Airbnb Is Launching an Office of Healthy Tourism to Promote Sustainable TravelEvening Standard, April 18, 2018

Airbnb just announced that it’s creating an office of healthy tourism to drive local, authentic and sustainable tourism in countries and cities. With 4.85 million listings on Airbnb in 191 countries, it’s bigger than any hotel chain, and feels it has to do more to not have a detrimental impact on communities. The office will create partnerships, programs and events to fight over-tourism and drive travel to lesser known places while also supporting environmentally-friendly travel habits. 


Life Inside China’s Social Credit Laboratory - Foreign Policy, April 3, 2018

The party’s massive experiment in ranking and monitoring Chinese citizens through a social credit system designed to promote “trustworthiness” has already started. This article describes how it works. So far, the scheme has been embraced by the communities in which it’s been tested because it only deducts points for breaking the law: it is precise in its punishment and generous in its rewards. Moving forward, it’s hard not to think of an Orwellian world in which high tech monitors everybody’s behavior.


The Germs that Love Diet Soda - The New York Times Magazine, April 6, 2018

There are lots of reasons to avoid processed foods. They’re often packed with sugar, fat and salt, and they tend to lack certain nutrients critical to health, like fiber. And now, new research suggests that some of the additives that extend the shelf life and improve the texture of these foods may have unintended side effects - not on our bodies directly, but on the human microbiome, the trillions of bacteria living in our guts.


When 26.2 Miles Just Isn't Enough – The Phenomenal Rise of the Ultramarathon - The Guardian, April 2, 2018

How the ultra-marathon became one of the ultimate proofs of wellness…


Denmark Asks Unesco to Give 'Hygge' World Heritage StatusThe Telegraph, April 12, 2018

Denmark has applied for the art of hygge (its own brand of everyday happiness) to be inscribed on the Unesco list of “intangible cultural heritage,” protecting it for generations as an essential part of global society. The hygge trend has made waves since 2015, and is defined as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing. This wellness trend has been credited as a reason that Denmark always ranks as one of the world’s happiest nations, and would join cultural practices like the Mediterranean diet and coffee culture in Turkey on the Unesco list. It’s a clear sign that indigenous wellness philosophies are an important national and tourism brand.


A Striking Stat:

There are roughly 33,000 vacant positions in the U.S. spa industry today.

Source: ISPA Spa Workforce Study, realized by PwC, April 2018

AuthorBeth McGroarty, Director of Research, GWI