Not convinced about wellness travel? Here’s what you need to know

A woman practices yoga by a lake at sunrise. Source: Shutterstock

WELLNESS means different things to different people.

For some, mental health is the pinnacle of wellness, and for others, having a tight physique is what matters.

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness tourism industry is worth US$563 billion, but defining exactly what wellness tourism is remains a grey area.

Luckily, however, The Wellness Tourism Association has come to the rescue by outlining and defining the different types of wellness travel.

The glossary was created by The Wellness Tourism Association president Anne Dimon and her team who aim to “define” and “establish” standards for the growing global wellness sector.

“The definitions have taken considerable time and thoughtful debate among the WTA Board of Directors,” commented chairman Andrew Gibson.

“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.”

With these definitions, the grey area of wellness travel could very soon be globally known as the vibrant, life-enhancing industry it is.

Find what you’ve been looking for in a wellness travel with these definitions:

Wellness Traveler

Often referred to as the “primary wellness traveler,” he or she is an individual who makes wellness the primary purpose of their travels.

Wellness Retreat

A guided, intention-driven, multi-day 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, Wellness Sanctuary, and Wellness Clinic

Any facility with accommodations and a range of hospitality services providing programs and experiences for the wellness traveler.

The wellness resort is comprised of 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.

Wellness Tourism

A specific division of the global tourism industry, defined by the common goal of marketing natural assets and activities.

Wellness tourism is focused on serving the wellness traveler and those who want to be a wellness traveler.

Wellness Travel

Travel that allows the traveler to maintain, enhance or kick-start a healthy lifestyle, and support or increase one’s sense of wellbeing.

Wellness Visitor

Often referred to as the ‘secondary wellness traveler’, he or she is an individual who works elements of wellness into their travels for business or pleasure.

Wellness Vacation

Wellness vacation is wellness travel powered by a wellness-focused intention.

Wellness vacations are typically self-directed with the traveler setting his or her own timetable and schedule. They may also include a wellness retreat.