Spa Business - Exclusive: new Wellness Tourism Association wants to be ‘voice of the industry’...
23 Aug 2019 Spa Business: uniting the world of wellness
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Latest news

31 Jan 2018

Exclusive: new Wellness Tourism Association wants to be ‘voice of the industry’
BY Jane Kitchen

Andrew Gibson, Accor Hotels’ vice president of wellbeing, is chair of the new association

Andrew Gibson, Accor Hotels’ vice president of wellbeing, is chair of the new association
photo: Accor Hotels

A new not-for-profit business has been created to be the voice of the wellness travel industry, and to create more networking, education and marketing opportunities.

Headed up by chair Andrew Gibson, Accor Hotels’ vice president of wellbeing, the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) hopes to create a network for destination marketing organisations, hotels and resorts, tour operators and travel agencies with an interest in the growing wellness tourism industry.

“As an association, it's crucial we work together to help define our industry, as well as to educate the public so they can recognise legitimate and credible wellness suppliers and operators,” said Gibson.

He is joined by founding members Anne Dimon, CEO of Travel to Wellness, who serves as the WTA’s president; Thomas Klein, president and COO of US destination spa Canyon Ranch, who is the organisation’s treasurer; Madeleine Marentette, founder of Canada’s Grail Springs Retreat Center for Wellbeing; and Nilendu Srivastava, managing director of The Art of Living Retreat Center in North Carolina, US.

The association’s first tourism board member – the Monaco Government Tourist Office – will be represented by Cindy Hoddeson, Monaco’s director, North America. The wellness history of this city-state dates back to 1860 and the Etablissement des Bains, Monaco’s first baths, where people traveled to benefit from the curative powers of the Mediterranean.

US-based New Life Hiking Spa signed up as one of the first retreat members; the first tour operator to join is Sojourn Bicycling and Active Vacations.

“The WTA will define the industry and unite all the various categories that fall under the umbrella of wellness tourism for a common purpose – which is the benefit and sustainability of the industry for the ultimate good of all, including the consumer,” said Dimon.

The WTA’s goals are to create a common set of standards and definitions of wellness travel categories; educate and increase awareness of wellness tourism, especially among tour operators and travel agents; and to provide a networking platform for those involved in the industry.

But the first step is to create the industry definitions for various terms within the sector. As Gibson explained: “We want to elevate standards and give credibility to the industry. There’s so much vagueness, so much lack of clarity – when we get the industry speaking with a unified voice, then we can go to the consumer with it.”

That includes clear-cut criteria of the definition of a destination spa versus a resort spa, for instance, and a look at defining wellness retreats, wellness travel and wellness vacations.

“The wellness tourism market is working overtime to keep up with the growing consumer demand, and that includes Canyon Ranch,” said Klein.

“Wellness tourism – travel engaged for the purpose of enriching or sustaining the state of wellness – will continue to evolve, and as a trailblazer in the integrative wellness industry, it’s crucial that we are at the centre of the discussion and movement, working with the industry to define and develop this booming travel sector, along with the immersive wellness experience.”

The WTA made its official debut in late January at the Travel & Adventure Show in Washington DC, and will also have a presence at three other Travel & Adventure Shows in 2018: in Chicago, Los Angeles and Denver, Colorado.

“We saw a lot of interest at the Washington show,” said Dimon. “Suppliers were interested in what they need to do to qualify, agents wanted to know how to get into the ‘niche,’ and consumers were asking all the expected questions: what wellness tourism is, how to work wellness into their travels, and where to go.”

Qualifying hotels, resorts, retreats, destination spas, tour operators and wellness travel companies may join as members, and organisations with a specific interest in the sector may join as partners.

Membership packages range from US$300 (€242, £214) for travel advisors to US$2,000 (€1,615, £1,425) for hotels and destination spas and US$3,500 (€2,826, £2,495) for tourism boards and DMOs.

“If an organisation has a true interest and investment in the travel sector, they will want to be part of this industry-focused collective,” said Dimon. “For some, it will be for credibility, for others it will be a combination of networking, education and marketing opportunities.”

The networking opportunities will begin immediately; WTA is planning an annual meeting, the first of which will take place in Q2 or Q3 2018, most likely in North America – possibly at one of the member locations – and will highlight what wellness tourism is and, based on the first WTA survey, what consumers are looking for in a wellness vacation. Gibson said he expects between 25 to 50 people to attend.

Moving forward, the WTA plans to collaborate with the Global Wellness Summit’s Wellness Tourism Initiative, and to have a presence at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai in April and the World Travel Market in London in November.




