One of the top travel publishers, CNN Travel has selected 11 wellness retreats across the world as the top retreats to visit in 2019. Given that worldwide wellness was a USD 4.2 Trillion industry and that USD 639 Billion was dedicated to wellness tourism, there is a significant focus on this space, and this was one of the reasons that prompted CNN to further highlight some of the global players in this space.
Vickum Nawagamuwage, the CEO and the Founder of Santani stated “Global accolades of this nature are extremely important not just for Santani, but for Sri Lanka as well, as it firmly places the country on the global wellness map, given the importance of this sector. Following the good press that Sri Lanka has been receiving, recognition of this nature from a global brand like CNN shows that going against the grain and building something truly unique, contemporary and game-changing is creating ripples across the world.”
From the 11 properties selected on this list, only two were in Asia and a number of them were top global brands who have been in the industry for decades. The properties that CNN selected included “TED-style talks to ancient shamanic rituals — designed to help people relax, heal and get inspired”.
Chamindra Goonewardene, Director of Operations at Santani stated “This was announced just a few months after TIME magazine selected Santani as one of the greatest places in the world. From it’s inception, Santani has been garnering the right kind of global attention, and we are proud to be promoting the Sri Lanka Brand through the press we have been receiving. Given the importance of tourism in the Sri Lanka economy, this kind of attention is crucial in taking Sri Lanka to the next level. From a geographic perspective, both CNN and TIME will assist with boosting North American traffic to Santani and to Sri Lanka. Following the press we have been receiving, we have seen travelers visiting Sri Lanka specifically to visit Santani, and the trickle down benefits that other hotels, operators and suppliers get is a significant bonus for the entire industry. We are focusing on upper-funnel marketing, where we create more demand for the product rather than purely competing for travelers visiting Sri Lanka. We believe that this kind of approach will help us differentiate ourselves as well as further boosting Sri Lanka’s image in the global sphere.
Nawagamuwage added “From the very onset, we were very strategic about our entire approach from design to conceptual positioning, to the way we marketed ourselves globally. This has really paid off and we are currently working on an extremely bold new venture, which we feel is going to create the next series of stories across the world, and bring further attention to Sri Lanka by bringing in higher-spending tourists to the country. Tourism will form the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy in the years ahead, and the execution of unique strategies will truly set Sri Lanka apart from it’s competitors.”
Santani Resort and Spa, located in Werapitiya, Sri Lanka is Sri Lanka’s first purpose built luxury wellness resort. Since it’s inception, it has been recognized by Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveller, Vogue, Forbes, Tatler, TIME and now CNN for a variety of different accolades. More details about the resort can be accessed at www.santani.lk