News for Wellness Minded Professionals
Wellness + Travel News, Insights & Observations
There’s no disputing that wellness has moved from a trendy travel category to a tourism industry powerhouse, changing the way airports, airlines, hotels and destination marketers respond to customer’s physical and emotional needs and expectations. In 2015, I presented “How Wellness Has Changed Travel” at ITB Berlin (the recap is available here) and talked about wellness as a business strategy.
This article is based on previous research with important insights from other industry thought leaders along with a few new insights of my own.
Outdated Views of Wellness Tourism Require a New Perspective
As a new travel category, it’s still evolving and being shaped; therefore this is a critical time for wellness tourism. How it is understood NOW, will have a lasting impact on how its being developed and promoted, affecting consumers, businesses, destinations and their communities.
Recent articles suggest that spas provide fragmented and disconnected services with a cookie cutter approach to programs. “Wellness washing” has crept up as a threat by labeling products and services as wellness, when they are not, as was the case when a major spa marketing company touted “wellness deals” including bikini waxes and hair color.
Prevailing definitions are already outdated. Take for example, “Wellness tourism is travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining one’s personal wellbeing” focusing on a single person. While it is a good start for a definition, this simple phrase reinforces one dimension, when in fact, wellness is multi-dimensional. Humans are social animals, requiring connection to thrive. Loneliness is now considered a great danger to personal health and a growing threat to community wellness. Wellness is about how we relate to ourselves, to others and to the planet.
Ta-Da! A New Definitition of Wellness Tourism & Why It Maters
To move away from an outdated self-centered approach in a manner that addresses wellness as fully-functioning in the world, I’d like to introduce a new definition of wellness tourism based on a year-long review of wellness concepts, positive psychology, motivation theory and achievement theory, first published in Wellness Travel: Shaping America’s Health & Economy.
“Wellness tourism is purpose-driven travel to improve well-being in mind, body or spirit; encompassing discovery, connectivity, transformation and fulfillment promoting positive engagement between people, cultures and nature.” (Wellness Tourism Worldwide, 2014, 2017)
Our research shows that emotional wellbeing is as important, if not more than physical health to wellness travelers which is consistent with CBRE’s report, Trends in the Hotel Spa Industry that shows spa treatments are being booked to offset stress.
Better Conceptualization of Wellness Tourism Results in Better Program & Services
This new definition provides an entirely new way of understanding wellness tourism in a more comprehensive way aligned with the multi-dimensionality of wellness – and – a better definition of wellness tourism can offer insight into maximizing hotel spa revenue by creating better products, experiences and promotions.
Research shows purpose is a key to longevity and living well. Environmental speaks to protecting land, air and water quality as well as wildlife. Cultural wellness refers to having respect for diversity and way of life that extends to food, fashion, art, literature, architecture, language and other unique differentiators. While the previous example of wellness tourism didn’t specify other people and maintaining positive relationships, positive human interaction is central to wellbeing. For travelers this includes fair trade, buying local, supporting jobs, and treating others well. Over-tourism is a growing concern prompted by local residents, hosts, and business owners who experience the negative impact on the host community including overcrowding, degraded environments and encroachment on wildlife.
A comprehensive definition of wellness tourism gives more direction for product development, service delivery and promotion. It is the cornerstone to understanding the wellness traveler and critical steps to engagement.
Hotels and spas have adapted quickly by integrating new programs, products and staffing – from digital detox initiatives to mindfulness and gratitude practices. "For hoteliers, ancillary wellness services can be a good source of additional income, without the need to invest in becoming a “wellness resort.” states Andrew Cohan, Managing Director of Horwath HTL based in Miami.
Wellness Travel Inspires Transformation
More consumers seek experiential travel with the idea of returning home a better, more aware person. There is surging global demand for trip experiences that create deep emotional connections. In response, travel brands are developing, more personalized, intimate services that focus on local immersion of culture, flavors, and indigenous unique experiences for consumers that fosters higher level of customer engagement.
For some additional perspective, I spoke with Dan Fenton, Executive Vice President of JLL’s Hospitality and Tourism Group. "Creating experiences is vital for the future of tourism and hospitality. Essentially, if you don't approach it from the guest's perspective of engagement and finding ways to interact - whether its wellness, culinary, history, outdoors or spa, you have missed the mark. Visitors will not return and probably you lost out and never attracted them in the first place."
