There was business as well as wellness on the agenda as the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) held its second annual membership meeting at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, US, from 29-30 May. One priority? The introduction of the WTA Annual Award (WTAAA).
Open to WTA members and non-members alike, the new Annual Award will be presented once each year during the association's annual meeting to honour an organisation, company, or individual that has successfully launched and implemented a wellness project or initiative in keeping with the association's stated mission "to shape and support sustainable wellness tourism for the global good."
The award process is straightforward, starting with WTA members making nominations and the WTA Board of Directors voting to compile a list of finalists. Association membership will then vote from the list to select a winner.
There is no cost to be considered for the award, but those that are nominated and agree to be in the running will be asked to provide information on their project or initiative for members to review.
Some restrictions will apply: WTA members will not be able to nominate themselves but might nominate one another. But for the first year, at least, members will have the opportunity to present an unlimited number of nominees.
The first WTAAA will be presented in 2020 at the WTA's annual meeting, with finalists invited and encouraged to attend the awards ceremony or, alternatively, appoint a designated representative to attend on their behalf.
"This award will encourage individuals, companies and organisations to launch initiatives that support the sustainable future of wellness tourism and, in so doing, will not only support the mission of the WTA but will, ultimately, be for the global good," said Andrew Gibson, chair of WTA.
Founded in 2018 and incorporated as a non-profit in Colorado, US, the Wellness Tourism Association now has more than 80 members and partners from eight countries: Australia, Brussels, Canada, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Turkey, the UK and the US.