18 Nov 2018 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Leisure Opportunities issue 749, 2018 is now out!

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Health Club Management

Eva McDiarmid
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Ufi Ibrahim
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Dieter Buchner
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Jean-Guy de Gabriac
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Leah De Silva
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David Grevemberg
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Anni Hood
Global wellbeing advisor and consultant

Simon Johnson
CEO,
Business in Sport and Leisure

David Kerr
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Nick King
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Fredrik Lindahl
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Finnish Cricket Association

Kerry Mabbley
Customer Relationship Manager,
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Chris Marriott
Director ,
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Rhona Mennie
Business relations manager,
Springboard UK

Peter Moody
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Matt Partridge
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Tom Pinnington
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Neil Richmond
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Hugh Robertson
Minister for Sport

Louise Routh
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Dee Smith
Head of Programmes,
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David Stalker
CEO,
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Chris Trickey
Chief Executive,
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Phillip Villars
Managing Director,
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Andrew Wade
Partner,
Lawrence Graham LLP

Tom Walker
Journalist,
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Charles Wilford
Co-Head, Leisure Team,
Gerald Eve

Duncan Wood-Allum
Director,
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Tapping into wellness tourism

07 Nov 2013
by Kate Cracknell, editor-at-large, Health Club Management
The opportunities are there for clubs to harness wellness tourism to drive revenue, build communities and attract new markets

As health clubs align themselves more closely with wellness, exciting new opportunities are emerging.

Among these is the boom in wellness tourism, whose significant potential has been outlined in a new report, the Global Wellness Tourism Economy, unveiled at the first Global Wellness Tourism Congress in New Delhi in October.

The organisers of the event, which was held in conjunction with the 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit, commissioned SRI International to carry out the research to benchmark the global market. It revealed that the economic impact of wellness tourism is a huge US$1.3trn a year.

Wellness tourism already accounts for 14 per cent of total global tourism revenues and it’s forecast to grow on average 9.9 per cent annually over the next five years – nearly twice the rate of global tourism overall – reaching US$678.5bn, or 16 per cent of total tourism revenues, by 2017.

The researchers tracked two groups of wellness tourists: primary being those travelling specifically to maintain or enhance personal wellbeing, by visiting a destination spa or retreat; and secondary being those who travel for other reasons, but who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road.

This might seem one step removed from the business model of a typical health club, but there are synergies that could strengthen relationships with existing members and forge links with new customers.

I’ve just returned from a Juice Master retreat – a week of juicing and exercise designed as a catalyst for lifestyle change – and see clear opportunities for collaboration.

Firstly, while retreats in general are a great kickstart, it’s easy to slip back to old ways when the stresses of everyday life return. Health clubs could partner with retreats to support returning wellness tourists with fitness and nutrition programmes, delivered in-club, to help them maintain healthy habits.

Alternatively, clubs could run their own retreats: residential stress management courses, hiking or yoga weekends. SRI found 84 per cent of wellness trips are domestic, and wellness tourists are also high yield: they spend, on average, 130 per cent more than the average global tourist. These are people who are willing to invest in their health, and a market well worth getting involved with.

My own experience also suggests a good proportion of wellness tourists are not current gym-goers, and aren’t likely to join a gym until they feel they’re in better shape. A retreat or spa is often seen as an accessible first step to better health, and so appeals to different audiences. But by the time they’ve completed their retreat – perhaps having dipped their toe into physical activity for the first time in years, losing a bit of weight, feeling mentally and physically better – they might be ready for the gym, again provided a seamless transition can be put in place.

Health clubs can serve the secondary wellness tourist market too, by making facilities available to travellers; models like payasUgym.com can help exploit this sector.

The opportunities are there for clubs to harness wellness tourism to drive revenue, build communities and attract new markets.



Tags: Health Club Management  executive  health & fitness  sport & recreation  hotels & hospitality  spa & beauty  tourism  visitor attractions  personnel/hr  sales & marketing  academics/research  commercial leisure  travel  people  public sector  suppliers 

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