Introducing Wellbeing Tourism

What is Wellbeing?

Here follows an introduction of wellbeing tourism from the perspective of companies; what it is and why it is important.

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Download the pdf “Introducing Wellbeing Tourism” to receive tips and to learn more on how to become a Wellbeing host.

Definition of Wellbeing Tourism

Wellbeing Tourism is tourism that supports harmony and balance of body, mind, and soul for guests and hosts, in a sustainable interaction with the local community, and environment.

Intention. Wellbeing tourism implicates an intention to do good, to have a positive impact on people (guests and hosts), on the surroundings, on the planet, in the present, and in the future. When you do good, you feel good and develop a state of wellbeing.

A wellbeing host is aware, honest, kind, caring, and joyful.

Six Pillars of Wellbeing

Wellbeing tourism has six main aspects: environmental, social, economical, body, mind, and soul. They are presented here below with examples from tourism businesses and suggestions on changes towards increased wellbeing.

1. Environmental Wellbeing

What is environmental wellbeing?
Environmental wellbeing is about benefiting from planetary resources without compromising the function and health of the ecosystems. Taking responsibility for the environment includes actions like supporting conservation of the natural heritage and of biodiversity, limiting waste and avoiding pollution. Environmental wellbeing ensures regenerative ecosystems and sufficient natural resources for all, including non-human-beings, also in a long-term perspective.

How can it be achieved?
We all have an impact on the environment. The actions of your company matter. Acquire knowledge on how to be more sustainable and start systematically acting more environmentally friendly. Focus your effort on the actions that will be most effective. This could include minimizing waste, choosing biological degradable materials, using green energy, reducing transport, and limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Let your consideration permeate your entire business and inform about your actions to inspire others.

2. Social Wellbeing

What is social wellbeing?
Social wellbeing is about honoring human rights, individual freedom and integrity, showing equality and acceptance towards oneself and others, promoting intercultural understanding and contributing to community development and resilience. It implies a respectful management of local resources and caring for the local tangible and intangible cultural heritage. It involves collaboration and positive interaction with others, providing ethical and fair working conditions, and supporting local cooperation for the common good.

How can it be achieved?
Your attitude and actions can contribute to social wellbeing and a sustainable and vibrant society. You can for example connect to other companies and organizations to network and co-create. You can exchange knowledge, labour, products, and services. You can be open to support dreams of self-realization to improve the quality of life for guests and colleges. You can in general engage in positive interaction, take responsibility for others and for your community, and make everyone feel welcome and included.

3. Economic Wellbeing

What is economic wellbeing?
Economic wellbeing builds on circular principles that ensures viable and long-term economic prosperity for companies and the society, while not compromising human health and ecosystem functionality. It benefits stakeholders and the community by contributing to the development of creative work environments, fair and empowering trades, and strong and positive relationships with other actors through co-creation, identification of mutual benefits, and sharing.

How can it be achieved?
Through economic wellbeing, you fulfil your own economic growth while supporting prosperity in society for instance through providing fair and stable income to your employees, creating jobs for the local community, supporting local suppliers, increasing number of guests through community and collaboration, and co-creating solutions for the community together with your stakeholders.

4. Wellbeing for the Body

What is wellbeing for the body?
Physical wellbeing is generated by activities and products that have positive effects on the body such as exercise, nourishing wholesome foods and adequate rest. This can result in increased vitality, resilience, immunity, and longevity. Wellbeing for the body can also be in the form of pleasure derived from gentle pleasant stimulation of the senses and touch. Experiencing physical pleasure may induce a state of relaxation and positive emotions such as joy.

How can it be achieved?
To achieve wellbeing for the body you may enjoy nutritious, healthy food and beverages, spend time in nature, exercise, get a massage or other treatments, relax, breathe fresh air, and it is also important to ensure enough sleep. Wellbeing is also the pleasure of the senses – soft fabrics, pleasant lighting, comfortable sounds, and nice smell, as well as joy, laughter, and love. Intimacy such as a hug has positive effects on the body’s chemistry, and make you feel great.

