Destination FeelGood celebration!

Last week we headed to London in celebration of Destination FeelGood, a collaborative project between the National Coastal Tourism Academy and Bournemouth University. Our research highlighted that the health and wellness market has huge potential for coastal destinations, with a growing percentage of people striving to go on ‘wellness’ breaks. The aim of the ‘Destination FeelGood’ project was to ascertain ways in which businesses and destinations alike could tap into this unfulfilled potential and boost tourism. Through a number of ideas cafes that involved local businesses we explored the potential. The case studies published as part of the project describe how different businesses have benefited.

The celebratory event took place at the Royal Society for Public Health in London and attracted leading professionals from destinations across England and from national organisations. We also had a great selection of people joining us virtually via Twitter for live updates under the hashtag #DestinationFeelGood.

Speaking first was our Interim Director Jason Freezer, who informed the audience of the Academy’s growing role nationally as a resource for coastal tourism, what we’ve been working on and our future aspirations. Setting the scene for the rest of the afternoon he referenced key parts of our research, for example, only 8% of wellness breaks are currently taken on the coast, whereas 59% of respondents suggested they would prefer a coastal setting. Learn more about the NCTA by watching the brief video below.

Other speakers included Professor Heather Hartwell, the lead researcher on Destination FeelGood; Christian Schneidar, the co-founder of Monty’s Lounge restaurant; Andrew Woodland, the General Manager of Sandbanks Hotel; and Max Clapham, BDRC continental market research company. Both Monty’s Lounge and the Sandbanks Hotel were involved in the ‘Destination FeelGood’ project and BDRC conducted the research into the health and wellness market for us.

It was clear we have only scratched the surface on this topic and we want to learn more and exploit this opportunity for the coast where we can. Would you like to participate in the ongoing debate?

We have a LinkedIn group for a continued discussion around both Destination FeelGood as a project and the health and wellness market in general. If you would like to be a part of the growing conversation click here.

For more information on the Destination FeelGood project in general visit our dedicated page here.

Speakers Slides:

Professor Heather Hartwell - Bournemouth University (Destination FeelGood)

Andrew Woodland - Sandbanks Hotel

Christian Schneidar - Monty's Lounge

Max Clapham - BDRC Continental