Caribbean Wellness & Education (WE) began with a passionate mission, to develop wellness and education opportunities in the Caribbean. Since becoming a member of CHTA in 2017, WE has traveled to many of our regions destinations and learned what makes each island unique. WE participated in an educational panel during last years’ Marketplace on Niche Tourism Markets. In this panel we shared the following statistics from the Global Wellness Institute: the global wellness industry is a 3.7 trillion market and wellness tourism makes up 563 billion of that economy. The wellness tourist is a high-yield tourist that exceeds every other category of traveler in spending potential alone. Since this presentation, we have created many collaborative opportunities for wellness experiences with many CHTA member properties, in all categories (large and small hotels).
Below are the top tips we learned in 2017 that will help drive wellness dollars to your property:
Attention boutique hoteliers! You do not need a brick and mortar spa to make wellness a money-maker for your property. Offer a yoga class, healthy cooking demonstration or start a garden with hand picked ingredients. In-room treatments and fitness are on the rise! You can easily create a wellness mini-bar amenity including, a bath butler service, fitness equipment rental or massages on demand.
Here Comes the Bride. Having a local salon you can partner with to come in-house for hair, makeup and nails will endear your guests to you that much more. You can negotiate a 20-50% commission on these services.
Start a Tourism Wellness Week. Create a marketing campaign promoting yourself as a wellness destination. The Caribbean has the most naturally rich wellness resources in the world. The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) will be presenting ‘TCI Wellness Week’ which will focus on small businesses in the wellness sector while offering opportunities for the business community to give back through voluntourism. The week will kick off with a fun filled day in Salt Mills with a DJ, activities for the kids, yoga, fashion show and so much more. Partnering with Project BackPack, Pack with a Purpose and Food For Thought, will enable TCI to bridge the gap between tourists and locals through wellness.
Think Big, Start Small. Focus on partnering with small local businesses. This will keep your wellness offerings easy to manage, affordable and very authentic to your destination. Every destination has small businesses or local entrepreneurs that need support. The number one trend in travel right now is experiential. The more authentic your wellness experience, the better.