5. Wellbeing for the Mind

What is wellbeing for the mind?
Mental wellbeing is about our ability to manage the activity and state of our minds as well as our feelings. It is supported by a harmonious composition of words, colors, shapes, sounds and smells, as well as conscious breath and conscious movement. It improves the quality of our thoughts, has a positive effect on the character of our feelings, and on our ability to remain centered and lucid regardless of the external conditions. It brings calmness, serenity, clarity, ease, awareness, insights, inspiration, creativity, and optimism.

How can it be achieved?
Our minds are almost continuously engaged in thoughts and most of them are repeated. You can nourish your thoughts with new knowledge, storytelling, positive images, inspiring conversations and positivity from yourself and others. You can also give your mind a break to achieve wellbeing for the mind – try to pause the thinking for a moment and just be. This allows for new ideas, creativity, joy, easy decision making, and flow. Effective methods to reach a state of being are mindfulness and meditation.

6. Wellbeing for the Soul

What is wellbeing for the soul?
Wellbeing for the soul, or inner wellbeing, is related to the connection to our essence, to life itself, and to the source of our creation. Delight for the soul is nourished by heart-felt connection and presence both with ourselves and with others, mental and emotional balance, being in nature, and moments of wonder. It can bring a sense of being connected to something greater than oneself and having a purpose in the world. It may also result in greater consciousness, a sense of love and self-worth, increased intuition, inner peace, fulfilment, compassion and bliss.

How can it be achieved?
You may understand your soul as your essence or true self. A part of you that is constant, no matter what thoughts, emotions and life circumstances you are experiencing. Expressing your true self, being heard, seen, and accepted just the way you are, nourishes the soul. You can connect to your soul when you feel unconditional love such as when interacting with children and animals, and when you experience a deep connection with others or the nature. It can also be when you do what you love the most and are in flow, forgetting about time and space.

Hosting values

As a host or provider of tourism products and services you are encouraged to follow these five hosting values to increase wellbeing to your customers. They are; being aware, honest, kind, caring and joyful. The hosting values are general relational values that are essential for creating harmony and balance.

How to Develop Wellbeing Tourism

Ideas for Topics and Initiatives

Here follows advice and recommendations for you who are working in the tourism industry or in a tourism related business and wants to develop wellbeing tourism.

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Download the pdf “How to Develop Wellbeing Tourism” to learn more and receive tips on how to become a Wellbeing host.

Careful Use of Nature and Resources

Protecting nature
A balanced nature is fundamental for everything living. If we all actively protect nature, it will continuously supply us with many important ecosystem services such as drinking water, fertile soil for food production, good health, and pleasurable experiences.

To contribute, inform and help visitors understand the connections in nature. When you inform your guest about places of interest educate them about sensitive environments, protected plants, and animals, and how to behave in the nature in the best way. By arousing interest in the nearby natural and cultural environments, the guest also gets a richer experience and an increased awareness to bring home.

Through your conscious choice of materials and products you can make a significant impact. You can choose local materials and products and thus minimize transport and CO2(g) footprint; you can choose natural and healthy materials to minimize the risk of exposing your guests and employees to hazardous substances; you can choose materials and products that are produced under proper and healthy working conditions. When appropriate, find and reuse materials and products on the secondary market.

It can be challenging to keep track of all supply levels and what the content lists of products really mean. A good solution for this is to choose materials that are certified to be environmentally and socially sustainable.

Reducing waste
Almost everything you do or produce generates waste. Look into how you can optimize the use of resources, thus consuming as little as possible and making the most of it. By optimizing your purchases, you probably reduce your need of buying new items, and therefore you minimize future waste.

Start up a conversation with your suppliers about packaging. Items you purchase are often delivered to you in single use, non-recyclable packaging. Avoid buying unnecessary disposables items such as plastic cups and paper plates.

Clean Transport

Means of travel
The travel industry strongly affects the climate. The greenhouse gas emissions from the travel industry are largely due to flying as aviation accounts for up to 75% of the total emissions. Aviation is the most polluting form of transport per pasenger-kilometre and fossil-fueled vehicles come second. The more people in each vehicle the lesser the environmental impact per person. In general, traveling by train and coach is the most climate friendly way of travelling, apart from fuel free transportation like biking, of course.

