WTA introduces new ‘glossary of terms’

The recently formed Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) has
created a new Glossary of Industry Terms. It is hoped the
Glossary will further define and establish standards for the
growing global wellness tourism industry.


The Glossary is made up of eight terms: Wellness Destination,
Wellness Tourism, Wellness Travel, Wellness Traveller, Wellness
Resort, Wellness Retreat, Wellness Vacation and Wellness
Visitor. The WTA expects to add new terms as the industry
continues to grow and develop.


Andrew Gibson, WTA chair and Accor Hotels vice president of
wellbeing, says: “The definitions have taken considerable
thoughtful debate among the WTA Board of Directors. We feel the
terms will provide clarification and benefits not only to our
members, but to anyone with an interest in the wellness tourism


The Destination Spa category has, for the purposes of the WTA,
been replaced by Wellness Resorts. Thomas Klein, Canyon Ranch
president and COO, explains: “The Destination Spa category had
its day as a ‘one-size fits all’ qualifier; it never truly
defined integrative spas with offerings far beyond standard
treatments. The term Wellness Resort, for instance, is much
more aligned with our philosophy at Canyon Ranch because
wellness is not an amenity, an afterthought or trend – it’s our
focus. A true Wellness Resort is more than just a place to
relax and shed a few pounds; it is a place to make
transformative life changes.”


Wellness Travel has been defined as travel that allows the
traveller to maintain, enhance or kick-start a healthy
lifestyle, and support or increase one’s sense of wellbeing.
Wellness Resorts are comprised of four primary elements:
accommodations, a variety of wellness activities, healthy
dining options and wellness-related facilities. A Wellness
Destination, meanwhile, is a geographical area that fosters and
promotes wellness as an integral part of life within the
community and economics of the region.


The full WTA Glossary of Industry Terms can be found at


Susie Ellis, Global Wellness Institute chair and CEO, said the
GWI applauds the formation of the WTA. “It makes total sense to
have a dedicated global association that represents this
fast-growing and fast-evolving travel segment,” she said.