But what is Wellness Tourism? And how is it so vital to keeping the booming Mornington Peninsula tourism industry alive? And how is it benefiting everybody in business on the Peninsula?
Wellness tourism, defined by the Global Wellness industry, is travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing. This market includes two types of wellness tourists; those who take a trip entirely for wellness purpose (primary wellness tourist), and those who seek to engage in wellness activities as part of any kind of trip (secondary wellness tourists).
The wellness tourism industry was a $733.7 billion global market in 2015. With expenditures growing 6.8% from 2013 - 2015, making it one of the fastest growing tourism categories. In Australia, 8.5 million wellness trips were taken in 2015, with the bulk of these taken by domestic tourists (83%). These were mostly done in short haul trips and weekends away.
Coupled with a customer desire to maintain or achieve wellness, and the higher disposable incomes of the travellers, wellness tourists are high-yield tourists, spending an average of $654 per domestic trip, 164% higher than the typical domestic tourist. Not just with a higher disposable income, but wellness tourists also tend to be older, and more educated. This is important information to take on for Mornington Peninsula businesses, with our percentage of middle class income earners higher than that of Greater Melbourne and beyond, and a higher rate of post secondary education qualifications too. Our demographic fits the ideal for the domestic tourist, and it is an area that businesses do not want to miss out on. With 100,000 people in Australia employed directly as a result of wellness tourism, and $8.2 million spent by wellness tourists in Australia in 2015 alone, you would be silly not to want a piece of the wellness tourism pie. Australia currently has the highest growth in wellness tourism, with an annual growth rate from 2013 - 2015 of 36.7%, which is huge when the global rate is estimated at 7.5%.
So what should my business be doing?
With 85% of Mornington Peninsula tourists coming from intrastate, getting tourists to the Mornington Peninsula is not the problem for businesses. However, wellness tourists are enticed by a desire to better ones self and enhance one’s wellbeing. This is important when marketing to wellness tourists, and business women should consider providing wellness options as part of your already existing business (e.g. local gym access to hotel customers, healthier menu options, essential oil/health food samples with product, using natural/chemical free products.) Most tourists are once (or twice, if you’re lucky), customers. The beauty of domestic wellness tourists is that if you provide a fantastic service that enhances their wellness journey, they will be back for more.