Retreat targets international and domestic wellness
Lake Karapiro-based Resolution Retreats is trailblazing the wellness tourism market in New Zealand, and post covid-19 its ‘rest, relax and reset’ services will be needed more than ever. If you were to look on the official Tourism New Zealand website, www.newzealand.com, you will find activities, tours, maps and accommodation ideas to help you plan your […]
Lake Karapiro-based Resolution Retreats is trailblazing the wellness tourism market in New Zealand, and post covid-19 its ‘rest, relax and reset’ services will be needed more than ever.
If you were to look on the official Tourism New Zealand website, www.newzealand.com, you will find activities, tours, maps and accommodation ideas to help you plan your next New Zealand-based holiday. Themes include ‘adventure’, ‘food and wine’, and ‘romance’ holidays. What you won’t find, yet, is ‘health and wellness escapes’.
‘Wellness tourism’ is a growing market internationally, particularly in Australia and Bali and a number of New Zealand businesses are leading the way by offering ‘healthy holidays’ within New Zealand.
Joelene Ranby (pictured) from Resolution Retreats has been running weight loss, health and wellness retreats exclusively for women since 2012 after seeing a gap for this much-needed service within the New Zealand market.
“I wanted to take my Mum and sisters somewhere where we could focus on improving our health – getting away from the stresses and temptations of our everyday lives to rest, relax and reset,” says Ranby. “I was surprised that we would have had to travel to Australia or further afield for a live-in retreat which specialised in the area of women’s health”.
Within three years Joelene had given up her successful career as a corporate Chartered Accountant and with the help of New Zealand-based health and wellness experts, created a retreat centre which was run by women, specifically for women.
“The retreats have been so popular, particularly with New Zealand-based women who would have previously travelled overseas for this service,” says Ranby. “We have a number of guests who return every year for a healthy holiday and a re-set.
“We were pleased to see the number of international guests also increasing pre Covid-19,” says Ranby, “be it ladies coming to New Zealand specifically for a retreat with us, or as part of a longer trip around New Zealand.”
Resolution Retreats recently moved to a much larger purpose-built multi-million dollar retreat facility along the shores of Lake Karapiro, just outside of Cambridge. “Our facilities are now world-class to compete alongside well-known international retreat centres such as Gwinganna and Golden Door in Australia, which have been incredibly popular with both New Zealand and Australian women for over ten years,” says Ranby. “We are excited to be trailblazing this growing area for New Zealand by offering an exclusive, customised environment which is well regarded globally for its transformative effect on guests’ lifestyle habits, as well as a healthier way to enjoy this beautiful country, its people and experiences.”
In September 2019, NZTE, Tourism New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, and the MBIE announced a joint initiative aimed at attracting investment in new tourism initiatives, with health and wellness playing a key role in the programme. Attractions ranging from hot springs to high end retreats offering yoga, pilates and massage, were identified as lucrative options. The Government report supporting the joint initiative claims international visitors patronising such facilities spend 59 percent more and domestic visitors 159 percent more than the average traveller.
“Wellness tourism fits perfectly within Tourism New Zealand’s ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ branding,” says Ranby. “It will be great when the investment by local providers in this growing area is reflected by a comprehensive domestic and international tourism marketing strategy post Covid-19. With the right support, health and wellness tourism has the potential to be a great opportunity for New Zealand.”