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With self-care becoming a top priority, the demand for wellness travel is soaring. Healthy lifestyle travel is significantly contributing to the global tourism economy, accounting for roughly 16 percent of tourism revenue worldwide, according to the Global Wellness Institute. Research shows that wellness travelers spend more per trip, making such clients particularly attractive.
And as the wellness travel industry grows, resorts that specialize in wellness are facing increasing competition from wellness-branded tours and cruises. To keep up, resorts have found ways to better compensate the higher on-property spend that results from travel agent bookings.
Here are several properties with attractive commission structures.
Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand“We usually give agents a 20 percent commission on our packages and a la carte services,” said Claire Bostock, executive director of Absolute Sanctuary.
Spa getaways for three, five and seven days — including meals, treatments and yoga classes — are commissionable, along with any additional spa services (excluding alternative therapies) made at the time of booking.
Golden Door, CaliforniaThe iconic Golden Door has one of the most liberal commission structures for wellness advisors.
“Travel agents receive a 10 percent commission on everything except retail, and they receive commission even if their client rebooks on their own,” said Kathy Van Ness, COO and general manager of Golden Door.
This, along with Golden Door’s love of agents, is good news — 60 percent of Golden Door guests return 10 times.
“Travel advisors are our heroes,” Van Ness said. “They tell our story, so we like to thank them a lot.”
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, Mexico“Travel agents provide a priceless service by acting as an extension of our sales team,” said Mauricio Aceves, sales and marketing director for Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun.
That explains why travel agents receive 10 percent commission (before taxes and gratuities) on all food and beverage as well as spa treatments posted to guest folios. Those with a valid IATA number and U.S. address can earn additional cash incentives and perks such as free Wi-Fi access, late check-out and more by applying to The Grand Club.
Samahita Retreat, ThailandTravel agencies who book clients at Samahita Retreat receive a hefty 20 percent commission on a variety of wellness packages.
“We greatly appreciate our agencies who work to help promote us, and we value each and every one of the guests they send to us,” said Amy Arman, managing director for Samahita Retreat. “Our agency partners know that while Samahita is not a luxe resort, it is a transformational place where they can send their clients to relax, make new friends and learn healthier habits.”
According to Arman, guests booked by agents also receive extra perks, such as a special massage treatment for jet lag relief.
Mandara Spas, Hawaii“Mandara Spas loves working with travel agents,” said Darryll Leiman, regional vice president of operations for the Pacific region for Mandara Spas. “Our standard commission rate in all our Hawaii locations is 20 percent, but can range from 10 to 25 percent based on business volume.”
Leiman says the spas can commission even higher for big groups and for agent partners that have an exceptionally strong relationship with the hotel.
Mandara Spa at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is the largest Mandara Spas location and can accommodate up to 15 massages and four facials per hour. Sister locations in Hawaii include Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Waikaloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Hawaii Island, and Wailea Beach Resort - Marriot in Maui. All Mandara Spas in Hawaii offer commission to travel agents.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) offers 10 percent commission on all spa treatments initiated by the travel advisor with no minimum price requirement. However, commissions are only available to select members of the MOHG’s Fan Club.
Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, ArizonaMiraval Arizona Resort & Spa offers 10 percent commission to travel agents for its all-inclusive packages on resort credits, shared airport transfer, meals, snacks and beverages, as well as wellness lectures and activities. There are no commissions on additional spa services.
“Based on conversations with our travel agent clients, our packages are a huge benefit because of the amount of commission coming back to them,” said Candace Taylor, director of travel industry sales for Miraval.