Spafinder Wellness 365 recently announced the finalists of the 2016 Wellness Travel Awards, which recognize the demand for healthier travel options and honors hotels, resorts, destination spas, and retreats worldwide. This year’s finalists reflect a much wider world of wellness travel, with Africa, Asia, and Central and South America showing strong gains within the 388 global properties that were recognized by a panel of 39 travel and wellness industry editors and experts. Compared to last year, countries with the largest increase in finalists for 2016, include Argentina, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. There are also 11 new countries, including Belize, Greece, Guatemala, Peru, Tasmania, and Uruguay, with finalists in the running this year. The winners will be selected based on a combination of consumer votes and expert panelists’ nominations and property scores, and the winning properties will be announced on Nov. 9 at World Travel Market London. Consumers can vote for winners in 20 categories through Sept. 16 at WellnessTravelAwards.com, and each person who votes will be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 Spafinder Wellness 365 gift card. In addition to 10 winners represented in 20 special categories, the Crystal Awards will also be presented to the top property on six continents, while the Country Awards will award the top property in a wide range of countries and regions around the world. Spafinder Wellness 365 also introduced two new categories this year, including Hidden Gems, which honors extraordinary properties that may not be widely known, and Ahead of the Curve, which recognizes hotels, resorts, and spas with the most innovative and creative wellness programs. “It’s gratifying to see how quickly countries of all sizes around the globe have embraced wellness travel and are now offering travelers unique, world-class wellness experiences,” says chief operating officer John Bevan. “It’s also important to remember that while the term ‘wellness travel’ was introduced approximately five years ago, it is now considered the fastest-growing tourism sector. And with thousands of such diverse properties to choose from, we believe the Wellness Travel Awards are an exceptional resource for people seeking a wide world of destinations that restore and improve their wellbeing."