The Travel Institute and Wellness Tourism Association partner to Combine Expertise and Education Know-How
FRAMINGHAM, MA, February 1, 2021 – The Travel Institute and Wellness Tourism Association have released a newly created Wellness Travel Specialist course to enable agents to meet the demands of a growing traveler segment focused on incorporating healthful elements into their travel plans.
The appeal of wellness travel, which has been referred to as a “paradigm shift” in traveler preferences, has been on the rise for close to a decade with the pandemic expected to further accelerate traveler interest. Wellness tourism, the intersection of the tourism industry and the wellness market, grew twice as fast as tourism overall in recent years and, in 2018, was forecast to grow to a $919B USD market by 2022.1
“For a great and growing number of consumers, achieving and maintaining good health while at home or traveling is now a top priority. Some want to incorporate already established wellness practices into a travel itinerary while others want to plan a trip where the focus is on learning how to completely reset or improving healthy habits,” explained Anne Dimon, president and chief executive officer, Wellness Tourism Association, WTA. A long-time industry veteran who has been writing and speaking on wellness travel since the early 2000s, Dimon co-authored the new course working with The Travel Institute’s industry-leading curriculum team for nearly a year.
Dimon also points out the scope of wellness travel has evolved with wide appeal across all traveler price points and preferences today. “Recognizing wellness is more of a mindset than a price point,” she explains, “Wellness travel can be a high-end spa facility or, just as easily, a moderately-priced property with access to healthy food options plus nearby biking, hiking or other fitness activities.”
Agents taking the course will gain both practical information on wellness travel terminology, trends, buyer profiles and a wide range of wellness products, as well as actionable advice from industry insiders on making wellness travel a successful business segment for agents. “This course is truly an A-Z, start-to-finish resource for agents,” remarked Guida Botelho, CTIE, director of training for The Travel Institute. Botelho emphasized that along with the practical information agents gain, “The real differentiator for this course is the specific, how-to, implementable business planning steps around sales, marketing, branding, and more. This course actually guides agents in applying their new knowledge to achieve traveler bookings and that will be a game changer for many who want to tap into this market.”
Combining subject matter expertise and education know-how, the course also incorporates tips from senior wellness travel advisors, insight from industry suppliers, and best-practice training content and tools from The Travel Institute, delivered utilizing its interactive e-learning platform. The course is buoyed by the support of highly regarded industry stakeholders including BodyHoliday Saint Lucia, Canyon Ranch, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence Lake Lucerne, and IMG, a leader in travel insurance.
For Botelho, Dimon’s involvement is another differentiator in the course’s value. “Anne’s experience and passion are showcased throughout the entire learning experience as she has lived the life and walked the talk for nearly two decades. She is a recognized leader in wellness tourism and agents will absolutely benefit from her time and talent,” she remarked.
For Dimon, The Travel Institute’s comprehensive course represents a turning point for the decades-old wellness travel segment and a jumpstart for agents wanting to serve evolving traveler needs. “The industry is slowly and smartly recovering. At the same time, travelers are more mindful than ever about their health. This wellness travel course couldn’t come at a better time for agents who are inevitably going to need to know how to serve them.”
Students who successfully complete the Wellness Travel Specialist course, pass their online exam and submit the experiential checklist earn standing as a Certified Wellness Travel Specialist and, as applicable, continuing education units, or CEUs, toward maintaining certification from The Travel Institute. Both designations are used by agents to further market experience and expertise as a travel professional. Travel agents who complete the course are eligible for a discount on WTA membership. The new wellness travel specialist course will also be available at no additional charge for The Travel Institute’s Premium Access subscription members.
About The Travel Institute
A collaborative industry effort created in 1964, The Travel Institute has continuously evolved to maintain its role as the global leader in industry education and certification while staying true to its mission: dedicated solely to advancing the professionalism of both agents and industry leaders in support of individual and industry success. A non-profit, independent organization, The Travel Institute also works with leaders throughout the industry to create and deliver relevant, meaningful and rigorous coursework. Using exclusive proctored, closed-book testing to ensure its graduates earn credentials that demonstrate the highest standards of expertise and service, The Travel Institute has certified more than 26,000 Certified Travel Associate (CTA®,), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC®,), and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE®,) graduates and also administers the Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAP℠, exam to confirm students new to the industry demonstrate a mastery of travel industry basics. A trusted partner to industry suppliers and educational institutions, The Travel Institute has trained hundreds of thousands more through additional courses, webinars, and in its online Premium Access program. Throughout North America, many successful agents and high-profile leaders credit their success to coursework from The Travel Institute. Learn more at The Travel Institute.
About Wellness Tourism Association
The Wellness Tourism Association is a registered not-for-profit incorporated in U.S. and launched in 2018 with the mission to support and further the growth of the wellness tourism industry through networking, education, research and communication. Co-Founders are Accor Hotels, Canyon Ranch and Travel to Wellness with Founding Members Art of Living Retreat Center and the Monaco Government Tourist Office.