Wellness Tourism Worldwide
(WTW), a new global trade body based in the USA and Hungary, has been launched. It was founded by health and wellness consultants Camille Holheb and Laszlo Puczko.
WTW is an international trade alliance for wellness and tourism related businesses, organizations and institutions concerned with health, well being, leisure, tourism and sustainability. It argues that wellness tourism offers a larger market than medical tourism.
The organization seeks to promote the importance of wellness tourism as an economic growth and social well-being generator, to encourage public-private partnerships, and to assist governments in developing policies that allow wellness tourism to thrive worldwide. It hopes to attract members across countries, regions and sectors that share the collective goal of accelerating wellness tourism growth.
Wellness travel consumers have a wide range of needs and interests and WTW aims to attract and protect consumer interests by increasing awareness and acceptance of travel as a key activity for improving wellbeing and improving the delivery of wellness travel products through quality standards.
Research shows the wellness industry will increase due to growing interest in staying healthy, the aging world population, fragmented healthcare systems, increased globalization and an increased interest in integrative health/complementary medicine. The wellness industry includes spas but also extends to organic, anti-aging and beauty, fitness, nutrition and supplements and human performance technology. Wellness motivated travel is a vague concept so the trade body seeks to include manufacturers, distributors, insurance companies, and others who service and support the operation of wellness service providers.
It seeks as members-
• Government agencies (ministries of tourism, ministries of economic development)
• Tourism organizations and related businesses (destination management organizations, associations, travel agents, hotels, airlines, spas)
• Corporate entities focused on employee wellbeing (corporations, insurance groups)
• Healthy food and fitness related businesses,
• Companies and organizations focused on sustainability,
• Higher educational institutions offering wellness and wellbeing programmes.
WTW aims to offer the usual range of services that the many existing medical/health/wellness organizations offer –
• Webinars, workshops, and conferences.
• Educational curriculum development.
• Industry research.
• A range of services to members and others.
• Participation at industry events, trade shows, meeting and conferences.
• Familiarisation trips.
There have been many global trade associations launched in the medical/health/wellness sector but most have folded or faded into obscurity. It mentions the need for quality standards in the wellness sector, which suggests that it ultimately seeks to offer accreditation; if so it will be entering an overcrowded market where most businesses that are not hospitals have yet to be convinced of the need for quality standards unless they are official government or medical authority requirements.