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WTA unveils nine-point list for those marketing themselves as 'Wellness Destinations'

05 Aug 2019
With the wellness tourism sector spreading globally, geographic destinations around the world are seeking to position themselves on the radar of wellness-minded travelers from near and far.

With booming growth as a backdrop, the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) has unveiled a list of suggested assets and attributes that geographic destinations should possess as they seek to market themselves as 'Wellness Destinations'.

Should a tourism board, convention and visitor bureau (CVB), or destination marketing organization (DMO) representing a small town, province, state, or even an entire country seek to launch a national programme to position a specific region as a “Wellness Destination,” WTA is calling for that geographic destination to, first and foremost, live up to certain basic criteria so as not to confuse the travel consumer.

To this end, WTA has announced a list of suggested assets and attributes that geographic destinations – towns, regions, counties, and countries alike – should possess as they look to market themselves to consumers as Wellness Destinations. The nine-point list is as follows:

• A safe/secure environment in both perception and reality
• A clean and sanitary infrastructure for both locals and visitors
• A quality-of-life for locals who benefit from tourism dollars – e.g. the creation of jobs within the industry and the creation of a market for locally made produce/products/services
• Natural assets such as hot springs/mountains/bodies of water/forests/resources for thalassotherapy or other natural assets within the confines of the destination and easily accessible to visitors
• Since Wellness Tourism and Wellness Travel encompass wellness for the planet, the destination must have substantial sustainability policies and practices in place
• The availability and accessibility of a wide range of wellness-professionals and practitioners, including those who offer holistic and alternative modalities
• A selection of hotel restaurants and independent restaurants offering healthful cuisine prepared by chefs committed to clean eating and who work in partnership with local growers
• Availability of a range of fitness-based activities and tours – e.g. yoga, hiking, cycling, fitness classes, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding
• A physical environment that is somewhat removed from the noise that has become “daily life” in the 21st century

“There is nothing more vital to the continued growth of wellness tourism than for consumers to be clear on what awaits them in their travels,” said Anne Dimon, president of the Wellness Tourism Association. “WTA sees the nine-point criteria as a necessary foundation for any region proclaiming itself a ‘Wellness Destination,’ and suggests that tourism boards, CVBs and DMOs intending to call or promote themselves as such possess and/or have these basic assets and attributes in place.”

The year-old Wellness Tourism Association, incorporated as a non-profit in Colorado, now has 80-plus members and partners from 15 countries.

Its mission is to support and further the growth of the wellness tourism industry through networking, education, communication and marketing.

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