The Travel Institute and Wellness Tourism Association have teamed up on a newly created Wellness Travel Specialist course to enable agents to meet the demands of a growing traveller segment focused on incorporating healthful elements into their travel plans.
The appeal of wellness travel has been on the rise for close to a decade with the pandemic expected to further accelerate traveller interest.
Wellness tourism, the intersection of the tourism industry and the wellness market, grew twice as fast as tourism overall in recent years and, in 2018, was forecast to grow to a US$919 billion market by 2022.
Anne Dimon, president and chief executive officer, Wellness Tourism Association (WTA), said that: “For a great and growing number of consumers, achieving and maintaining good health while at home or traveling is now a top priority. Some want to incorporate already established wellness practices into a travel itinerary while others want to plan a trip where the focus is on learning how to completely reset or improving healthy habits.”
Dimon co-authored the new course working with The Travel Institute’s industry-leading curriculum team for nearly a year.
She points out the scope of wellness travel has evolved with wide appeal across all travller price points and preferences today, observing: “Recognizing wellness is more of a mindset than a price point. Wellness travel can be a high-end spa facility or, just as easily, a moderately-priced property with access to healthy food options plus nearby biking, hiking or other fitness activities.”
Agents taking the course will gain both practical information on wellness travel terminology, trends, buyer profiles and a wide range of wellness products, as well as actionable advice from industry insiders on making wellness travel a successful business segment for agents.
Guida Botelho, CTIE, director of training for The Travel Institute, said: “This course is truly an A-Z, start-to-finish resource for agents. The real differentiator for this course is the specific, how-to, implementable business planning steps around sales, marketing, branding, and more. This course actually guides agents in applying their new knowledge to achieve traveler bookings and that will be a game changer for many who want to tap into this market.”
Combining subject matter expertise and education know-how, the course also incorporates tips from senior wellness travel advisors, insight from industry suppliers, and best-practice training content and tools from The Travel Institute, delivered utilizing its interactive e-learning platform.
The course is supported by industry stakeholders that include: BodyHoliday Saint Lucia, Canyon Ranch, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence Lake Lucerne, and IMG.