Peninsula Hot Springs have just announced an exciting new vision that it says could be a game-changer for the wellness tourism industry here in Australia.
Australia has a rich and ancient bathing culture, with many of its major cities and towns defined by their waterways. Taking advantage of the rapid rise of wellness tourism, which is currently valued at $US639billion globally, Victoria could soon be at the heart of a new global cultural bathing movement – The great Victorian bathing trail.
Supported through the Victorian Tourism Industry Council’s ‘Lynette Bergin Fellowship’, emerging business leader Matt Sykes of Peninsula Hot Springs has scoured the globe for best-practice industry benchmarks creating an inspiring ‘blueprint’ for the evolution of the hot springs industry across the globe.
From the hot springs of Japan, China and Iceland to the saunas of Finland and the harbour baths of Copenhagen, Matt has studied the diverse bathing traditions and business models the world has to offer, in order to create a comprehensive report and bathing tourism strategy. A key focus was regenerative development projects which simultaneously promote community wellbeing, restore degraded ecosystems and deliver year-round economic benefits to their region.
Coined ‘The Great Victorian Bathing Trail’, the vision interweaves three regional elements: a chain of hot springs stretching along our southern coastline from Metung to Portland; a necklace of sea baths and saunas around Nerm / Port Phillip Bay; as well as a string of baths and floating saunas along the Birrarung / Yarra River. Matt’s research also outlines a number of potential flow-on benefits to the broader tourism industry by packaging the bathing experiences together with other nature-based tourism experiences such as Victoria’s iconic walks and food trails.
“Similar trails can be created in nearly any country on earth which has hot springs which is nearly every country on the planet,’ says Charles Davidson, Co-Founder & CEO of Peninsula Hot Springs and Chairman of the Global Wellness Institute’s Hot Springs Initiative. “United States, Russia, China, India, Italy, Greece, Israel, Morocco….you name it, they have hot springs that can be connected to create amazing wellbeing trails. Such a pilgrimage trail has the potential to become a backbone for wellbeing tourism offering and a world-class signature experience.”
More details on future developments are yet to be announced, but be sure to watch this space for news and updates as they happen.