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Spafinder Wellness 365 Announces Wellness Travel Awards Finalists: Trends Include Strong Growth in South and Central America, Africa and Asia

Consumer voting for winners in 20 categories across 54 countries begins today at 388 global finalists selected by 39 top editors and experts from a field of 605 candidates.

Miami, FL – July 20, 2016 – Finalists in the 2016 Wellness Travel Awards (WTA), presented by Spafinder Wellness 365™, were announced today and reflect a much wider world of wellness travel, with South and Central America, Africa and Asia showing strong gains in the number of properties recognized by a global panel of 39 editors and experts.

The South and Central American region had the largest percentile increase in the number of finalists (117% growth over 2015), followed by North America (70%) and Africa (60%). The nations with the highest number of finalists were: the U.S., Indonesia, the UK, Thailand and India.  North America and Asia represent the wellness travel powerhouses, the former with 126 unique finalists, the latter closely behind with 123. A complete list of finalists can be viewed at; as well, view nominees here.

Consumers begin voting for winners in 20 categories today (through September 16) at The winners will be selected based on a combination of expert panelists’ nominations and property scores, along with consumer votes, and the winning properties will be announced on November 9 at World Travel Market London. In addition to 10 winners in 20 special categories, Crystal Awards will be presented to the top property on six continents, while Country Awards will be bestowed on the top property in a wide range of countries and regions around the world.

The number of properties recognized as finalists by panelists grew from 293 in 2015 to 388 in 2016 (a 32% jump), reflecting the widespread growth in the number of hotels, resorts, spas and retreats offering stellar experiences and programs to a growing number of consumers seeking healthy vacations and travel. WTA Finalists were also named in 10 new countries, including Greece, Belize, Guatemala, Uruguay and Peru (compared to 2015). Along with mainstays like the U.S. and UK, countries with the largest increase in finalists over 2015 include Sri Lanka (600% growth), Argentina (250%), South Africa (233%), Japan (133%), Malaysia (125%), Indonesia (82%), Mexico (60%) and China (50%).

“It’s gratifying to see how quickly countries of all sizes around the globe have embraced wellness travel and are now offering travelers unique, world-class wellness experiences,” said Spafinder Wellness, Inc.® Chief Operating Officer John Bevan. “It’s also important to remember that while the term ‘wellness travel’ was introduced approximately five years ago, it is now considered the fastest-growing tourism sector. And with thousands of such diverse properties to choose from, we believe the Wellness Travel Awards are an exceptional resource for people seeking a wide world of destinations that restore and improve their wellbeing."

This year, Spafinder Wellness 365 introduced two new categories, “Hidden Gems,” which honors extraordinary properties that may not be widely known, and “Ahead of the Curve,” recognizing hotels, resorts and spas with the most innovative and creative wellness programs.

About Spafinder Wellness, Inc.® 

Spafinder Wellness, Inc.® is the world's largest marketing, gifting, incentives and rewards company for the wellness industry and the leading consumer resource for feeling good and living well all year round. With over 25,000 wellness partners worldwide, including wellness travel destinations; fitness, yoga and Pilates studios; spas and salons; plus access to 5,000 massage therapists through Zeel's on-demand massage services, millions of people find the resources and inspiration to keep well every day via Spafinder Wellness 365 websites and The Wellness App. The company’s widely distributed gift/wellness cards are available online and at 40,000-plus retailers worldwide, as well as through corporate incentive/rewards programs. Visit, and