Vacayou, a new online platform for booking wellness travel has been launched with US$3.3 million backing. Unlike other travel sites, the platform focuses on the experience rather than the transaction, increasing revenue per guest by packaging spa treatments, fitness classes, and tours into the booking.
Vacayou has raised US$3.3 million in combined angel and seed rounds to support its launch. The funding is led by investor and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, Relevance Ventures and additional angel investors.
It is launching in beta with more than 100 package options such as spa getaways, wellness retreats and active travel experiences.
Muirelle Montecalvo, Vacayou’s founder and CEO explains; “Wellness tourism is one of the fastest growing trends in the travel industry and is projected to reach US$1.2 trillion by 2027. While countless brands use the term wellness in their marketing, Vacayou breaks through the hype and selects only the best wellness and active experiences around the world. Then we educate customers, many of whom are first-time wellness travellers, on the types of retreats, spas, tours and resorts available.”
The company will use the funds to develop the platform, streamline the on-boarding of new partners and advance marketing to consumers.
Current partners include Canyon Ranch, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Intrepid Travel Adventures, Miraval, Shou Sugi Ban House and Kamalaya Koh Samui.
Vacayou is launching at a time hospitality brands are operating with reduced marketing budgets and staff. The site includes property reviews, a glossary of wellness terms and filters that enable users to sort and combine experiences. It also has a customer service team available 24/7.