About 2020-09-03T20:31:17+00:00

Overview

Incorporated as a not-for-profit in the United States of America, 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 in the global wellness tourism industry. We currently have 100 plus Members & Partners from 21 countries.  Check out the WTA Directory.

The vision of the WTA is to be the voice of the industry. We are one community, working together to support the sustainable future of wellness tourism for the global good.  If you’d like to be considered for membership, you can apply here 

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 - ChairmanAdvisor and project support to the wellness and hospitality industry
Andrew has been part of the senior management teams that have created iconic spa and wellness brands such as Six Senses, Mandarin Oriental, Raffles, Fairmont, Pullman, MGallery and Sensei.Over the last 30+ years he has created global brands, operated in over 70 countries and managed multiple brands for large corporations while retaining the ability to guide startup companies or provide advice equally to world leaders or university students. As a truly global citizen he has lived in the USA, Middle East, Asia and Europe and has been a prominent figure through voluntary work in associations on every continent and in advisory positions at Universities. He is currently one of the remaining founding members and advisory board directors of Global Wellness Summit/Institute, the Chairman of the Wellness Tourism Association and a long-time serving judge of the World Spa and Wellness Awards. He maintains a global network and a comprehensive knowledge of how to provide wellness services in hotels, real estate and lifestyle choices.
Thomas Klein - Treasurer
Thomas Klein - Treasurer
An accomplished C-suite Executive with a 20+ year career, Thomas Klein was most recent President & COO of Canyon Ranch, the $260M+ global leader in healthy living and luxury wellness vacation resorts. Previously, Thomas advanced through the ranks in executive-level and general managerial roles for Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel Hotel & Resorts. He has also worked for Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and Karos Hotels Limited as their SVP of Africa & Managing Director of Karos Hotels LTD, Hayman Island Resort as their General Manager. Thomas is an active member of his industry and community. Along with serving on the Board for the WTA is an Advisory Board Member of U.S. Travel and Tourism, and Advisory Board Member of Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures. As founder of TAK Hospitality, he is currently consulting to the wellness, hospitality and real estate development sectors.
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/ CEO 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 write, 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 Hoddeson
Former Director of the Monaco Government Tourist Office, North America and with over 38 years experience in tourism . Cindy Hoddeson has extensive knowledge pertaining to destination marketing, the luxury sector and is working with the WTA to create a program for DMOS and tourism boards looking to enter the wellness space. She has expertise and the capability to identify the channels to penetrate the US and Canadian markets. She has a passion for travel, discovery and speaks French and Hebrew