About 2021-06-16T15:07:13+00:00

What is the WTA?

Thank you for your interest in the WTA!  As the tourism industry recovers and the wellness sector continues to grow stronger, there has never been a better time to embrace wellness tourism and wellness travel.

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.  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 

Here are a few comments from our members:

We express our gratitude to the Wellness Tourism Association for all their support and assistance, we received to help us position our Wellness Inclusive concept within the market. The recent article published on behalf of WTA, regarding our wellness concept to media partners and the WTA network, further solidifies their commitment to its partners and is truly invaluable to us. We’re extremely proud to be part of WTA and look forward to our continued partnership.

Reyes Guzman
Wellness Sales Director
Meliá Punta Cana Beach Wellness Inclusive

From day one, the Wellness Tourism Association has been an incredibly helpful resource for our business. The ability to connect with others in the industry, to share best practices and to have access to the resources offered has been valuable, far beyond what we’ve paid in membership dues. This is not an organization that will collect your dues with little return. The WTA is one of the best investments we’ve made as a business, with far-reaching benefits that come with being part of this broad network. Even more valuable was the support we received during the COVID pandemic. To support its members, the WTA conducted a Wellness Travel Consumer survey that helped us see what consumers were seeking, what their fears were, and most importantly, when they’d be likely to travel again. We used the data collected from that survey in every corner of our marketing efforts. Anne Dimon and her team are helpful and always available for help with brainstorming, and for best practices that have worked for others in the industry. She once told me to consider her part of our Public Relations team, and she meant it!

Rachael Colacino, M.B.A.
Director, Marketing and Communications,
Skyterra Wellness

Richmond Nua has been a member of the WTA since 2018 and we find the association most useful for networking, industry and consumer research, helping promote and market us international, and giving us the opportunity to learn about new wellness-focused ideas.  We also appreciate being part of an organization that will shape the future of wellness tourism.

Hakan Balcan
General Manager
Richmond Nua

Message from the Board of Directors

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.

To that end we have introduced criteria for the various categories and forming the very basis of industry standards. We have also introduced the industry’s first Glossary of industry terms, as 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.

While people have traveled both nationally and internationally with health or wellness the primary focus since the time since the Roman Baths, wellness tourism as a global industry remains relatively new. The WTA defines Wellness Tourism as “A specific division of the global tourism industry that is defined by the common goal of marketing natural assets and/or activities primarily focused on serving the wellness-minded consumer and those who want to be.”

Check out our Glossary for other definitions.

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 to check out these five ways to get involved with the WTA.

 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.

The Board of Directors
Wellness Tourism Association

Board of Directors

Anne Dimon - President & CEO
Anne Dimon - President & CEO
Co-Founder and President /CEO of the Wellness Tourism Association, Anne Dimon has been a travel writer and industry journalist for close to 25 years, and has travelled the world as a columnist/contributor to a wide variety of publications. Anne is also Owner/ Editor of TravelToWellness.com launched in 2004 as the first online magazine/resource for the wellness-minded traveler. Prior to her life as a journalist, Anne was president of her own public relations company specializing in hospitality. She has also worked in the hotel industry as a director of public relations. An acknowledged wellness travel expert and industry consultant,  Anne is also the co-author of The Travel Institute’s new Wellness Travel Specialist Course, a collaboration with the WTA.

Emlyn Brown
Emlyn Brown
VP, ACCOR Wellbeing Luxury & Premium Brands, Emlyn Brown brings over 20 years of international experience to this role. Since 1996, 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
Molly Anderson
Molly Anderson
Vice President Sales and Programming, Canyon Ranch, Molly Anderson currently oversees the sales, central reservations and programming functions for Canyon Ranch. Dedicated to partnering with clients to find solutions that deliver on wellness intentions for leisure travel and corporate retreats, Molly is always looking for new and innovative programming and was instrumental in the creation and launch of the Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat concept in Woodside, CA. Prior to joining Canyon Ranch, Molly was Regional Director of Catering and Conference Services for Loews hotels. She has also held operational leadership roles at Miraval and the Enchantment Group, as well as in sales and operations for Starwood, KSL, Fairmont and the Bellagio.
Yvette McQueen
Yvette McQueen
Dr. Yvette McQueen is a global physician on a mission to educate about health, travel wellness and disease prevention. She is an Emergency Medicine physician and Travel Doctor, working as a physician across the US and the Caribbean. Dr. McQueen also serves as a travel group physician ensuring healthy and safe travel of the clients before and during their international trips. She is also a best-selling author, speaker, blogger, consultant, CPR and First Aid instructor including wilderness emergency care training and international teaching for the American Heart Association. Dr, McQueen has traveled to 40+ international countries for exploring; organizes medical missions to Africa; hospital training/teaching in Rwanda and Tanzania; and participates in international church missions. She also offers wellness lifestyle coaching and wellness retreats.
John Nielsen
John Nielsen
General Manager & International Sales Developments at Fivelements Retreat Bali, John Nielsen is a multilingual hospitality director with extensive senior management and entrepreneurial experience with hospitality and education operations across Asia, Europe and Australia including work with notable hotel brands Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and Hyatt Hotels. John spent 3-years in Les Roches Hotel Management School in Shanghai at the famed Swiss Hotel Management School as Program Manager & Sales & Marketing Manager, followed by Campus Director of Blue Mountains Hotel Management School in Suzhou, and later returning home to Melbourne to take up the Program Manager role, responsible for setting up the school’s International Hotel Leadership Master’s Program. He joined Fivelements Retreat Bali in early 2019 to steer the award-winning wellness destination through local and international expansion.
Carol Stratford
Carol Stratford
Partner at Hutchinson Consulting, Carol Stratford has had a long career in strategic marketing. Best known for analyzing trends and forecasting sales to develop long-term strategies, key objectives and operational execution plans based on business best practices, as well as maximum growth and profitability, Carol has worked with a number of hospitality brands including Lake Lanier Islands Resorts, Stone Mountain Park, Doral Resort & Spa, Marriott Harbor Beach, The Homestead Resort, Miraval Resort & Spa, Hilton Head Health, Green Mountain at Fox Run, The Oaks at Ojai, Four Seasons Lanai and others. As a professional marketer with strengths in project management, e-commerce, relationship building, administration and business development, achieving record-breaking increases in profits and brand awareness is Carol’s specialty.