EDITORIAL: Embrace ‘wellness and rejuvenation’
Word is that the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) has declared 2018 the Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation in the Caribbean. The announcement came recently from CTO Secretary General, Hugh Riley.
It was noted that “wellness and rejuvenation” are important aspects of the Caribbean tourism product offering and as such, the CTO is encouraging member countries and private sector partners to plan and organise events and activities around this theme that will appeal to consumers, travel agents and tour operators.
Hugh Riley was quoted as saying, “For those who focus on renewing body and spirit, the options are virtually endless; from beachfront workouts and yoga retreats, to wellness resorts and spa treatments, the notion of being rejuvenated in the Caribbean is one more reason to let us pamper you in 2018.”
He also noted that individual trekking, group hiking, health walks, fun runs, marathons and a range of water-based health-related activities are held throughout the year in CTO member countries, providing an excellent opportunity for a variety of ages and physical abilities.
Indeed, the CTO is on the right track. We wait to see how Barbados will endorse and embrace this theme of “wellness and rejuvenation” and seek to not only entertain tourists on this journey, but also take along the Barbadian populace as well. By all means, locals should be encouraged to spend some of their hard-earned money at home and enjoy the various hotels and resorts on the island. However, if the workers at the various hotels do not value the “local visitors” as true customers, then we will have situations where these guests will have not-so-pleasant encounters. You see, the “local guests” must be seen in a similar light as the overseas guests. Their dollar must also count as much as the foreign currency, since Barbadians can always opt to take their money overseas. We can all agree that we need money turning over in Barbados, to aid the economy. So we need workers in the hotel industry to embrace Barbadians more, to make for a warm experience, which can see a situation of repeat local visitors at the hotels.
Now according to the CTO, reports are that the global wellness sector is a $3.72 trillion industry. This is according to the Global Wellness Institute in Miami, Florida, which provides global research and insight into the wellness industry. We can therefore set our sights on this sector and truly seek to tap its full potential, given the stress and strain of daily living and doing business in general, for persons in Barbados and across the globe.
As the CTO, its member countries and private sector partners seek to highlight the Caribbean as the leading choice for wellness and rejuvenation in 2018, we really do hope that this country will get on board and not only welcome visitors to the region for wellness and rejuvenation, but encourage locals to take up a staycation or two to refresh themselves.
We are known at times to piggyback and join the bandwagon for some activities and concepts that are at times negative. However, this is one scenario where joining the bandwagon may be a good thing. Perhaps we can see the public sector in Barbados, which has been focusing heavily on productivity in the year 2017, adopt the theme of “wellness and rejuvenation” as well, since we really need to hit the reset button and take steps to refresh ourselves, so we have so much more to offer in all spheres of life.