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Attracting the Wellness Traveler

Attracting the Wellness Traveler by Julie Pankey The B&B Team Wellness Tourism Expert

The real leader on the Global Wellness Economy research front is the Global Wellness Institute. I am looking forward to attending their press event and will bring back the latest trends and research. Attendees will be on site as they release the latest research on January 28. Exciting!

Attracting the wellness traveler to your property Inn is the goal. And sharing my knowledge and helping you reach that goal is my passion.

GWI stated that Wellness Tourism is the powerful intersection of two large and growing industries: the $2.6 trillion tourism industry and the $4.2 trillion wellness industry. Holistic health and prevention are increasingly at the center of consumer decision-making.  People now expect to continue their healthy lifestyles and wellness routines when they are away from home.

There is a common misconception that wellness travelers are a small, elite and wealthy group of leisure tourists. Travelers who visit destination spas, health resorts or yoga and meditation retreats. In fact, wellness travelers comprise a much broader and more diverse group of consumers with many motivations, interests and values.

GWI identifies two types of wellness travelers:


Primary wellness traveler: A traveler whose trip or destination choice is primarily motivated by wellness.


Secondary wellness traveler: A traveler who seeks to maintain wellness while traveling or who participates in wellness experiences while taking any type of trip for leisure or business.


Importantly, primary and secondary wellness travel can be done by the same person on different trips. These two types of wellness travel reinforce one another. Over time, some secondary wellness travelers will decide to take a primary wellness trip, as their interest in and experience with wellness grows. For example, a person who visits a day-use hot spring during a family vacation (secondary wellness travel) may later be motivated to plan a weekend getaway staying at a hot spring resort (primary wellness travel).

Spa at Herman Hill Vineyard & Inn

Like other forms of specialty travel, wellness travel is not a cookie-cutter experience.

Every destination has its own distinct flavors in relation to attracting the wellness traveler: local culture, natural assets, foods, etc. Some travelers may be satisfied with a generic massage, exercise class or smoothie. The more discerning and sophisticated wellness travelers—especially those in the millennial generation—are interested in what is different from someplace else.

These unique and authentic experiences can be built upon indigenous healing practices; ancient/spiritual traditions; native plants and forests; special muds, minerals, and waters. In addition, vernacular architecture, street vibes, local ingredients and culinary traditions, history and culture, etc. can be part of the experience. Because each destination is different, there is always something unique to offer wellness travelers.

Attracting the Wellness Traveler with Your Breakfast

The beauty is in the huge opportunity presenting itself to lodging properties. Your property!

It gives a truly one of a kind property the opportunity to compete on a larger stage showcasing its uniqueness. You can draw on your local and indigenous, personalized service, unique experiences to the area and partnerships that can build true experiences for a guest.

It is my believe that dipping your toe into the pool of wellness does not need to be overwhelming.

It simply means focusing more on what you are already doing that is exceptional and unique by adding just a few more wellness centric services and activities combined with providing an overall feeling of care throughout every single guest interaction.

Please contact me, Julie Pankey, for a first time free consultation. Together we can create a plan to bring spa and wellness to your inn property. In addition, available for purchase is my Wellness Tourism Roadmap, A Guide for Innkeepers.

Julie Pankey

Managing Partner, JMPankey, LLC.

The B&B Team Wellness Tourism Expert

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