People who are interested in wellness vacations are seeking transformation. There is something in their life they are looking to change. They don’t want single activities where the sum is a bunch of pleasant but disconnected experiences.
Adds Fenton, “I think the continued buzz on “transformational” travel speaks to the importance of younger travelers having an “active” experience. The days of passive “sightseeing” are fading and destinations and hotels must be focused on how they impact people’s lives in a meaningful way.”
P.E.A.C.E. & Understanding the Wellness Traveler's Inner Journey
Wellness travelers are seeking a reboot. The way to build purpose and meaning in one’s life is to look outward and build stronger connections in the world. Customers are no longer satisfied by a single, short-lived spa treatment. They seek long-term benefits and meaning. PEACE can aid the hospitality industry in better understanding the wellness experience by mapping out and introducing particular types of stimuli that facilitate the mental journey and thereby improve the guest experience of the wellness traveler.
Published in the peer-reviewed Sage International Encyclopedia of Travel and Tourism, PEACE is an acronym that frames wellness tourism and the guest experience as both a mental process and an outcome. These five distinct progressive elements (purpose, engagement, accomplishment, challenge and equilibrium) result in taking guests through an internal journey with an intended result. That intended results is aspiring or achieving better equilibrium. Equilibrium is harmony and balance that provides a sense of peace, thus referring to the acronym.
There are 5 key elements of P.EA.C.E:
PEACE is a blue print for designing wellness environments, services, processes, which focus on the quality, meaning and relevancy of the guest experience. The traditional spa programs of yore may not resonate as strongly these days, as self-care, not pampering, has taken center-stage.
Needing a Navigational Blueprint for Exceeding Guest Expectations
Understanding your guest and visitor needs is critical to exceeding expectations. Spas, resorts, destination marketers, agencies, designers and others to understand the progressive steps needed for guests to have a successful wellness journey.
How do you re-imagine hospitality in a way that is fresh, innovative, authentic and attractive? By giving symbolic cues and touch points meaning, purpose and emotion that help curate and guide the guest on their wellness journey.
Used as blue print for designing wellness environments, services and processes, PEACE helps shape the quality, meaning and relevancy of the guest experience. It can also help solve issues of disengagement and fragmented activities.
Conclusion & Main Take-Aways
If the goal is to provide guests with a welcoming and peaceful sanctuary away from the pressures of the outside world -- where the focus is on self-care and stress reduction -- understanding the wellness journey is key.
By embracing the newly introduced definition of wellness tourism, the hospitality industry as a whole could better leverage wellness tourism to maximize revenue. By implementing PEACE a hotel spa (and destinations) can transform themselves from being simply a place for rest and relaxation to an experiential symbol with distinct and identifiable characteristics creating an emotional response.
Camille Hoheb is the President of Wellness Tourism Worldwide. A version of her article originally appeared on HotelExecutives.com in July 2018. Click here to check it out.
I caught up with Jean-Guy de Gabriac, founder of World Wellness Weekend to learn more about his global initiative, the significance of the event occuring during the Fall Equinox and his hopes for spreading wellness around the world.
Below in his own words....
This weekend (of World Wellness Weekend) corresponds to the Fall Equinox when night & day (yin / yang) are exactly of the same duration, as an allegory of "work / life balance" that we all want to achieve.
Not only is it the moment when the northen hemisphere moves from Summer to Fall, but usually it is the time of the Indian summer, with very clement temperatures (and the start of the changing of leaves in the NorthEast of the Canada & USA.
On a practical business level, the end of September is also a busy time of year when people decide to join a fitness club, or yoga/Pilates studio.
So, on many levels: symbolic & practical, seasonal for planet and for mankind, for business & for personal wellness, World Wellness Weekend is a GLOBAL event showcasing the experise & talent of LOCAL professionals, encouraging the public at large to fully enjoy local activities or to locate on the World Wellness Map a city nearby where they will be that weekend.
World Wellness Weekend is devoted to the pursuit of happiness & wellness, encourages millions of people on all continents to explore the five pillars of Wellness:
The idea is to try new (fun & creative) activities with professionals nearby, and to invite a friend, neighbor, colleague or family member to join you so you have a Wellness buddy for commeraderie.
When people realize "how GOOD it feels to be WELL", with endorphins, serotonin & ocytocin kicking in, it is our hope that they will want to switch to healthier, fun and pleasant habits, that with time and regularity will become a lifestyle of wellness, without deprivation but good measure, zest and gusto.
