Importance of wellness in the tourism industry : a millennial perspective
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This paper aims to explore the demand for wellness tourism and how it has grown in the last decade. This growth is in part due to increased stress levels from various factors. Some of these factors are heightened stress in society such as COVID-19 and high inflation, people working longer hours, unhealthy lifestyles, and higher obesity rates. The study focused on the demographic cohort known as millennials, ranging from 25 to 40 years of age. Millennials are projected to account for 75 percent of consumers and travelers by 2025 globally. The study aimed to determine how Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) can rethink their approaches for targeting millennial consumers and travelers and the preferences of Canadian millennials specifically related to their perceptions and their needs from wellness tourism within Canada. The material presented in the literature review represents the relevance of wellness, wellness in tourism, the importance of wellness in Canada, the impact of COVID-19, and millennials' characteristics and influence on tourism. The study uses a qualitative approach for interviews with DMOs on how to approach their marketing strategies and a mix-method approach on surveys for millennials on how they perceive wellness tourism. The qualitative research assisted in identifying the elements of millennial travel and DMO's influence in marketing to the demographic. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) was the critical component in developing the questions for the interview and survey. The questions focused on AI's four D's: Dream, Destiny, Discovery, and Design. The purpose of AI is to help anticipate if the best-case scenario occurred more frequently within the wellness tourism industry in Canada instead of analyzing problems. The data gathered produced a list of the critical factors pertaining to millennial consumer and travel behavior, the importance of wellness tourism for the millennial demographic, and DMO's marketing techniques to target millennial travelers within Canada. Additionally, the data also produced recommendations for the future of wellness and tourism.
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