With the growth of health-related businesses in West Volusia — everything from spas and gyms to recreational activities and medical offices — the time is right to launch an all-encompassing wellness initiative.
So say the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority and the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance.
The two organizations recently unveiled their plans to jointly incorporate all kinds of disparate businesses and organizations into a unified conglomeration called the Wellness Initiative Network.
The genesis of the idea started with the tourism authority, which was considering starting a page on its website devoted to wellness-related businesses and activities, similar to what it was already doing with its wedding portal.
At a recent unveiling of the initiative to a large group of people involved in wellness one way or another, Georgia Turner, WVTAA’s executive director, said her agency is always looking for ways of attracting visitors to the area.
“Health and wellness kept showing up,” Turner said. “Volusia County is very committed to wellness, such as recreation trails and the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. But gyms, spas and more also kept popping up. It’s good for visitors and residents alike.”
But as the tourism authority began compiling its listings, Turner found a kindred interest in officials with the DeLand Chamber. So the two organizations decided to join forces.
Janet Wilson, the Chamber’s membership and marketing director, said the goal became to create the West Volusia Wellness Initiative 2020.
“All of you will help us take this forward,” Wilson said at the unveiling. “We will be doing more brainstorming, but we have already been doing some work with our members.”
There are still many details to nail down, Wilson said, but the early going is focusing on several elements: promoting West Volusia as a wellness destination, leading business community wellness, uniting wellness professionals, creating an easily accessible wellness network, empowering West Volusians to live a wellness lifestyle, and growing the initiative from the grassroots to a Community Wellness Model.
Carrying all that out will entail two major parts, she said.
Part 1 will ensure that wherever people work or live, they’ll have access to the Wellness Network, including a wide variety of promotional marketing to extend the initiative to every employee in a member business; community fees, job listings and deals available through a smartphone app; and discount programs available only to members.
Part 2 is getting people and businesses to join the network. Individuals and companies can be as involved — or not — as they want to be, Wilson said, with increasingly higher investments the more they’re involved. Partners are being asked to offer some kind of benefit, such as a free trial or discount, to other members in the network, Wilson said.
All WIN members will be listed in a Wellness portal on the WVTAA website, visitwestvolusia.com.
The Chamber will be signing up participants through October, and using November and December to set up the program. January will see a community announcement and promotion of the initiative, and WIN will launch Feb. 1, Wilson said.