It is our hope that on Monday, September 24th, when people go back their job/office and their colleagues ask them "Hey, how was your weekend? How are you doing?" their answer will be using the Wellness sign: Very, Very, Well ;-)
Jean Guy adds...
PS: it should be noted that:
Want to Get Involved? REGISTER NOW!
TripAdvisor recently named Sedona as one of the Top 10 Wellness Destinations worldwide! Sedona is known as a spiritual mecca with it's red-rock temples, energy vortexes and indigenous healing traditions. It draws healers, artists and spiritual guies from all over the globe, making it a perfect place for spiritual and personal enrichment of the body and the soul.
100 Things to Do in Arizona!
From 300 miles of biking trails, amazing hiking, jeep tours and scooters to expolre this amazing geography. For health, try healing massage treatments, yoga, or hypnotherapy and aura readings, Sedona has something to offer for just about everyone! There's plenty of choices for the foodie from organic sweet treats, wine and even a vegan fest in January! For the artist in you, there are plenty of galleries, jewelry and bead shops and local art classes. Check it out! Access the full list of activities here!
Read my full article in Travel Pulse, Soaring Spirits: Sedona's New Approach to Wellness, featuring an interview with Kegn Moorcroft of the Sedona Chamber & Visit Sedona and highlights of Mii Amo Spa at Enchantment Resort!
To learn more about Visit Sedona and their focus on spirtual wellness - click here!
To read more about TripAdvisor's Top 10 Wellness Destinations - click here.
Over 130 European Spas and Health Tourism professionals from 20 countries, gathered in Domburg (The Netherlands) to the ESPA Annual Congress and to celebration the ESPA Innovation Awards this past May.
The theme of this year's Congress, " Water & Health: A Way of Life" featured speakers from across the globe. I was very please to contribute and present for the 3rd time via video conference. There were many wonderful speakers from different disciplines (architecture, human resources, quality, marketing and science to name a few.) Click here to see the full agenda and to download the full program.
Camille Presents at ESPA Congress in The Netherlands via Video Conferencing
I always look forward to participating in the European Spa Association's Annual Congress. This is the 3rd time & while I presented via video conferencing this year, events like these are a great way to connect with industry leaders & hear content that is actionable in making your wellness-travel related business better.
My presentation this year was "The Guest Experience: 5 Key Elements Important to the Wellness Traveler!" Thank goodness for Zoom and for a wonderful coordination with the ESPA team - there were no glitches! I hope my schedule allows me to visit in person next time! Check out the festivities in the ESPA Congress postcard below. Well done & congratulations to the ESPA team, members, speakers and country hosts!
ESPA Innovation Award Recipients Announced!
The ESPA Innovation Awards reflects the ESPA aim of “to stimulate exchange of experience,
best practice and know-how”. ESPA created this Innovation Awards for destinations,
facilities or initiatives that represent “innovation” in the true sense of the word; that is, the
development of a new, more creative or more effective approach to any aspect of spas and
The Winners of the ESPA Innovation Awards 2018 were presented during the ESPA Annual
Congress Dinner Gala. WTW congratulates all of the awardees and recipients recongized for their work in advancing health and wellness tourism. For a full list of awardees, check out ESPA's FB page here.
Wellness Tourism Worldwide a Finalist in the ESPA Innovation Awards
Well, we would be remiss, if we didn't mention that our research was recongized. Camille Hoheb authored a chapter on wellness tourism that was peer-reviewed and published in The Sage International Encyclopedia of Travel and Tourism - and that's worth celebrating!
About ESPA (European Spa Association)
The European Spas Association is an umbrella industry organisation representing 20 European countries. The European Spa Association's global objective is to promote spas and balneology in Europe and to take care that the natural remedies based on mineral water, landscape and climate will be available to as great a number of citizens and visitors as possible.
For more information, please visit and www.espacongress.eu
Wellness Tourism Worldwide is also pleased to be a media sponsor of the European Spa Association Congress 2018!
Camille Hoheb is proud to be an Ambassador of Global Wellness Day.
Influencers offer brands the opportunity to leverage word-of-mouth on a massive scale. That's why it's so important for start-ups, entrepreneurs and companies to understand influencer marketing.
Recently I was invited to participate in the "Who's Who in LA Media" panel and mixer at BevNet Live.
According to PR expert (and influencer event organizer) Heather DeSantis explained that the objective of the event was to help attendees see through the eyes of the media in order to truly understand what makes a pitch media worthy.
