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Glossary of Wellness Terms

provided by the Wellness Tourism Association

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-minded consumer and those who want to be.

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.

Wellness Traveler

Often referred to as the “primary wellness traveler,” an individual who makes wellness the primary purpose of a trip.

Wellness Visitor

Often referred to as the ‘secondary wellness traveller’, an individual who works elements of wellness into their travels for business or pleasure.

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.

Wellness Retreat

In today’s world, Wellness Retreat has two definitions:

#1 A guided, intention-driven, multi-day program with a set or semi-set schedule, and 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 to golf and kayaking / paddling.

#2 A smaller facility with accommodations and hospitality services and where the primary purpose is to provide programs and experience for the Wellness Traveler. The facility may have fewer wellness activities, services and facilities than a Wellness Resort.

Wellness Resort

Any facility with accommodations and a range of hospitality services where the primary purpose is to provide programs and experiences 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.

Also referred to as a Wellness Sanctuary or Wellness Clinic in some parts of the world.

Wellness Destination

A geographical area that fosters and promotes wellness as an integral part of life within the community and economics of the region.

What Qualifies a Product or Service as Wellness?

What qualifies a destination, experience, product, or service as being focused on wellness?

  • A safe / secure environment in both perception and reality
  • A clean and sanitary infrastructure for both locals and visitors
  • A quality-of-life for locals who benefit from tourism dollars – e.g. the creation of jobs within the industry and the creation of a market for locally made produce / products / services
  • Natural assets such as hot springs / mountains / bodies of water / forests / resources for thalassotherapy or other natural assets within the confines of the destination and easily accessible to visitors
  • Since Wellness Tourism and Wellness Travel encompass wellness for the planet, the destination must have sustainability policies and practices in place
  • The availability and accessibility of a wide range of wellness-professionals and practitioners, including those who offer holistic and alternative modalities
  • A selection of hotel restaurants and independent restaurants offering healthy cuisine prepared by chefs committed to clean eating and who work in partnership with local growers
  • Availability of a range of fitness-based activities and tours – e.g. yoga, hiking, cycling, cross country skiing, forest bathing, fitness classes, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding
  • A physical environment that is somewhat removed from the noise that has become “daily life” in the 21st century