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Fraenkel works with 40,000-strong Travel Leaders Group to create curated wellness collection

08 Mar 2016
Travel Leaders Group – which includes more than 6,500 company-owned, franchised and affiliated travel agencies throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia – has launched a Select Wellness Collection made up of 40 global hotels and spas renowned for their focus on health and wellness.

Designed in conjunction with wellness and spa consultant Sallie Fraenkel – president of the Mind Body Spirit Network and former COO of SpaFinder Wellness and EVP of the Global Wellness Summit – the amenity-driven collection is only available to consumers through Travel Leaders Group’s 40,000+ travel agents.

“Since wellness travel is projected to grow by more than 9 per cent annually – nearly 50 per cent faster than overall global tourism – we created our Select Wellness Collection to meet the growing demand for this type of experience among our agents’ clientele,” said Erick Rodriguez, senior vice president of the Travel Leaders Group Hotel Division.

Fraenkel hand-picked the 40 properties that are part of the programme, which she said are mostly very specialised in the wellness market.

“There are a lot of properties out there that have lovely spas, but this goes beyond that,” she said.

Properties in the collection include high-profile wellness destinations such as Mexico’s Rancho La Puerta, Spain’s SHA Wellness, California’s Two Bunch Palms and Golden Door, Arizona’s Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, plus Italy’s LeFay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda, as well as newcomers such as Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Santani in Sri Lanka and Sunrise Springs Integrative Wellness Resort in New Mexico.

“Sallie’s insights greatly assisted us in providing breadth and scope to our collection, while applying a quality vetting threshold commensurate with her respected vantage point,” said Rodriguez.

Some properties, such as Santani, are quite small, said Fraenkel, but offer a true wellness experience.

“It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality,” she explained.

Fraenkel has also devised a training programme for travel agents who are part of Travel Leaders Group, including a basic training on wellness travel for all agents and a second more specialised training limited to just 50 agents, which will include in-depth training on each of the properties.

“They’re really investing in a programme to educate their agents on what the wellness travel industry is,” added Fraenkel. “They really care about the integrity of the collection and the training. It’s about understanding what makes a wellness travel experience – it’s not just spa – it’s also things like cuisine, connection to nature and sleep quality.”

Fraenkel said she expects the initial list of 40 properties to grow as the programme gets started.

“I think the collection will get larger over time,” she said. “Properties will see how advantageous it will be to be involved in this programme.”

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