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GWI’s new Wellness Policy Toolkit proposes shift from wellness tourism to ‘wellness in tourism’

By Megan Whitby    01 Apr 2024
The report seeks to broadens the focus from wellness tourism to wellness in tourism / Shutterstock/Dmitry Molchanov
The GWI has released a new report titled "Wellness Policy Toolkit: Wellness in Tourism" as part of its policy series
The report shifts the focus from wellness tourism to wellness within tourism, aiming to broaden the concept and include all stakeholders
It emphasises strategies to enhance the quality of tourist destinations, improve local wellbeing, and tackle barriers hindering broader health and wellbeing benefits
The toolkit is designed for various stakeholders involved in tourism, placemaking, and local development, offering actionable policy approaches to embed wellness into these areas
Wellness tourism does not exist in a vacuum and wellness travelers cannot be confined to a bubble
– Ophelia Yeung
Credit: GWS

Industry research organisation, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), has announced the release of a new report called Wellness Policy Toolkit: Wellness in Tourism.

It’s the latest in GWI’s policy series, and puts forth numerous actions for every stakeholder – whether government or travel industry leaders – to bring wellness to all in the context of tourism.

Importantly, the report introduces a new paradigm, which broadens the focus from wellness tourism to wellness in tourism.

The GWI says the toolkit does not rehash wellness tourism strategies that focus on developing luxury spa resorts and bringing in high-spend tourists. Rather, the aim is to unite the concepts of wellness and tourism in the broadest possible sense, and to present policy ideas that help everyone.

It outlines numerous strategies that would enhance the quality of place for tourists, make tourism more successful and, at the same time, improve the wellbeing of both local residents and the destination.

The report identifies six key barriers currently preventing wellness tourism from delivering those broader-based health and wellbeing benefits, and details six areas of policy action that could solve for those problems.

Who is the toolkit for?

It’s designed to help anyone interested in policy approaches that embed wellness broadly into tourism, placemaking and local development.

The strategies presented cut across wellness tourism, sustainable and responsible tourism, equitable wellness, quality of life, placemaking and “placekeeping”.

As such, they can be pursued by those working in hospitality and tourism businesses, tourism promotion, destination management, economic development or by those representing the wellbeing of workers and the community, and the protection of cultural heritage and the environment.

“Wellness tourism does not exist in a vacuum and wellness travellers cannot be confined to a bubble,” said Ophelia Yeung, GWI senior research fellow.

“For those who want to succeed long-term in wellness tourism, it is only logical to focus more attention on the wellness of the place – including the local wellness infrastructure, the wellness of its people, and the destination.”

Download the full report for free here.

Global Wellness Institute  Ophelia Yeung  GWI  wellness tourism 
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