The information about local public transport may influence your guests to rethink their choice of transport. Provide a summary of possibilities as a service to your guests.

Travel at the destination
Your guests are likely to make day excursions. They may go sightseeing, shopping, and visit places of interest. With knowledge and valuable information, you can help your guests to make their travel at your destination as sustainable as possible: lend out bikes, inform about public transport, provide electric cars or charging stations. Promote nearby experiences and thus minimize your guests’ travel.

Act Local

Promote local activities and products
After visiting your business, your guests will probably continue their travel to experience more. Help your guests discover nearby points of interest to make them stay longer in your area or even stay longer with you. The turnover per guest within the region will increase, the longer the guest stays. And the more positive experiences a guest has during the stay, the more likely it is that they will return or recommend the destination to others. Creating a network with your neighbouring companies and promoting each other is likely to be beneficial for your business as well as the surrounding community.

Be an ambassador for your area
Appreciate where you live and what you do – and show it. Focus on what is positive and tell others about it and you will make your guests enthusiastic about it as well. By acting as an ambassador for your area you will inspire others to engage in the community. Praise them for their contributions and congratulate them on their success. Create products and services that you and your community can be proud of. When you establish an authentic, high quality product, you add to the attractiveness of your region.


Wellbeing culture – Employer wellbeing
Employer wellbeing begins with your own attitude and commitment, but it is together with your employees that you form the social wellbeing culture in your organization. The prerequisite for creating a sustainable workplace is based on following the national governmental labour protection act. This implies providing a safe work environment, employ qualified staff, and offer fair wages that are independent of gender and ethnicity.

As a united team you work with a sense of mutual respect with the intention to do good. It may support to keep an intention to follow the Wellbeing Hosting Values: awareness, honesty, kindness, caring and joy. You as the employer ensure you are inclusive and transparent and that you make your staff feel seen and heard. A high level of wellbeing for the employees positively affects their health, creativity, and productivity. It also increases their potential to create positive relationships with others, cope with everyday life challenges, and that they stay and become good ambassadors for your business as well as for the region.

Social responsibility
The first step towards social responsibility is to be aware of the fact, that your behaviour has an impact on people and society – both on the small scale and globally. You can decide to make a positive impact and inspire others to follow your examples. Have a global approach to your social responsibilities and consider the consequences for the world around you of the choices you make. Integrate it into your business strategy and practice it in all your actions and interactions. In this way you can contribute to balance between economic growth, social wellbeing and the environment.

Indoor Environment

Design and furnishing
Good design can offer wellbeing by being ergonomically correct, beautiful, easy to use and clean. Thoughtful design and choice of materials can increase comfort, pleasure, and efficiency for employees and guests.

Although our lives largely have been moved to indoor environments, our need to be in contact with nature has not disappeared. Getting a sense of nature is a biological need for us humans. Bring the nature indoor. Creating lush indoor environments and taking people closer to nature increases both physical and mental wellbeing.

Atmosphere is what is created from the interaction between a person and the surroundings such as a room. You can use a variety of elements at your venue to enhance the desired atmosphere. In this way you can improve the state of mind of your guests and nourish their soul. Pleasant lighting, for instance, can contribute to a welcoming, friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Adequate daylight adds to a healthy environment. Colours are known to stimulate an emotional response. Blue shades, for example, enhance feelings of peace and serenity. Sound and acoustics are also important factors for a space to feel comfortable.

Following the above, people contribute to the atmosphere of a space. Consequently, it is important to consider what you and your staff exude to the atmosphere of your office, business or venue. Are you emitting positive thoughts and feelings – such as joy, friendliness, and curiosity?


Physical movement
Physical activity and exercise have both immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life. On a long term it improves your overall health and immune defence, and reduce the risk of disease.

Make physical activity easily accessible and inspire your guests and colleagues to move their bodies. Suggest walking routes, rent out bikes, offer yoga mats, or put on dance music. You will get more happy guests – and they will likely sleep better at night.

