Co-organiser of the Caribbean Health & Wellness Tourism Conference and Expo, Sharon Parris-Chambers, is upbeat that the region will fully capitalise on the $4.2 trillion-dollar global wellness economy in short order.
Parris-Chambers was commenting on data outlined in the most recent Global Wellness Economy Monitor, which was presented during the Global Wellness Summit staged in Italy in October, by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).
According to the publication, the Global Wellness Economy grew from $3.7 trillion to $4.2 trillion, between 2015 and 2017, and "continues to expand faster than global economic growth". That economy, it says, encompasses industries that enable consumers to incorporate wellness activities and lifestyles into their daily lives that lead to a state of holistic health.
For Parris-Chambers, the Caribbean, historically has always met this criterion and, with a more cohesive approach, stands to gain much more in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth."The Caribbean is a source for healing and wellness; it has always been.The sun is the number one healer… and even though we are moving away from the sun and sea-focused tourism, the sea has natural healing properties for example for rheumatism and for rejuvenation… "The Caribbean is poised for global wellness: it has everything it needs from the herbs, the botanicals, etc." Parris-Chambers said.
"Wellness is indeed that trillion-dollar industry that Jamaica and the Caribbean can benefit from tremendously and there is no reason why the living standards of the average person cannot be increased through this. Research says the Caribbean region as part of the Americas - and Jamaica in particular - has more of the world's natural herbs and botanicals in its resources for healing and because of that healing has to be natural component of what we offer," she said.
Parris-Chambers said the staging of the Caribbean Health and Wellness Tourism Conference and Expo is a timely catalyst for the Caribbean as there is a need to create awareness of the region as a wellness tourism destination and set the stage for implementation of strategies which, have been coined to positively impact and shape the future of its wellness economy.The event is set for June 15-16, 2019 at the Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
She said the outlook for the region's agriculture and small manufacturers in particular, is positive, as there is huge scope for linkages via things such as farm-to-table experiences and the creation of more natural spa products and foods which are in-demand by wellness tourists.She added, in some case these only need to be better developed and promoted to the rest of the world.
"It's going to be tremendous because of the value-added products which will expand cottage industries. The wheels that grows the (wellness) economy are the MSME sector and these sectors are vital to our industry," she said. Details of the conference can be found at www.CaribbeanHealthandWellnessTourism.com .
PHOTO CAPTION: Sharon Parris-Chambers, Wellness Tourism Consultant and Co-Producer Caribbean Health & Wellness Tourism Conference & Expo