What are jobs in wellness tourism

Wellness contributions



Wellness: the job market of the future?

by Lutz Hertel
The wellness market in Germany is enjoying constant growth. At least private consumer spending on health and well-being is said to have risen continuously in recent years. So it makes sense to sound out this boom industry professionally.

How a trend is created

The rise of the wellness professions began in 1997. After more and more sports and spa hotels switched to the wellness sector, the German Wellness Association, the leading wellness institution in Germany for more than 10 years, developed a requirement profile for this new hotel category. In it, the association also called for at least one qualified specialist to look after the new wellness clientele: the “wellness trainer”. Because: A wellness hotel without wellness specialists is like a cosmetics institute without a beautician or a fitness studio without a fitness trainer.
As there were no competencies in the hotels for this new task, the German Wellness Association organized, as a first emergency solution, weekly crash courses for the “wellness trainers” chosen by the hotel managers. Word got around quickly, including in the media. Even the Bild newspaper brought out the new job description with the headline “Wellness trainer: Everyone feels good with him”. In a short time, new word creations developed and gave rise to an unbridled workplace and earnings euphoria: wellness companions, wellness consultants, wellness coaches, etc.

Media create markets

Then came the news magazine FOCUS and commissioned the German Wellness Association and a recognized market research institute to analyze the wellness boom. The association provided the market structures and segmentation, the institute the statistical figures. The study published at the end of 1999 must serve as an oracle of new growth and employment dreams to this day. According to the prognosis, the number of employees in the wellness market will grow from 610,000 jobs in 1999 to 750,000 by 2004, i.e. an estimated 140,000 new jobs. Nobody was interested in the exact calculation of these numbers anymore. In addition to conventional physiotherapists and pool attendants, the statistics also include bicycle fitters and specialist plumbers, for example. Nobody really knows how big the labor market for wellness really is. Because apart from forecasts and unclear statistics there is nothing. Even a study sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education relies unchecked on this shaky market forecast and rejoices: "In concrete terms, this means that there is a high probability that there will be an immense need for qualifications in addition to considerable job potential." Time and again - and not only in this branch - one concludes from the growth in consumer spending that there is an associated increase in employment. However, this is extremely dubious. Only one thing is certain: more and more women are employed. And wellness professions are tailor-made for them.

What is a wellness profession?

With so much misunderstanding, it should first be clarified what a wellness profession actually is. Martin Massow, who has been a successful specialist book author for 20 years, published the “Atlas Health and Wellness Professions” in 2001. In it he presents over 180 professions, from medicine and nutrition, fitness and leisure, as well as beauty and care. All of them “new opportunities in the future industry”, according to the author. If you believe him, health services offer job opportunities in the millions; by 2010 there should be 5 million jobs. In addition to the classic occupational fields of medicine, nursing and nutrition, he sees new, much more interesting ones that take into account the trend of mental and physical well-being (= wellness). According to Massow, this includes personality and management training as well as new-age and esoteric activities.

You cannot avoid explaining the term “wellness”. This is about holistic well-being: physically, mentally, mentally, socially. An intact ecological environment and an inner attitude that one has to take care of the creation of this versatile well-being are also part of the understanding of wellness. This requires, as Massow also points out, a considerably greater effort in terms of measures and efforts than in the traditional understanding of medicine. However, it is precisely this new understanding that is becoming the engine of employment, and the wellness industry as a “second health market” becomes a job machine. Because: holism, the environment, natural food, psychology, esotericism, alternative healing methods (natural medicine, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine), natural cosmetics, fun sports, cardio fitness and wellness holidays are all on the consumer's wavelength. The wellness industry has a limitless variety of methods and, in contrast to traditional health care, is extremely flexible and consumer-oriented.

Wellness jobs in the new health market

Job opportunities that arise in addition to the traditional health system in the second, holistically oriented health market:

* Wellness medicine / medical wellness
* Wellness treatment procedures (physical, psychological, mental)
* Naturopathic treatments
* Traditional and alternative health practices
* Wellness tourism
* Wellness cosmetics
* Lifestyle and health advice
* Spiritual counseling and procedures
* Wellness training
* Natural and whole foods, vitamin bars
* Eco wellness
* Health-oriented coaching and consulting for companies
* Wellness operations and facility management
* Wellness facilities and architecture
* Wellness journalism


Massow understands wellness as an ideal orientation of various new, but also old professional fields, some of which have completely different contents and yet realize a common vision of health. Whether you are a yoga teacher, beautician, mental trainer or health food seller: with the right attitude towards your job and your customers, you are all well.

