An expansive move in the wellness segment

By Jeri Clausing

*logoLuxury travel and wellness increasingly go hand-in-hand. And Six Senses, an early leader in the sector, is responding with ambitious growth.

The Bangkok-based Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, which made its name with resorts in remote but highly desirable Asian-resort markets, this week announced plans to double its numbers of destinations in far-flung destinations across the globe. It said it would add nine resorts in Asia, Europe, South America, Northern Africa and the Caribbean, which will bring its total number of properties to 18 over the next 36 months.JeriClausing 

The  company said its plans will help “redefine the brand on a global scale with the addition of its first ski resort, urban hotel and three amazing resort projects located at UNESCO World Heritage Sites."

Six Senses' first ski resort is being developed at Mont Blanc in southeastern France. The 32-suite property will be nestled in the French Alpine area of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, a one-hour drive from Geneva and ten-minute gondola ride from Megeve.

It is also making its first entry into South America with its first urban hotel project in the hotel-development hot spot of Cartagena, Colombia. Located inside the colonial walled city and fortress, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 100-room and suite hotel will be incorporated into the restoration of a 17th century monastery.

Other new properties are being developed in Wuma in southeastern Taiwan; Ninghai in southeastern China; Uluwatu, Bali; Gammarth in northeast Tunisia; Qing Cheng Mountain, China; Bhutan; and St. Lucia.

While the doubling of properties might sound ambitious, recent studies certainly indicate a strong demand for wellness resorts. The Global Wellness Tourism Economy report released by SRI International in  October said the sector is a near half-trillion-dollar market, representing 14% of total global tourism revenue, or $3.2 trillion.

The report also projects wellness tourism will grow nearly 10% a year over the next five years, nearly twice the rate of global tourism overall, to reach $678.5 billion by 2017.

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