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What:Virtuoso is bringing together its travel advisors and select preferred partners to create a community based around the rapidly growing wellness travel niche.
Why It Matters:“Virtuoso Wellness” will focus on this important sector, which is predicted to reach $680 billion by next year. The initiative, introduced this month during Virtuoso Wellness Zone, an experiential event at Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, is launching at a time when travelers who enjoy a healthy lifestyle are increasingly seeking out trips that reflect this aspect of their daily lives. Virtuoso’s new community will unite travel advisors who serve a health-conscious clientele with handpicked partners, including hotels, cruise lines, tourism boards and tour operators, for networking, education and marketing. Only 18 of Virtuoso’s partners possessing either a wellness focus or offering multiday health or spiritual programs were selected to participate in the event. (www.virtuoso.com)
Fast Facts:- Travelers take 586 million wellness trips each year, according to the Global Wellness Summit. In fact, the niche encompasses 15 percent of global tourism, second only to cultural tourism in revenue. It is also lucrative, as wellness travelers spend 130 percent more than the average traveler.
- The 2016 Virtuoso Luxe Report identified the most sought-after wellness aspects as massages and other treatments, healthful cuisine, fitness classes, environmental beauty and sports activities.
- The following partners are part of Virtuoso’s wellness community: Ananda in the Himalayas, BodyHoliday Saint Lucia, Canyon Ranch, Carillon Miami Beach, Clinique La Prairie, Golden Door, Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites, Guanajuato Tourism Board, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda, Miraval Resort and Spa, Rancho La Puerta, Schloss Elmau, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, The Ranch Malibu, Un-Cruise Adventures, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and VeraVia at The Park Hyatt Aviara.
What They Are Saying:“Simply defined, wellness travel encompasses physical, mental and social well-being, as well as spiritual health,” said Albert Herrera, senior vice president of global product partnerships at Virtuoso. “There’s no doubt that this trend will only continue to flourish. Through our Virtuoso Wellness community, we can connect like-minded individuals and develop a true community that, through regular interactions and peer-to-peer collaboration, can share knowledge, develop expertise and ultimately work together to better serve consumers seeking healthy travel experiences.”