Spafinder Announces Global Winners of 2016 Wellness Travel Awards at World Travel Market London Ceremony

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66 percent of winners are new compared to 2015, reflecting growth in wellness travel. North America, Asia and Europe show strongest growth in number of category winners; countries of Croatia, Greece, Peru, Tasmania and Slovenia honored for first time.

Wellness Travel Award 2016 logo

Without question, they are the most objective awards in the industry and every nominee, finalist and winner deserves recognition for their accomplishments.

Spafinder Wellness today announced the global winners of the 2016 Wellness Travel Awards (WTA) at a press event held at World Travel Market London. Inaugurated in 2014, the Awards recognize hotels, resorts, destination spas and retreats offering the best wellness vacations and experiences on six continents and in 41 countries, along with the top 10 properties in each of 20 categories. This year, 388 finalists competed for top honors, and consumers cast over 130,000 ballots for their favorite properties, more than twice as many as were cast in 2015. All Wellness Travel Award nominees, finalists and winners can be seen at http://www.wellnesstravelawards.com.

Spafinder Wellness CEO John Bevan presented WTA Crystal Awards to the top properties on six continents and Country Awards to the top properties in 41 countries and regions. Category Awards were given to the top 10 properties that offer exceptional wellness experiences in each of 20 categories. New categories in 2016 include “Hidden Gems” and “Ahead-of-the-Curve.”

Wellness Travel Award finalists were selected by a panel of 39 travel and wellness industry editors and experts, who first nominated 605 properties for consideration before narrowing the field. Consumers around the globe then voted for their favorite locations across 20 categories. A combination of nominations and scores by the panelists and consumer ballots was used to select winners.

“The growth in wellness travel and the vast range of healthy travel options offered by these exceptional properties is remarkable,” said Spafinder CEO John Bevan. “We are honored that the Awards are supported by World Travel Market London and curated by an outstanding panel of travel editors and experts, along with travelers around the globe. Without question, they are the most objective awards in the industry and every nominee, finalist and winner deserves recognition for their accomplishments.”

Bevan noted that North America, Asia and Europe had the largest increase in category winners (51, 44 and 41 percent, respectively) and the Caribbean, Nordic Countries and Central America all had over 30 percent growth.

Wellness Travel Awards at a Glance

Crystal Awards, top properties on six continents:
Best in Africa: Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, South Africa
Best in Asia: Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa, Thailand
Best in Australia, New Zealand & Oceania: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Australia
Best in Europe: SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain
Best in North America: Rancho La Puerta, Mexico
Best in South & Central America: Lapinha SPA, Brazil
The top five Crystal Award finalists for each continent can be viewed at http://www.wellnesstravelawards.com

Country/Region Award winners in the leading countries for wellness travel:
United States: Canyon Ranch in Tucson
Germany: Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa / Villa Stéphanie
France: SPA THE PENINSULA PARIS
Japan: Amanemu
Austria: Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt
Canada: Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa
Italy: Verdura Resort
Switzerland: Clinique La Prairie
China: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
UK: Ragdale Hall Health Hydro & Thermal Spa

Top Category Award Winners:
Spas and Rancho La Puerta, Mexico: nine awards
Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa, Thailand: nine awards
Canyon Ranch in Tucson, United States: six awards
COMO Shambhala Estate, Indonesia: six awards
New Life Hiking Spa, United States: six awards
SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain: six awards
Ananda in the Himalayas, India: five awards
Chiva-Som Health Resort, Thailand: five awards
Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, Canada: five awards
*Four Seasons was the brand standout, with nine awards.

Follow @Spafinder on social media and use the hashtag #WTA2016 to see photos and updates from today's event. Photos of properties that won Crystal and Country/Region Awards are available in the image gallery of the Spafinder Newsroom http://www.spafinder.com/pages/newsroom

ABOUT SPAFINDER WELLNESS
Spafinder Wellness is the world's largest marketing, gifting, incentives and rewards company for the spa and wellness industry and the leading consumer resource for feeling good and living well all year round. With now over 25,000 wellness partners worldwide, including wellness travel destinations, spas and salons and fitness, yoga and Pilates studios, millions of people find the resources and inspiration to keep well every day via Spafinder’s websites and The Wellness App. The company's widely distributed gift/wellness cards are available online and at 40,000-plus retailers worldwide, as well as through corporate incentive/rewards programs. Visit spafinder.com, spafinder.co.uk and spafinder.ca.

1. Global Wellness Institute, “Global Spa and Wellness Economy Report,” 2014. (Domestic and international wellness travel revenues combined.)

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Betsy Isroelit
Spafinder Wellness
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