Who's Who in LA Media @BevNet Live: Expert Panel & Mixer Recap
BevNET LIVE is the premiere event for beverage brands, distributors, service providers, retailers and investors to discuss what’s next for the industry. As a travel writer, blogger and speaker on wellness travel, food is become increasingly important to the travel experience.
This was also perfect timing with a new leadership role as a Certified Ambassador for the World Food Travel Association, especially since wellness was included in the association's State of the Food Tourism Industry 2018 Annual Report. You can get your free copy of the 34-page report here!
Get My Swipe File
The turn out was great. media members and influencers were seated at table rounds and food brands and beverage companies round robined , ask questions and advice on how to secure influencer support and media coverage.
Influencers and media were sent questions in advance of the event. Here they are below.
Since I prepared my responses for the event, I'm happy to share them with you too because I believe in helping others be successful. If you are interested in how I responded to the questions above, simply click on the button below for a free download. Yup, it's that easy!
If you decide to download, please give us a like/share below!
Camille Hoheb is a food blogger, a wellness travel champion and a lover of the good things in life. She is featured in Travel Pulse and other publications, speaks at conferences and is the Founder of Wellness Travel Academy and Wellness Tourism Worldwide and the author of The Guide to Selling Wellness Travel. Read More.
Feel free to hit us up with your comments or questions below.
1/17/2018 0 Comments
“We’re excited to have representation in this important wellness sector among our Ambassador ranks. Camille is one of the world’s foremost experts on wellness and we feel privileged to be working with her,” says food tourism industry founder and Executive Director of World Food Travel Association Erik Wolf.
Los Angeles-based wellness tourism expert, Camille Hoheb has been appointed as the first Southern Californian Certified Ambassador to the World Food Travel Association.
The ambassadorship is an invitation-only leadership position for tourism professionals who demonstrate a commitment to food tourism and who contribute to the development and advancement of food tourism.
Camille Hoheb, President of Wellness Tourism Worldwide and Erik Wolf, President of World Food Travel Association have long supported each other’s efforts when they first announced a formal partnership agreement in 2013. Both are focused on creating economic opportunities where food and wellness intersects with travel and hospitality. Since then, wellness has gained tremendous acceptance in both the public and private sector as wellness now represents a US$4 trillion economy influencing how people eat, live, work, travel and play.
Wellness was also included as a topic of watch in the Association’s brand new State of the Food Tourism Industry 2018 Annual Report (available for free download on the Association’s website).
Mirroring the Association’s work, but adding a wellness focus, Camille provides leadership to destinations, travel suppliers, travel sellers in the promotion of wellness tourism. This is a partnership that supports both leaders’ visions.
The World Food Travel Association, the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism, creates economic opportunities where food and beverage meet travel and hospitality.
“As people become increasingly wellness-minded, food is an important to wellness vacations, corporate retreats, meetings and for business travel and I am thrilled to team up with the World Food Travel Association, and to be a Certified Ambassador as a champion of food, wellness and travel.” - Camille Hoheb, President, Wellness Tourism Worldwide
About Camille Hoheb
Camille Hoheb is the President of Wellness Tourism Worldwide (WTW). She has received 9 awards given for tourism marketing excellence at the One Travel Conference and was recognized as a "Trendsetter" by TravelAge West Magazine. Women in Travel and Tourism International recently awarded She is a travel writer and international speaker, and is frequently interviewed and quoted for her insights on wellness tourism. Camille is an Ambassador to Global Wellness Day in addition to being a Certified Ambassador for the World Food Travel Association. She provides wellness tourism destination assessments, workshops, leadership training and market research to tourism boards, CVB's and businesses.
Find more a www.camillehoheb.com
About Wellness Tourism Worldwide
Wellness Tourism Worldwide is a leader in education, development and promotion of wellness travel and tourism. We work with governments, businesses and non-profit organizations to increase both economic growth and well-being. For more information: www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com
About World Food Travel Association
The World Food Travel Association, the world's leading authority on food and drink tourism, with a community of 50,000+ professionals in 139 countries. Among other things, the Association runs a Professional Certification program for those seeking to expand their knowledge in culinary tourism as well as Masterclasses and a free podcast titled Eat Well Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel. Find more at www.worldfoodtravel.org
If you are struggling with all the day-to-day tasks that need to get done to keep your business running, this article is for you!
Without FOCUS, nothing really gets done.
