About Wellness Tourism

..Definition, Scope and some Disambiguation

The Definition

“Services aimed at attaining, maintaining and restoring Health (as opposed to illness – or unwellness) – which includes some travel”.

More recently, we have seen the term “Medical Wellness” make its appearance (some would say, “opportunistically”).
There in now even a certification scheme for Medical Wellness Facilities.
I will not comment on the need for this “flavor” of “wellness” – but I do insist that if the term is used, it should refer to services offered by a Medical Doctor (Physician) or under the supervision of a Medical Doctor.

The Scope

The definition allows for a broad range of health-related services to be included under “wellness’.

The criticism I have levelled against “wellness” (and the “industry”) is that unchecked, it can mean anything and everything – and nothing specific.

This anarchy has hurt the credibility and reputation of the Industry.

In my effort to get the Industry to maintain credibility whilst allowing Wellness to have a broad scope – I have proposed that we refer to Wellness Programs (rather than just Wellness).

These programs should be well and clearly defined – and have specific aims and objectives (and be “evidence-based” with objectively measurable outcomes).

Of course, the “corporate world” has already demanded and acquired this, in the form of:

  • Workplace Wellness Programs

  • Executive Wellness Programs

And in the context of Health Tourism, healthCare cybernetics has introduced the concept and practice of:

  • Workplace Wellness Programs Abroad
  • Executive Wellness Programs Abroad

Some Disambiguation

It needs to be pointed out from the start, that Wellness and Spa are not “mutually inclusive”.

Wellness and Spa are two separate concepts (and segments, practices and services).

Having said this, Services Providers, can by all means, provide “Spa” and “Wellness” under the same roof – as part of the same business.

And of course, Services Providers can provide each separately – “on its own”.

The issue of “evidence-based”

The reputation and credibility of “Wellness and Wellness Services” has been further hurt by unsubstantiated and anecdotal claims of “efficacy” (therapeutic results).

It is for this reason I have urged the Industry to “rein in” its members and discourage them from making unsubstantiated claims regarding the offered services.

The informed “wellness services consumer” wants and expects “results-based” and “evidence-based” services.