Australia News

Keeping well amid pandemic fears

Renewed focus on wellness proves powerful as inaugural Wellness Tourism Summit set to go ahead as planned.

UPDATE 16 March: Following Australian Government recommendations for social distancing, the Global Wellness Tourism Summit has been postponed to 3-4 September, 2020.

Amid growing fears surrounding the spread of Covid-19, the importance of keeping well, in both mind and body, has come into sharp focus.

Testament to this is the fact that the inaugural Wellness Tourism Summit in Noosa is going ahead as planned this month — and without a single delegate cancellation.

Wellness Tourism Summit founder and chair of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) Wellness Tourism Initiative, Katherine Droga, said: “We are shining a light on Australia as a wellness tourism destination and our delegates find that very appealing.

“Our location is a blessing and we feel very lucky that we’ve have no cancellations. This is a positive sign for our industry.”

The 19-20 March Summit will feature outdoor activities such as fitness training on the beach and open-air meditation sessions, presentations from more than 30 leading wellness travel experts, and experiential break-out zones offering facials, massages, elixir shots and fresh juices.

Emlyn Brown, Accor’s VP of wellbeing, luxury and premium brands will outline how hotels can deliver opportunities for wellness and wellbeing, while Aboriginal elder, Anne Warren, will share wisdom on medicinal and spiritual properties of plants and indigenous healing and rituals.

Additional sessions will cover themes such as eco-tourism and sustainability, the art of transformational travel, and positive psychology and synchronicity.

The GWI Wellness Tourism Initiative will also release findings from research carried out among 1,500 consumers across eight countries that shows a growing demand for eco-friendly and sustainable experiences.

“Wellness Tourism continues contributes $639 billion in tourism expenditure each year, so there are huge benefits to businesses engaging with this sector,” Droga said. “Wellness travellers often tread lightly, respect the environment, value local community connections, and help mitigate overtourism issues that many destinations now face.”

As more and more event attendees are calling for the integration of wellness experiences in their conference and incentive programmes, business events professionals would do well to pay attention to this booming industry.