New York, NY (PRWEB) August 01, 2014
The first roundtable breakfast discussion and afternoon seminar were held in Funchal this week as part of a Madeira Islands education series on ‘The Rise and Relevance of Wellness Tourism’. The initiative is informing and demonstrating the opportunities and advantages being seen within the wellness tourism sector and their relevance to the Madeira market. Further roundtable discussions and internal meetings will continue and a dedicated congress will take place on October 6th 2014.
The roundtable was led by Anni Hood, Founder and Director of Wellness Business Consultancy and a consultant for the Global Wellness Tourism Congress; presentations were made by international industry experts John Bevan, Managing Director of Spafinder Wellness UK and Dr. Franz Linser, Founder and Managing Partner of Linser Hospitality. Discussions explored the opportunities and inevitability of wellness tourism and its impact on both the economy and local and international travelers.
The Madeira Promotion Bureau is working to raise awareness and understanding amongst the island’s key stakeholders. Participants from both the public and private sector were in attendance, including the Regional Secretary Mrs. Conceicao Estudante, the Regional Director Mrs. Carmo Fontes and the board of directors from the Madeira Promotional Bureau, alongside several key associate members.
The Regional Secretary, Mrs. Conceicao Estudante said, “Madeira is often referred to as ‘nature's spa’. The growth of the wellness tourism segment means a need to explore the opportunities created by the changing consumer. Our challenge is to define and deliver the right tourism product to meet the needs of the growing wellness traveler segment and to distinguish Madeira Islands for its rich, healing and indigenous assets. Having such a wealth of natural beauty in the islands is a market magnet and is of particular relevance in this climate of increased consumer demand for wellness orientation and declining public health."
Wellness tourism is travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing ones personal wellbeing and is riding a wave of demographic and lifestyle trends that have put pro-active health, mindfulness and prevention at the center of consumer decision making.
“It’s great to see the Madeira Promotional Bureau putting wellness tourism so high up on the agenda,” said Susie Ellis, President and CEO of the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC). “Promoting the benefits of health and wellness will positively impact not only the tourism market but also the local population by emphasizing the importance of taking responsibility for personal wellbeing.”
Research carried out by SRI International on behalf of the Global Wellness Tourism Congress shows wellness tourism to be valued at $438 billion and expected to grow to $678 billion by 2017. Wellness Tourism is growing 50% faster than overall global tourism and is made up of two traveler types: primary wellness travelers, where wellness is the sole purpose or motivating factor for their trip and destination choice, and secondary wellness travelers who seek to maintain wellness while taking any type of trip.
About Global Wellness Tourism Congress
The Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) brings together public and private stakeholders to chart the course of the rapidly growing wellness tourism sector. Attendees include government ministers of tourism, health and economic development; CEOs of private companies; leaders and visionaries in related arenas such as medical tourism; and other industry VIPs who present data, engage in open dialogue and map the future of wellness tourism. The next Congress will be held on September 10, 2014 at the Four Seasons Resort in Marrakech, MO.