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Study suggests future strategy for geothermal hot springs and bathing tourism in Victoria

Study suggests future strategy for geothermal hot springs and bathing tourism in Victoria
October 24, 2019

A recently completed study undertaken by Matt Sykes, Experience Manager at Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula, has presented a future vision for a wellness-oriented hot springs and bathing tourism sector in Victoria.

Sykes’ study, The Great Victorian Bathing Trail: A blueprint for a Victorian hot springs and bathing tourism strategy, suggests that “an iconic, world-class tourism trail linking hot springs and bathing tourism destinations along Victoria's southern coastline, from Portland to Merrimbula, around Nerm/Port Phillip Bay and even up into the Yarra River” could be created.

Providing background, context and ideas for an overall strategy related to hot spring culture and bathing, the study provides a wealth of information on wellness tourism in general, current hot springs trends and global benchmark set by Iceland and Nordic nations.

Citing that the global wellness tourism was valued at US$630 billion in 2017, Sykes suggests that "Australia is well placed to develop a unique wellness brand based on its healthy aquatic, marine and terrestrial environments."

He also states "with subsurface geothermal water resources along its southern coastline and a cool, temperate climate Victoria could gain a competitive advantage as Australia's hot springs tourism capital."

Including a range of examples in both the public and private sector, the Blueprint highlights that "Victoria currently has two established hot springs destinations with a combined annual visitation of more than 533,000 bathers", referencing the current "wave of five developments at construction or planning stage, from Metung Hot Springs in the east to 12 Apostles Hot Springs in the west."

Looking forward he sees that the development of hot springs tourism can be a tangible way to achieve positive climate impacts and also calls on Tourism Australia to provide a framework for state tourism bodies through the development of a national Wellness Tourism Strategy, suggesting that "Visit Victoria could then develop a Hot Springs and Bathing Tourism Strategy as part of a broader nature-based, wellness tourism plan."

Providing background, context and ideas for an overall strategy related to hot spring culture and bathing, the study provides a wealth of information on wellness tourism in general, current hot springs trends and global benchmark set by Iceland and Nordic nations.

Developed as part of the Global Wellness Institute’s Hot Springs Initiative, Sykes’ work was informed by research undertaken as part of him being the Victorian Tourism Industry Council’s Lynette Bergin Fellowship recipient in 2018.

He visited Iceland as part of his study tour of the bathing culture in the summer of 2019, with his Blueprint informed by travelled to travels across Australia as well as to China, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The Global Hot Springs Initiative is connecting the global community of hot springs and geothermal resources by raising awareness of this unique and distinct segment of global recreation, health and tourism industry.

Click here to view The Great Victorian Bathing Trail: A blueprint for a Victorian hot springs and bathing tourism strategy.

Images: Peninsula Hot Springs (top) and Matt Sykes (below).

Related Articles

7th September 2019 - Global Wellness Institute announces new initiative to define yoga therapy

16th August 2019 - Global Wellness Institute launches ‘Understanding Wellness’ white paper series

10th July 2019 - Peninsula Hot Springs named World’s Best Mineral Spring Spa at the World Luxury Spa Awards

10th July 2019 - Talaroo Hot Springs receives project funding to develop facilities

8th July 2019 - Peninsula Hot Springs founder heads Global Wellness Institute’s Hot Springs Initiative

5th July 2019 - VTIC Conference heads to Geelong to share industry disruption and excellence

21st June 2019 - Global Wellness Institute names top five international hot springs trends

21st May 2019 - CBG Architects complete Hepburn Springs Escape Villas

15th January 2019 - Hepburn Wellness Group outlines 2019 development plans

5th October 2018 - $100 million hot springs resort planned for Gippsland Lakes

2nd August 2018 - Peninsula Hot Springs unveils new Bath House Amphitheatre

31st May 2018 - Peninsula Hot Springs backs inaugural World Bathing Day

6th August 2017 - Belgravia Leisure’s Hepburn Wellness Group wins four World Luxury Spa Awards

7th June 2017 - VTIC highlights challenges for tourism in regional Victoria

20th March 2017 - Peninsula Hot Springs and Mentis Assist partner to boost mental health and wellness

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

27th March 2015 - VTIC welcomes review of Victorian visitor economy


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