Connect with
Spa Business
Magazine:
View issue contents
Sign up:
Instant Alerts/zines

Print edition
 

News headlines
The Spa at Windsor Court to undergo major renovation
The Spa at Windsor Court to undergo major renovation   20 Aug 2019

The Spa at Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, US, is set to undergo a major renovation that will see the addition of new relaxation spaces and .... more>>
Four Seasons to open resort in Los Cabos with Oasis Spa
Four Seasons to open resort in Los Cabos with Oasis Spa   19 Aug 2019

Four Seasons will open a resort in Los Cabos, Mexico this November, featuring a 15,855sq ft Oasis Spa. Designed by Guerin Glass Architects, the .... more>>
Emma Darby named COO of Resense
Emma Darby named COO of Resense   16 Aug 2019

Leading wellness consultancy Resense has announced the promotion of Emma Darby to the position of chief operating officer (COO). Darby benefits from .... more>>
ISPA research: More men visiting spas than ever before
ISPA research: More men visiting spas than ever before   16 Aug 2019

Research by the International Spa Association (ISPA), has revealed that more men are going to spas than ever before, with stats indicating that 49 per .... more>>
Global Wellness Summit relocates from Hong Kong to Singapore
Global Wellness Summit relocates from Hong Kong to Singapore   15 Aug 2019

Susie Ellis, chair of the Global Wellness Institute, has announced the 2019 Global Wellness Summit will move from Hong Kong to Singapore. Dates will .... more>>
Company profile


Starpool

Starpool is an Italian company specialising in design and realisation of wellness and spa facilities for 45 years.

View full profile>>

Catalogue gallery


Featured Supplier

Hand Picked Hotels launches The Hive to improve work/life balance for employees

Hand Picked Hotels launches The Hive to improve work/life balance for employees

Independent country house hotel group, Hand Picked Hotels, has partnered with Reward Gateway to launch a new bespoke interactive platform. More>>




in this issue

• Equinox's home fitness launch overshadowed by Trump furore
• Holmes Place founder takes over TRIB3
• Merlin Entertainments returns to growth



Spa jobs




Therapist
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: London, UK
Company: Strip Wax Bar & Boutique
Fitness and Wellbeing Manager
Salary: £36,405 + competitive benefits
Location: Thamesmead, London, UK
Company: YMCA Thames Gateway
Spa Therapist
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Company: GLL
Diary dates
Powered by leisurediary.com




03 Sep 2019

Spa Business Bootcamp Course

Laico Hotels & Resorts Regency, Nairobi, Kenya


05 Sep 2019

Spa Business Bootcamp Course

Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, Mombasa, Kenya



Spa Business magazine 2019 issue 2
Spa Business
2019 issue 2

View issue contents
View on turning pages
Download PDF
  Research: Finishing touch
The benefits of face massage rollers have been given scientific backing from researchers in Japan More>>
  Spa Programmes: On the menu
Olivia Newton-John skincare, Sounds of Africa and jet lag butlers feature in our programming series More>>


Spa Business magazine 2019 issue 1

Spa Business
2019 issue 1

View issue contents
View turning pages
Download PDF
  Promotional feature: The Wellness
Noha Khalil of The Wellness discusses how gym and spa elements are increasingly coming together through design to deliver outstanding fitness concepts More>>
  Research: Mind over matter
A new white paper reveals the benefits of numerous spa modalities on mental health. Editor Gerry Bodeker reports More>>


Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd
Jobs . News . Products . Magazine
NEWS
Exclusive: new Wellness Tourism Association wants to be ‘voice of the industry’
POSTED 31 Jan 2018 . BY Jane Kitchen
A new not-for-profit business has been created to be the voice of the wellness travel industry, and to create more networking, education and marketing opportunities.

Headed up by chair Andrew Gibson, Accor Hotels’ vice president of wellbeing, the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) hopes to create a network for destination marketing organisations, hotels and resorts, tour operators and travel agencies with an interest in the growing wellness tourism industry.

“As an association, it's crucial we work together to help define our industry, as well as to educate the public so they can recognise legitimate and credible wellness suppliers and operators,” said Gibson.

He is joined by founding members Anne Dimon, CEO of Travel to Wellness, who serves as the WTA’s president; Thomas Klein, president and COO of US destination spa Canyon Ranch, who is the organisation’s treasurer; Madeleine Marentette, founder of Canada’s Grail Springs Retreat Center for Wellbeing; and Nilendu Srivastava, managing director of The Art of Living Retreat Center in North Carolina, US.

