About 2019-10-06T16:09:50+00:00


Incorporated as a not-for-profit in the State of Colorado, and launched in January 2018, the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) is a global network for qualifying DMOs, hotels/resorts/retreats, tour operators, travel advisors, wellness practitioners, media, partners and others with an interest in supporting the global wellness tourism industry.

The vision of the WTA is to be the voice of the industry. Our mission is to be one community, working together to shape and support the sustainable future of wellness tourism for the global good.

Message from the Chairman

Welcome to the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA). This association has been created to offer anyone connected to, or interested in, any aspect of Wellness Tourism an opportunity to become a member and, subsequently, have a voice in the industry, along with the opportunity to help shape its future and sustainability.

One of our first aims is to agree on an industry-approved set of definitions of what constitutes wellness tourism and wellness travel. Definitions are an effective way to create standards and credibility in a field that is global, broad and attractive to many operators and companies seeking a competitive edge.

Wellness Tourism is not a new industry. People have traveled both nationally and internationally with health or wellness the primary focus since the time of the Roman Baths.  In more recent times, the typical wellness vacation, retreat or holiday might consist of an all-inclusive package with accommodation, healthy meals and fitness or other wellness-related activities.

Many other types of travel and vacation options can also fit the realm of wellness tourism when and where there is a secondary benefit of wellness attributed to the journey. For instance, vacations that include activities such as walking tours, hiking, cycling or kayaking; yoga or meditation sessions, spa treatments or healthy culinary activities.

As an association, it is crucial that we work together to help define our industry, as well as educate the public so they can recognize legitimate and credible wellness suppliers and operators. The WTA also collaborates with leading wellness organizations and education authorities for the benefit of the industry to ensure a consistent and unified message and development for wellness tourism. We welcome anyone connected or wishing to be involved in the development of wellness tourism from operators to suppliers, and travel agents to fill out our application form.

 Our primary goals are to:

  1. Create a common set of standards
  2. To educate and increase awareness of Wellness Tourism as well as the various categories that fall under the umbrella of this growing sector of the industry.
  3. To provide a networking platform for those involved in the industry.

As with all associations, the goals and objectives will be determined by the members. We encourage you to join us in helping shape the future of this growing and still developing global industry.

Join us and help shape the future of wellness tourism.

Andrew Gibson
Chairman, WTA

First Board of Directors

Andrew Gibson - Chairman
Andrew Gibson - ChairmanSVP Sensei Holdings
Andrew has been the global leader of spa and wellness for such prestigious brands as Raffles, Sofitel, Fairmont, Mandarin Oriental and Six Senses. He has over 30 years’ experience within the wellness industry and has lived in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the U.S. Having managed spas, resorts and wellness retreats at the global level, plus having served on the boards of associations across the globe, Andrew brings a depth of knowledge and understanding of “wellness” as it is perceived in different cultures.
As a founder and current board member of the Global Wellness Summit and a judge of the World’s Best Wellness Resorts he maintains a global network which is valuable to get a balanced perspective of wellness tourism.
Thomas Klein - Treasurer
Thomas Klein - Treasurer President & Chief Operating Officer - Canyon Ranch
Canyon Ranch® has been a pioneer and an industry-leading proponent of the wellness lifestyle for nearly 40 years, operating the world’s most celebrated collection of life-enhancement properties. Canyon Ranch has wellness destinations in Tucson, Ariz. and Lenox, Mass. In addition, the brand operates a Canyon Ranch wellness and spa complex at The Venetian® & The Palazzo® hotels in Las Vegas, Nev., as well as Canyon Ranch at Sea onboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2® luxury ocean liner, Oceania® and Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, and on Celebrity Cruises®.

Anne Dimon - President & CEO
Anne Dimon - President & CEOFounder & CEO - Travel To Wellness
A professional travel writer and industry journalist since the early 1990s, Anne has travelled the world as a columnist/contributor to a wide variety of publications, both consumer and trade. She is also the Founder/ Editor of TravelToWellness.com launched in 2004 as the first online magazine/resource for the wellness traveler. Prior to her life as a journalist, Anne was president of her own public relations company specializing in hospitality and tourism. She has also worked in the hotel industry as a director of public relations. Considered a wellness travel expert, Anne is often asked to speak and consult on the topic.

Emlyn Brown
Emlyn Brown VP, ACCOR Wellbeing Luxury & Premium Brands
Emlyn brings over 20 years of international experience to this role, beginning his wellness career in 1996. Since then, he has held progressive management positions throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and has led group operations of several leading luxury spa and fitness operators, including a managing director of an Asia-based hotel brand accountable for the management and growth of the portfolio in China and Southeast Asia. Emlyn has also head senior positions with GOGO Hospitality, and Six Senses Resorts & Spas where he was the regional director for Europe and later the operations director for Asia. Prior to working within luxury hospitality, Emlyn held senior operating roles with Holmes Place Lifestyle clubs in Switzerland and Germany.

Nilendu Srivastava
Nilendu Srivastava Managing Director - The Art of Living Retreat Center
Opened in 2012, The Art of Living Retreat Center is the newest outgrowth of the Art of Living Foundation’s 30+ year global commitment to health, happiness and Ayurveda. Nestled in a majestic setting in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the center offers immersive wellness experiences that are inspired by authentic traditions of yoga and Ayurveda. From signature workshops in the life-transforming power of breath and meditation to cleanses that have been practiced for thousands of years, the experiences at the center and its Shankara Ayurveda Spa provide timeless tools that help guests tap into their potential for lasting health and happiness.

Cindy Hoddeson
Cindy HoddesonDirector, North America Monaco Government Tourist Office
With a history of wellness that dates back to 1860 when people visited for the curative powers of the Mediterranean, Monaco boasts a wide range of healthy options from the active to the relaxing. Walking the entire Principality, jogging on the harbor, hiking the Via Alpina, rowing in front of the Monaco Yacht Club, practicing yoga on the beach, strolling the colorful Princess Grace Rose Garden, and embracing nature with singular attractions such as the Exotic Gardens, the Observatory Cave and the Pelagos Sanctuary – await the wellness-minded. Add luxury hotels, spas and healthy culinary offerings from Michelin-starred restaurants and you have an ideal luxury wellness destination.