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CONNECTIONS


WELLNESS CUSTOMERS TURN TRAVEL BOOKING ON ITS HEAD


STELLA PHOTI, FOUNDER OF WELLBEING ESCAPES, IS WORKING WITH CONNECTIONS TO PLAN THE FIRST CONNECTIONS WELLBEING EVENT. HERE ARE HER TOP THREE WELLNESS TIPS


1) THE DESTINATION TENDS TO BE SECONDARY


“With wellness travel, it’s not necessarily about the destination, but how the destination can benefit someone’s wellbeing. At Wellbeing Escapes, our clients don’t call us and ask to go to a specific country or place. They give us their condition or dilemma and we think about where would fit their needs and help them. It turns travel on its head.”


2) EVERY CLIENT HAS A DIFFERENT AGENDA FOR THEIR WELLNESS BREAK


“Not every client will need to address a specific health condition. For these wellness travellers without


DELEGATES’ VIEWS CONNECTIONS LUXURY IN IRELAND


a specific goal, travel advisers should find out what activities can be fitted into their itinerary, such as daily classes, specialist practitioners (not just a massage) and hikes in the local area. Is there healthy food that fits in with their current lifestyle? The requirements may be softer, but it’s important to know that suppliers can meet them.”


3) MAKE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN PRODUCT AND CLIENT


“At Connections Wellbeing, I don’t want suppliers to come to their one-on-one meetings and simply say ‘We’ve got 10 treatment rooms and a 2,000sqm spa’ because it’s meaningless. I want them to approach this differently, to really think about the questions they’re being asked and brush up on what really makes their wellness offering unique. And I want the buyers to think about their different types of travellers, what they would be interested in knowing, and to really seek that information.”


● Connections Wellbeing will take place at the Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa in Portugal from October 29-November 1


STAVROS KAPNIAS ABBERLEY YACHTS “Connections is completely different [from other events]. I remember every single person I’ve met, and I connect them to the Irish experiences we did together.”


AMANDA HORAN FAILTE IRELAND (COUNTRY PARTNER) “We understood the opportunity Connections provides for a destination like Ireland. Over the two days, the buyers and suppliers sampled 30 experiences.”


SIOBHAN BYRNE LEARAT ADAMS AND BUTLER (OFFICIAL DMC) “It’s nice to get the chance to really form a relationship, rather than just have a sit- down meeting. Instead, I had a meeting while doing Irish dancing!”


HELENA SUAREZ ACCORHOTELS “It’s great to have the time to actually explain each of our brands and what they mean for the end consumer. And also to truly understand what our partners are looking for. Connections really fast-tracks new business relationships.”


aspire september 2017 — 85


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