“We feel the terms will provide clarification and benefits not only to our members, but to anyone with an interest in the wellness tourism industry,” WTA chairman Andrew Gibson said in a statement.
According to the WTA, the introduction of the term “wellness resorts” is noteworthy because it replaces what the WTA previously referred to as the “destination spa” category. In addition, the term “wellness visitor” was added to the glossary, to distinguish between wellness travelers that are “primary” and “secondary,” as identified by the Global Wellness Institute.
The WTA’s definitions are the following:
Wellness tourism: A specific division of the global tourism industry that is defined by the common goal of marketing natural assets and activities primarily focused on serving the wellness traveler and those who want to be.
Wellness travel: Travel that allows the traveler to maintain, enhance or kick-start a healthy lifestyle and support or increase one’s sense of well-being.
Wellness traveler: Often referred to as the “primary wellness traveler,” an individual who makes wellness the primary purpose of their travels.
Wellness visitor: Often referred to as the “secondary wellness traveler,” an individual who works elements of wellness into their travels for business or pleasure.
Wellness vacation/holiday: Wellness vacation/holiday is wellness travel powered by a wellness-focused intention. Wellness vacations/holidays are typically self-directed, with the traveler setting his or her own timetable and schedule. They may also include a wellness retreat.
Wellness retreat: A guided, intention-driven, multiday program with a set or semi-set schedule, and hosted by one or more facilitators. The program may include learning and lifestyle workshops such as meditation and healthy eating, as well as fitness activities such as yoga, nature walks and hiking.
Wellness resort (also referred to as a wellness sanctuary or wellness clinic in some parts of the world): Any facility with accommodations and a range of hospitality services where the primary purpose is to provide programs and experiences for the wellness traveler. The wellness resort is comprises four primary elements: accommodations, a variety of wellness activities, healthy dining options and wellness-related facilities.
Wellness destination: A geographical area that fosters and promotes wellness as an integral part of life within the community and economics of the region.