Eight Wellness Industry Terms You Need to Know

Wellness Tourism is becoming a huge industry/ Photo Credit: Tom Merton / OJO Images

The spa industry is rapidly evolving with the introduction of new technologies and treatments, which includes the wellness sector as well. As this occurs, there is also a growing divide between what is considered a spa or a wellness spa, as these terms don’t always go hand in hand. To help decipher this issue, the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) has released a glossary of wellness industry terms that are sometimes confusing to digest.

“The definitions have taken considerable time and thoughtful debate among the WTA Board of Directors,” says WTA 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.”

Below, check out the eight wellness industry terms you need to know:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Wellness Traveler: Often referred to as the “primary wellness traveler,” a wellness traveler an individual who makes wellness the primary purpose of their travels.
  4. Wellness Visitor: Often referred to as the “secondary wellness traveler,” a wellness visitor is an individual who works elements of wellness into their travels for business or pleasure.
  5. 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.
  6. Wellness Retreat: A guided, intention-driven, multi-day program with a set or semi-set schedule and is 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.
  7. Wellness Resort (also referred to as a Wellness Sanctuary or Wellness Clinic in some regions): A facility with accommodations and a range of hospitality services where the primary purpose is to provide programs and experiences are 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. 
  8. Wellness Destination: A geographical area that fosters and promotes wellness as an integral part of life within the community and economics of the region.



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