Recommend July 2018 - 56

NorthAmerica

Selling Wellness Retreats
Michelle Marie Arean

Back in the day if your client came asking for
a wellness getaway, more often than not that
meant a few treatments at the resort they
were visiting. Oh boy, how booking wellness
travel has changed in just a few short years.
"Wellness travel is booming and has
definitely moved to mainstream," says
Jesse Tyler, spa director at Omni Mount
Washington Resort. "At our spa in
particular, we are seeing an up-tick in firsttime wellness travelers, including many
male guests."
Danielle Gabarino, spa director at the
The Boulders Resort & Spa, A Curio
Collection by Hilton property, echoes that
saying. "Wellness programming is on the rise.
Retreat-style options are becoming extremely
popular and changing the spa markets'
overall culture."
"People want to take their healthy lifestyle
with them," notes Helen McCabe-Young,
executive v.p. of sales & marketing for
Carmel Valley Ranch and Ventana Big
Sur, "or even ignite a healthier lifestyle
56 july 2018

while they are on vacation and have the
time. Activities that get guests outdoors are
in high demand-our hiking, sunrise and
sunset yoga, farmstead activities with organic
garden tours and chicken chats, and new
Sustainable Wildcrafting and The Amazing
World of Bees programs are very popular. It's
all about moving people outside of the gym
and into nature."
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort's director
of communications Roxana Medina says,
"Wellness is an ever-growing lifestyle that
more people want to pursue. We've noticed
that travelers don't always want to 'retreat'
but rather vacation where they have better
options and can also learn new workouts,
healthy habits or spend time with experts
who will also provide insight on healthier
living. The Wellness Your Way program has
really proven true for us this year as we offer
both relaxed healthy options, while also
providing significant cleanse/detox programs
as well-wellness the way you prefer it or in
doses of as much as you need."

What Do Guests Want?
Guests are looking for variety, says Gabarino,
adding that, "I find that more and more
people are becoming aware of their health,
not weight and diet fads, but overall wellness
health. Everyday stress triggers are affecting
their ability to have a normal work/life
balance. People are turning to a series of
intricate services and fitness classes over
a length of a few days with the purpose of
healing their minds and then bodies vs. a
typical Swedish massage of the past."
"They are looking for experiences that are
authentic to the location," says Tyler.
"Travelers are looking to experience what
they want, when they want it and exactly
how they want it," points out McCabeYoung. "One example is healthy options that
honor dietary preferences and needs on all
menus all the time. Guests want these clearly
visible and they don't want to have to ask for
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian.
This is now the standard."

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