Access to nature
Being in nature is soothing for body, mind, and soul. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger and stress while inducing positive feelings and promoting positive behaviour like kindness and generosity. Being in nature makes you feel better emotionally, and it contributes to your physical wellbeing – reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and stress hormones. It can also make you feel that you are a part of something larger and get a sense of meaning in life.

Provide information on how to access the nature in your area. Suggest walking routes, specific places, and viewpoints. In a city, have plants and flowers for people to enjoy and let people know where to find the nearest park.

Branding Wellbeing Tourism

Home of Wellbeing Brand

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Download the booklet “Branding Wellbeing Tourism” to learn more about the brand Home of Wellbeing, and how to develop you own brand.

The regions around the Baltic Sea in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Lithuania are united by history and nature. Incredible landscapes that are clean, peaceful, and accessible is part of any visit to the South Baltic region. An increasing number of tourism businesses in the region are considering their impact on the environment and society and make sustainability a priority. Wellbeing companies design their tourism offers to support a healthy lifestyle, joyful encounters, peace of mind, and slow living. This forms the uniqueness of the South Baltic destination as a Home of Wellbeing.

A brand for the South Baltic
Through collaboration in the South Baltic area, Wellbeing International brand destinations, companies and products that are in line will wellbeing, ‘Home of Wellbeing’. It makes us distinctive and memorable and stand out as a responsible and preferred destination in the eyes of the growing number of travellers who care about sustainability, health, and wellbeing.

You can become a Home of Wellbeing
If you share the values of wellbeing, you may become a Home of Wellbeing. If you for example are a tourism agency, a restaurant, a hotel, a spa, a yoga-studio, or a seasonal small business; if you care about the environment; if you work towards a prosperous local community and think about how to contribute to the wellbeing of others – then you may become a component of the brand and a Home of Wellbeing. Together we can make a difference in the tourism industry.

Your brand – Finding the Core

A brand builds the reputation of a product, service, place, person, or organization. It creates awareness and identity and distinguishes your company and offers from others.

A brand is a summary of the feelings and thoughts you want your potential and actual customer to connect your company with. You can express it using a logo, symbol, slogan, and through your choice of colours, images, and words.

Make sure that your brand is an honest reflection of your business and its values so that you can keep your brand promise to the customers. In this way, customers will trust your brand which is key to its success.

Values, Visuals, and Narration

If your brand is well-defined and well communicated, customers will have a clear and positive understanding of your business and what they can expect to experience when buying your products and services.

In developing your brand, you can work with your brand values, visual brand identity, and brand narration. Together, these three components create the comprehensive feel, look, and tone of your company to your customers.

Brand values
Through your brand values, you can connect to your customers on a deeper level. To define your values, you can ask yourself: What matters to me? What do I stand for? Customers who share your values are more likely to have a positive relationship with your brand.

Visual brand
Your visual brand consists of your logotype, the colours you use in any kind of communication, and photos you use to illustrate your services and products. It can also include the appearance of your facilities, products, and people in the organisation. Consider how the various visual elements can express your values and the core of your business. Make sure that your visual identification system is uniform, consistent, and authentic.

Brand narration
The use of storytelling can help customers connect emotionally to your brand. Storytelling is a narrative that weaves together facts and the emotions that your brand evokes. Use it to communicate the authenticity and values of your business. Use positive wording to create positive emotions in the customer.

Branding Natural and Cultural Wellbeing

The regions around the Baltic Sea in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Lithuania are united by history and nature. Together this forms the uniqueness of the South Baltic destination as a Home of Wellbeing. Incredible landscapes that are clean, peaceful, and accessible is part of any visit to the South Baltic region, and thus a central element in the branding. By including this in your branding, you bring in the characteristics of your destination, and you can express regional values and assets such as freedom, care for nature, joy of physical movement, creativity, and local produce.

You can further express wellbeing by integrating the uniqueness of your local area in your branding: local nature, cultural heritage, and traditions. Show your guests what they can experience only in your region. This could be special kinds of handicraft or events. Let your brand support the local heritage and it will support your brand as well.