The association’s first tourism board member – the Monaco Government Tourist Office – will be represented by Cindy Hoddeson, Monaco’s director, North America. The wellness history of this city-state dates back to 1860 and the Etablissement des Bains, Monaco’s first baths, where people traveled to benefit from the curative powers of the Mediterranean.

US-based New Life Hiking Spa signed up as one of the first retreat members; the first tour operator to join is Sojourn Bicycling and Active Vacations.

“The WTA will define the industry and unite all the various categories that fall under the umbrella of wellness tourism for a common purpose – which is the benefit and sustainability of the industry for the ultimate good of all, including the consumer,” said Dimon.

The WTA’s goals are to create a common set of standards and definitions of wellness travel categories; educate and increase awareness of wellness tourism, especially among tour operators and travel agents; and to provide a networking platform for those involved in the industry.

But the first step is to create the industry definitions for various terms within the sector. As Gibson explained: “We want to elevate standards and give credibility to the industry. There’s so much vagueness, so much lack of clarity – when we get the industry speaking with a unified voice, then we can go to the consumer with it.”

That includes clear-cut criteria of the definition of a destination spa versus a resort spa, for instance, and a look at defining wellness retreats, wellness travel and wellness vacations.

“The wellness tourism market is working overtime to keep up with the growing consumer demand, and that includes Canyon Ranch,” said Klein.

“Wellness tourism – travel engaged for the purpose of enriching or sustaining the state of wellness – will continue to evolve, and as a trailblazer in the integrative wellness industry, it’s crucial that we are at the centre of the discussion and movement, working with the industry to define and develop this booming travel sector, along with the immersive wellness experience.”

The WTA made its official debut in late January at the Travel & Adventure Show in Washington DC, and will also have a presence at three other Travel & Adventure Shows in 2018: in Chicago, Los Angeles and Denver, Colorado.

“We saw a lot of interest at the Washington show,” said Dimon. “Suppliers were interested in what they need to do to qualify, agents wanted to know how to get into the ‘niche,’ and consumers were asking all the expected questions: what wellness tourism is, how to work wellness into their travels, and where to go.”

Qualifying hotels, resorts, retreats, destination spas, tour operators and wellness travel companies may join as members, and organisations with a specific interest in the sector may join as partners.

Membership packages range from US$300 (€242, £214) for travel advisors to US$2,000 (€1,615, £1,425) for hotels and destination spas and US$3,500 (€2,826, £2,495) for tourism boards and DMOs.

“If an organisation has a true interest and investment in the travel sector, they will want to be part of this industry-focused collective,” said Dimon. “For some, it will be for credibility, for others it will be a combination of networking, education and marketing opportunities.”

The networking opportunities will begin immediately; WTA is planning an annual meeting, the first of which will take place in Q2 or Q3 2018, most likely in North America – possibly at one of the member locations – and will highlight what wellness tourism is and, based on the first WTA survey, what consumers are looking for in a wellness vacation. Gibson said he expects between 25 to 50 people to attend.

Moving forward, the WTA plans to collaborate with the Global Wellness Summit’s Wellness Tourism Initiative, and to have a presence at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai in April and the World Travel Market in London in November.

MORE NEWS
The Spa at Windsor Court to undergo major renovation
The Spa at Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, US, is set to undergo a major renovation that will see the addition of new relaxation spaces and treatment rooms.
Four Seasons to open resort in Los Cabos with Oasis Spa
Four Seasons will open a resort in Los Cabos, Mexico this November, featuring a 15,855sq ft Oasis Spa.
Emma Darby named COO of Resense
Leading wellness consultancy Resense has announced the promotion of Emma Darby to the position of chief operating officer (COO).
ISPA research: More men visiting spas than ever before
Research by the International Spa Association (ISPA), has revealed that more men are going to spas than ever before, with stats indicating that 49 per cent of spa customers are now men, a 20 per cent increase from the 29 per cent reported in 2005.
+ More news   
 
COMPANY PROFILE
Starpool

Starpool is an Italian company specialising in design and realisation of wellness and spa faciliti [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Iyashi Dome: the original Japanese infrared sauna experience
Iyashi is a Japanese word which carries the notion of wellness. It has a number of meanings depending on context – including relief, healing and cure. [more...]
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

05-07 Sep 2019

Annual SWAA Conference

Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, Mombasa, Kenya
09-11 Sep 2019

SpaChina Summit

The Ritz-Carlton, Xi’an, China
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2019

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS