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Photo credits: Engin Akyurt
As a sales solution strategist & brand ambassador for healing & wellness resorts, Jackie Roby helps clients stand out as authentic wellness to reach their ideal guests. She is a DEI advocate, host of the podcast Through Inspired Eyes, & brings 19 years of travel & hospitality sales experience. Jackie also coaches wellness travel designers to guide them in communicating the magic of their missions. Through a message of #TravelCanHeal, IJC's vision is to encourage healing through travel for a kinder, more inclusive world.
Across the globe, humanity experienced emotional trauma these past two years. As we are closer to seeing the light at the end of this bumpy road, there are important ways you can help your clients and guests heal. We know that travel supports wellbeing. While many considered it a luxury in years past, it's become clear that not changing our scenery can negatively impact our mental wellness. But do your clients know that travel can heal?
Healing travel is designed for emotional and physical healing. The ultimate goal is to heal your soul. Someone traveling for healing has the intention of being open to receiving support, the willingness to go deeper within. While a healing trip includes elements of wellness like yoga, meditation, and time in nature; in contrast, a wellness trip does not always include healing. For example, a traveler can choose a trip with hiking to support their wellbeing. Maybe they decide to be pampered with aesthetic spa treatments. With this lovely time away, it's entirely possible that they do not invest in looking within. And without that, there is no healing.
Emotional healing through travel starts with a change of scenery. Staying at a hotel, resort, or wellness allows someone else to take care of them. That leaves them time, space, and energy to focus on their healing journey. Some may know what they need to work through, while others may learn that during their experience. After what we’ve been through, many people are likely to need a source of joy and release. Think about the emotions you have felt during the pandemic. Write down the darkest moments. This will give insight into what your clients and guests could be feeling. For example, at Le Monastere des Augustines clients can have a Holistic Health consultation at the beginning of their stay to determine the best itinerary to support them. Your property can guide travelers by offering a customized stay, even directing them to local resources. An emotional healing stay could include walking meditations, infrared sauna treatments, metaphysical readings, life mapping, or EMDR. (This is clearly a shortlist of all that is available.)
Photo credits: Elina Fairytale
Different from medical tourism and more in line with functional medicine, healing offers more holistic solutions for physical ailments. There are many science-based modalities and technology available to aid in recovery. The Farm at San Benito has Integrative Medicine doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and physical therapists on staff and offer Cigna Global Healthcare-Accredited treatments to address occupational and chronic pain. Canyon Ranch Tucson offers osteoporosis prevention and bone density evaluation with a physician using DEXA technology. Sante Wellness Retreat & Spa uses 30 different technologies for its Health Optimising program. Travelers interested in what Westerners call "alternative treatments" can look to frequency healing, reiki, acupuncture, Ayurveda, and food as medicine. Is there anything your property offers that compares? Or trusted services nearby?
When should a client or guest consider healing travel for physical or emotional ailments? This is an extremely personal choice. The best thing you can do is let them know these options are available. Imagine curating this intentional, emotionally supportive stay for a FAM trip or offering this to a travel manager to rejuvenate them after RFP season. This is the kind of experience that creates loyalty.
To expand your reach to the wellness traveler, use the hashtag #TravelCanHeal on social media. To learn more about healing and wellness travel, follow Through Inspired Eyes on your favorite podcast station.
By Jackie Roby | LinkedIn