You can see it this way, but also differently. At least the press usually has different views and ideas, which has made a decisive contribution to the formation of opinions among employers and wellness consumers. Here you see the wellness experts primarily as a “girl for everything” and “universal wellbeing giver” in the pampering hotel, in the luxurious day spa, in the fitness club, which offers not only chic training equipment, but also a relaxation and sauna area, and as an independent person Personal trainer who comprehensively comforts his wealthy clientele and keeps them fit. In general, one has the impression that in the care of qualified wellness donors the customer shouldn't have to do much anymore - the wellness trainer oils and creams, he - or rather she - ensures a stress-free atmosphere, preheated bathrobes and the sauna infusion. At least this is what the professional practice of many “wellness experts” actually looks like now.

Qualification: yes, but ...

The already cited study "Trend qualifications as a basis for the early detection of qualification developments", sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education, states that the need for corresponding services is increasing sharply and a labor market of considerable dimensions is emerging, which “has so far been virtually untapped in terms of the required qualification profiles”. . Manuela Schulla, who has completed a “scientifically proven advanced training course for wellness-oriented professions”, is now working with her certificate as a division manager in a thermal spa area. Here she organizes the purchase of massage oils and mud packs and takes care of the decoration. Sauna infusions and hand scrubs are of course also part of the job. However, she did not learn anything from this in her “wellness qualification” at a Frankfurt wellness institute. Nine modules over nine weekends, distance learning, homework. A lot of theory, hardly any practice. Before she started her job at the thermal baths, she hadn't made a single sauna infusion. The training provider has nothing to do with that. He did his business.

Rip-offs have easy business

The German Wellness Association can tell you a thing or two about it. Every day disappointed, angry and insecure people report who want to start a training course, are already involved or do not know what to do afterwards. Some institutes promise a lot and keep little. Especially among them, some are free riders and dishonest rip-offs in the wellness business. Some even lure with state recognition and suggest to interested parties and graduates security with regard to the later recognition of their degree. A security that, on closer inspection, turns out to be pure deception. The German Wellness Association repeatedly receives a noticeably high number of complaints and complaints about a specific provider. According to the complainants, empty promises were made here, possibly with fraudulent intent. Among other things, vacancies would also be enticed, for which training courses at an academy would initially have to be completed. Later it turns out that the positions do not even exist - not even the institutions in which the positions are to be filled. These offers can even be found on the websites of the employment agencies. There are apparently no controls there with regard to the seriousness of such providers. Inquiries to the consumer advice center go nowhere. They fear legal disputes and prefer to stay out of it.

You should pay attention to this with a training provider in the wellness area!

* It is not being lured with promising jobs or job opportunities.
* Plausible basic qualifications are required from you in advance and these are also checked.
* The institute only employs pedagogically trained lecturers who are demonstrably trained and recognized in their field.
* The announced lecturers organize the lessons themselves (no cancellations or substitutions!)
* The advanced and advanced training has a high practical component, at least 50% of the teaching hours.
* You do not acquire your knowledge and skills as part of a distance learning course at home at your desk, but in direct contact with lecturers.
* Your presence will be verified. They have to be at least 80% present.
* You will then be examined and graded theoretically and practically according to an openly accessible examination regulation


The fact is: So far there are no adequate state supervisory and control mechanisms for the training and further education offer in the new wellness market. Unbelievable, because this is precisely the sensitive good of health. There is not even a binding admission regulation that ensures a minimum of basic technical knowledge and the human aptitude required for these professions. On the contrary: The press and training institutes give particular hope to so-called career changers in particular for a great job description, job opportunities and interesting income opportunities.


Additional Information:

Wellness Professions Commission at the German Wellness Association

Admission requirements of the German Wellness Association for educational providers

Martin Massow: Atlas Health and Wellness Professions (2001), published by Econ Verlag (EUR 10.00) ... more info / order
Lothar Abicht (and other authors): Health, Wellbeing, Wellness. Personal services in the focus of qualification development (2001), published by Bertelsmann Verlag

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