Expert Interview Series: Samantha Lippiatt of Health and Fitness Travel About Health and Fitness Vacationing

By Aaron Eisberg

Samantha Lippiatt is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Health and Fitness Travel, Australia's first specialty wellness travel company committed to providing healthy holidays that not only enhance but change lives. We had a chance to chat with Samantha and learn more about these health and wellness vacations.

So how are the travel packages offered by health and fitness travel different from most of those getaways offered by traditional vacation companies?

We offer a niche travel experience focused on maintaining or improving our travelers' wellness through programs combining elements of nutrition, fitness, and holistic healing. Our guests return feeling like they have had a break - fitter, healthier, clearer of mind, or even having kicked a bad habit!

Are there REALLY that many people who book a vacation in a gorgeous location, but whose sole purpose is not to relax but to work out and improve their fitness?

It's a trend that is undeniably catching on worldwide. A new Global Wellness Tourism Economy report compiled on behalf of the Global Health and Wellness Summit discovered that the health and fitness tourism trend is now worth a whopping AUD$462 billion a year. Since opening the Health and Fitness Travel in Australia in 2014, we have seen the demand triple, with more than half of our clients going on weight loss or fitness retreats.

Are there any Health and Fitness Travel customers who might surprise us?

Health and fitness travel is becoming more and more popular with baby-boomers. They are seeking ways to improve their well-being and reverse the signs of aging, and they really enjoy the benefits of a luxury wellness holiday destination offering both a physical and mental recharge. We also see families, and even couples seeking an active healthy honeymoon!

Briefly take us through a typical day on one of these "healthy holidays."

A typical day starts with yoga and meditation. Then you have your breakfast, either in your private villa or with a group for a little mingling session. Around mid-morning, you get to join activities like group hikes, fitness classes, or surfing lessons (depending on your location). At noon, you have your lunch and a maybe a quick siesta afterward; and your spa time is generally scheduled in the afternoon or at night before dinner. Finally, you wind down and enjoy a good night's rest.

Are these "healthy holidays" all work and no play, or do the guests have opportunities to experience dining, shopping, partying, and other recreational activities?

You get to experience the best of both! Our destinations (though some are secluded) have access to the local tourist spots for a bit of cultural immersion, although many guests prefer to stay inside their wellness sanctuaries to maximize their program. We encourage these guests to consider arriving a little earlier and exploring the area on a "Discover Recover" break.

Do many of these resorts or travel locations offer alternate fitness activities in the event of inclement weather?

Yes. Since some fitness activities are held outdoors, weather changes can mean a shift in your schedule. However, many retreats have great indoor facilities, and they always have an alternative planned.

Do you find that sometimes, the guests who are on the same healthy holiday tend to compete against one another in their fitness activities?

It depends on the individual and the type of retreat. However, some do - and really, that's not a bad thing! I think it encourages our guests to push beyond their set goals.

Obviously, the beautiful locations are a big draw for vacationers. But are the fitness amenities (exercise machines, workout rooms, etc.) of the same quality that people have come to expect while working out in their home countries?

Yes. Some are even better. Some of our retreats, like SHA Wellness in Spain or The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia, have the technology to tailor a fitness program according to your unique DNA signature.

Click here for more information about the Accurofit System.

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