DENVER, Colo. — A group of seasoned wellness industry executives have joined forces to create the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA). Registered in the State of Colorado as a not-for-profit, privately-held organization, the WTA has been established and designed to serve this booming travel sector.
“Our mission is clear and concise,” says Andrew Gibson, co-founder and chairman of WTA and VP Wellbeing, Accor Hotels, “We plan to support and further the growth and development of the wellness tourism industry through networking, education, communication and marketing.”
The new association will be a network of, and for, qualifying members of the wellness tourism industry. Its objectives will help to define the industry, as well as educate consumers to recognize legitimate and credible wellness suppliers and operators.
“The WTA will fill a gap in this global industry by providing a credible and unified voice,” adds Tom Klein, co-founding member and president & COO of Canyon Ranch. “As with all associations, the goals and objectives will be determined by the members.”
According to the Global Wellness Institute’s 2017 Global Wellness Economy Monitor, the Wellness Tourism segment is a $563-billion industry — growing faster than the tourism industry itself.
“It makes perfect sense to have our own association,” says co-founder and president, Anne Dimon, founder/CEO of TravelToWellness.com. “Especially since there is some confusion with consumers and travel agents as to what constitutes legitimate wellness travel.”
Nilendu Srivastava, managing director of The Art of Living Retreat Center, a year-round wellness retreat facility in Boone, North Carolina is another founding member of the association.
WTA membership will be open to qualifying destination marketing organizations, hotels and resorts, destination spas, tour operators, travel advisors, wellness educators and others with an interest in supporting the industry and helping shape its future and sustainability. More information is available at wellnesstourismassociation.org.