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Proposed Victorian bathing trail concept gets international and domestic backing
A recently released blueprint for a Victorian hot springs and bathing tourism strategy is receiving recognition from international and domestic tourism, industry and wellness bodies.
Produced by the 2018 recipient of Victoria Tourism Industry Council’s Lynette Bergin Tourism Award, Matt Sykes, Experience Manager at Peninsula Hot Springs, The Great Victorian Bathing Trail: A blueprint for a Victorian hot springs and bathing tourism strategy, suggests the linking of hot springs and bathing tourism destinations along the whole of Victoria’s southern coastline and the flow-on benefits to the broader tourism industry by drawing packaging opportunities with other nature-based tourism experiences such as Victoria’s iconic walks and food trails.
Sykes’ study states that Victoria is uniquely positioned to define itself as the nation’s ‘hot springs state,’ boasting subsurface geothermal water right along its southern coastline.
Both the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have welcomed the blueprint, with VTIC Chief Executive Felicia Mariani commending Sykes on his exemplary work.
Highlighting the importance of supporting talent and building innovation within the industry, Mariani advised “VTIC is proud to support an award which promotes strategic thinking and assists in bringing exciting ideas that benefit the Victorian tourism and events sector to life.
“Matt’s comprehensive report truly embodies what the Lynette Bergin Fellowship stands for and we were proud to name him the 2018 winner.”
Commenting on The Great Victorian Bathing Trail concept, Mariani “in VTIC’s submission to the (Victorian) Government’s Regional Tourism Review, one of our key priority areas is the need for more compelling tourism and nature-based experiences that will drive national and international visitation into our regions.
“The Great Victorian Bathing Trail is a perfect example of what we are calling for. This unique offering is exactly what Victoria needs to remain competitive and a cut above the rest.”
“The plethora of geothermal springs in Victoria creates a truly unique selling point globally for our state and positions Victoria prominently among countries around the world that are focusing on this lucrative and growing sector.”
Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Mark Stone also commended the blueprint and said it aligned with the findings of the recently released Victorian Chamber Health Industry Taskforce report.
Stone stated “Victoria’s clean environment has made our state a destination of choice in the fast-growing wellness tourism market, estimated at $639 billion worldwide.
“The variety of health and wellness activities on offer in Victoria are appealing to increasingly health-conscious consumers from interstate and abroad. The Great Victorian Bathing Trail seeks to leverage our strengths and cement the state as a major wellness tourism market.”
The suggested Bathing Trail begins in Victoria’s west at the newly opened Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Spring in Warrnambool.
The next stops along the trail will be, the proposed Twelve Apostles Hot Springs near Port Campbell; the established Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula; the Phillip Island Hot Springs and Saltwater Baths on Phillip Island (under construction); the proposed Nunduk Hot Springs Resort in Seacombe, East Gippsland; and Metung on the Gippsland Lakes in East Gippsland, where Peninsula Hot Springs is also developing a hot springs wellness hotel and bathing marina.
Stone added “together, these destinations will create what is a truly unique and inspiring bathing trail across coastal Victoria from end-to-end.”
Sykes’ study was based on research he undertook on the evolution of the hot springs industry across the globe, which took him to the hot springs of Japan, China and Iceland to the saunas of Finland and the harbour baths of the Danish capital of Copenhagen.
He studied the diverse bathing traditions and business models to create his comprehensive report, which had a major focus on regenerative development projects which simultaneously promote community wellbeing, restore degraded ecosystems and deliver year-round economic benefits to their region.
Sykes’ employer, Charles Davidson, the founder and Chairman of Peninsula Hot Springs; the Chairman of the Global Wellness Institute’s Hot Springs Initiative and Vice-President of FEMTEC (the Worldwide Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy), sees that the blueprint has a global relevance, advising “similar trails can be created in nearly any country on earth which has hot springs … which is nearly every country on the planet
“The 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.”
Davidson believes that such trails have the potential to become a backbone for wellbeing tourism offerings and world-class signature experiences.
Click here to view a copy of The Great Victorian Bathing Trail: A blueprint for a Victorian hot springs and bathing tourism strategy
Images: Peninsula Hot Springs (top), the Bathouse at Hepburn Springs and the Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs, Warrnambool (below).
30th October 2019 - Peninsula Hot Springs introduces ‘adventure day retreat’
7th September 2019 - Global Wellness Institute announces new initiative to define yoga therapy
21st March 2019 - Review to determine ways to expand tourism In Regional Victoria
17th March 2019 - Rise of wellness holidays an antidote to overtourism
15th January 2019 - Hepburn Wellness Group outlines 2019 development plans
5th October 2018 - $100 million hot springs resort planned for Gippsland Lakes
31st May 2018 - Peninsula Hot Springs backs inaugural World Bathing Day
8th December 2017 - Work begins on Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa
7th June 2017 - VTIC highlights challenges for tourism in regional Victoria
20th February 2017 - Call for insurers to recognise hot springs bathing as complementary therapy
12th December 2016 - Hepburn Wellness to create pop-up day spa at Lorne Sea Baths
20th October 2016 - Mornington Peninsula hot springs to be exploited for wellness tourism
22nd January 2016 - Peninsula Hot Springs plans pools and accommodation expansion
27th March 2015 - VTIC welcomes review of Victorian visitor economy
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