HOLIDAY Wellness Vacation/Holiday is Wellness Tr avel
powered by a wellness-focused intention. They are typically self-direc ted with the
tr aveler set ting his or her own timetable and schedule , but they may also include a
WELLNESS RETREAT A guided, intention-driven, multi-day progr am with a set or
semi-set schedule, and hosted by one or more facilitators . The progr am may include
lear ning and lifestyle work shops such as meditation and healthy eating, as well as
fitness ac tivities such as yoga, nature walks and hiking.
WELLNESS RESORT (also referred to as a Wellness Sanctuar y or Wellness
Clinic) Any facility with accommodations and a range of hospitality ser vices where the
primar y purpose is to provide programs and experiences for the wellness tr aveler. The
Wellness Resor t is comprised of four primar y elements: accommodations, a variety of
wellness activities, healthy dining options and wellness-related facilities.
WELLNESS DESTINATION A geogr aphical area that foster s and promotes wellness
as an integral par t of life within the community and economics of the region.
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