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Caribbean spa and wellness sector set to take on the international spa industry
Published on January 29, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- The Caribbean Spa and Wellness Association (C-SWA) supported by Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has launched a new website to mark the beginning of their plan make the Caribbean a leading spa destination by 2015.

The “Development and Promotion of the Caribbean Health and Wellness Tourism Sector” project is being conducted in conjunction with the Caribbean Spa and Wellness Association (C-SWA) and is financed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

The global health and wellness (H&W) industry is a USD40 billion international market, growing at 30% per annum, according to a Commonwealth Secretariat study, which also estimated the Caribbean’s potential for generating export earnings from this sector at US$175 million. The industry’s growth makes it attractive and the Caribbean has the advantage that service and product providers that are already in the tourism market can diversify their products to attract more customers by targeting specific markets.

There is a need to promote the H&W tourism sector in the Caribbean and internationally, and one of the most cost effective means of promotion is through the development of a website or web portal. The proposed web portal will assist Caribbean Export and C-SWA in virtually promoting the region as an H&W destination. Executive director of Caribbean Export, Pamela Coke-Hamilton said at the press conference last Friday that the region possessed the ideal environment for a thriving health and wellness sector.

C-SWA chairman Steve Andrews echoed the executive director’s sentiments that the sector had “tremendous potential” and suggested that the global economic crisis was leading to “more and more stressed out people” looking for the tranquility found at spas.

He also pointed out that the time taken to reach Thailand from North America can take as much as 18 hours and yet their health and wellness sector had grown by 12 percent. It is his view that the Caribbean had the potential to divert some of the traffic that is going spa destinations like Thailand because, “if you are stressed out you are not going to want to sit on a plane for 18 hours…” he said.
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