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What is Wellness Travel?

What is Wellness Travel?

If there is one good thing that has come out of the pandemic ,it is that our personal good health has become a priority. We are adopting new habits and practices to maintain our good health or are looking to learn about new ways to improve our health. More of us have adopted “wellness” as a lifestyle, and we feel safe and comfortable traveling again, we’ll want to take those new habits and practices on the road with us. As the demand for “wellness travel” continues to grow many are asking themselves: What is Wellness Travel?

What is Wellness Travel?
If you are just a wee bit confused about the term, you’re not alone. Terms such as Wellness Vacations, Wellness Retreats, Wellness Traveler are also now part of the travel lexicon. So, what do they all mean? The Wellness Tourism Association is here to set the record straight, and to help make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to these new terms that have entered our vocabulary over the last decade.

In early 2018, just after the launch of the Wellness Tourism Association – a not-for-profit organization looking to bring clarity and standards to the growing wellness sector of the tourism industry – the glossary of definitions was introduced. Here are a few of the most commonly-used terms:

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 Travel is increasing. (Photo courtesy of Palm Spring CVB)

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, this term actually 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.

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 Traveler: An individual who makes “wellness” the primary purpose of a trip.

See Also

Can anyone be a wellness traveler? If they make wellness the primary purpose of the trip – yes.
For inspiration when planning your wellness travels, you’ll find a list of WTA Members listed here:

Anne Dimon is the President of the Wellness Tourism Association ( and Owner/Editor of

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