Since time is limited, and you can't say yes(!) to everything, consciously do what brings you closer to your goals and say no to those that don't.
It's not about doing more. Focus is about mindfully making the time, investing your energy and creating the space to accomplish your goals and succeed.
In other words, focus is proactive - not reactive. Below is a thought-provoking quote by genuis Steve Jobs.
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done."
In order to make room for the yes's in your life, what BOUNDARIES do you need to set, to make sure your vision comes to light?
Here are questions to ask yourself and to help you FOCUS better every day!
Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” -- Steve Jobs
If you liked this article, check out, A Three Month Road Map: How to Get What You Really Want
What ONE thing will you do today to improve your focus?
Post below and let us know!
Here's one idea that is adapted from a similar program that raised thousands of dollars for a PTA while boosting awareness of the sponsoring business.
Supporting your local community helps develop relationships and increases word-of-mouth referrals!
Create a Wellness Fundraiser after school program where the school and PTA get to keep 100% of the proceeds. You can collaborate with fitness, yoga & meditation instructors, nutritionists, and others to deliver a four-week after school program where the students learn about healthy lifestyles while also having fun, exercising and learning new life skills.
At the end of the program, you can hold a graduation ceremony or some other event that celebrates the successes, is fun and sharable on social media and in PTA bulletins.
Please tell me what you think about this idea.
About the Author:
Camille Hoheb is a wellness travel expert, who has trained hundreds of professionals around the world in wellness tourism. Camille is a wellness travel speaker, wellness travel writer, wellness travel advisor, wellness travel consultant and you guessed it - loves all things wellness + travel.
As a business owner, it’s really important to have social proof. One of the best ways to do that is have your clients toot your horn for you!
Testimonials help establish credibility and build trust.
And as a result, they help convert prospects to sales!
A happy client’s genuine praise can:
That’s why I’m going to show you the exact process I recently created to obtain, organize and leverage testimonials that can help convert prospects into customers and increase sales.
Step 1: Ask for a Testimonial!
The first step is to ask! Write a letter than you can use as a template that you can tweak just a bit to personalize your approach to your clients. to ask current and past clients for a testimonial. You will want to tweak and personalize the letter and save your changes as your own master template to avoid laboring over a new testimonial request letter each time.
I’m going to show you how to write a testimonial request letter...
Most people find it easier to edit an existing piece rather than writing something new from scratch. With these templates, you can make them your own with just a few easy tweaks.
Now that the hard part is already done, all you have to do is hit the send button.
Step 2: Organize Your Testimonials
When your testimonials come in, take a few minutes to read and process them. Relish the moment.
Now is the time to actually organize them. This is essential for having relevant testimonials throughout your marketing cycle.
By keeping your testimonials current and relevant, you'll have a more accurate representation of your loyal clients and your business as a whole!
Plus – this gives you an opportunity to look back and…
Step 3: Showcase Your Testimonials
(Let the magic begin!)
It’s time to showcase your work.
You have many choices to make regarding where and how. Definitely your website is priority. Will you use text copy? A call-out? Or maybe use a testimonial app? Photos are names add validity so you will want to ensure you have asked permission to use these assets in your testimonial.
Testimonials are like a mini PR campaign! There are four different stages (attract, converst, close & delight) in marketing.
Important: In each stage you will want to have a different approach to ensure a stellar customer journey.
When you do it right, you’ll see at-a-glance how your hard work is paying off!
Customer Satisfaction Survey
(A super valuable, easily implementable & a top retention strategy)
If you are not sending out customer satisfaction surveys, you’re missing out on a a valuable retention strategy. Why? Because surveys give your client the opportunity to tell you what they think. Consider them an engagement tool very much worth the small effort. Surveys help nurture and maintain a long-term relationship with your individual customer.
Now you know exactly how to have a system and process in place for obtaining, tracking and leveraging client testimonials.
I understand if you want to re-create this process yourself and you are welcome to do so - but I've got a bette way that saves you time and effort.
Don’t feel like writing your own? Use one of mine!
There are 8 to choose from!
Save Yourself Time!
Grab this Exact System!
If you want to save yourself time & reduce your struggles then you can actually download this system right now. Just click the button below!
Download Rock Your Testimonials Nowcamillehoheb.samcart.com/products/rock-your-testimonials
(Receive 8 sample letters – PLUS, I’ll show step-by-step how to make them your own!)
I want to hear from you.
In the comments section below, let me know if this article was helpful, what you're going to use this system to rock your testimonials!