After the onset of the pandemic brought most travel to a shuttering halt, the industry is seeing a resurgence. This year alone, airlines are expecting an increase of 184% from 2021. While experts are declaring "travel is back," a sector of the industry is on track to boom. According to TechNavio, the wellness travel industry is expected to grow by USD 315.47 billion by 2024, creating an unprecedented market opportunity for travel retreat hosts.
Anna VanAgtmael is the CEO of Wandering Roots, a wellness retreat company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. VanAgtmael's retreats have generated over six figures in sales. Her new online course, The Profitable Retreat Method, aims to teach people how to do what she has become an expert in: make money hosting a retreat and have a good time while doing it.
VaAgtmael founded Wandering Roots in 2018 and has hosted a dozen retreats worldwide, including in Banff, Costa Rica and Grand Canyon National Park. She attributes the rise in wellness-related travel to a desire to be intentional.
"I think people are being more intentional about everything now, including travel. People want to connect with others and themselves," VanAgtmael said.
This year, VanAgtmael is booking getaways in Dallas, Costa Rica, Traverse City, and Sicily. Wandering Roots retreats are billed as "effortless adventures" and include professional photography; an onsite chef who makes meals from scratch; yoga, excursions, and, importantly, downtime.
"I try to find the best excursions in the locations we are at and also make sure everyone gets downtime," she expressed. "We don't make anyone do anything they don't want to. I want to be the gateway to wellness retreats, a totally judgment-free experience."
VanAgtmael's website, yourwanderingroots.com, has myriad reviews testifying to her hosting methods.
"I needed to get away from the stressors and pressures of everyday life and visit someplace new. I expected to have a good time, but little did I know that this retreat would blow my mind so much that it would cause a complete shift in my life!"
"I'm a seasoned traveler and have no issues designing my own travel itinerary and yet I will choose to travel with WR again and again because they manage to take even the most extraordinary places to the next level. I highly recommend investing in yourself and joining a retreat so you can witness the magic for yourself!"
VanAgtmael's retreats have generated over six figures in sales. Her new online course, The Profitable Retreat Method, aims to teach people how to do what she has become an expert in: make money hosting a retreat and have a good time while doing it.
The Profitable Retreat Method
Far beyond "pick a cool place, get people to sign up and cash in," The Profitable Retreat Method is the culmination of Anna's experience hosting more than 200 guests and generating six figures in sales.
The self-paced course breaks down retreat planning into actionable steps, from establishing your "why" to scouting locations to booking excursions and packing your bags. The ten training modules are designed in a choose your own adventure style, offering students options to learn via video, audio or text. Modules include Market Research, Designing Your Retreat Schedule, Budget and Pricing, Marketing, Liability Coverage and more. In addition, students utilize a 21-page workbook with corresponding assignments to carry them through the course and build their business.
VanAgtmael shares her whole experience in the course, disclosing her past missteps and joys, with suggestions that will make the hosting process easier (arrive before your guests and leave after them) and more profitable (think twice before you partner with a retreat center). She spotlights things first-timers may not think of, such as creating a robust and automated onboarding system to keep guests fully engaged and excited from their point of purchase to the day of the retreat. Students also have direct access to VanAgtmael to discuss any questions or unique needs.
VanAgtmael's goal with The Profitable Retreat Method is to equip aspiring travel retreat hosts with everything they need and to address what many fledgling entrepreneurs struggle with, such as limiting beliefs and money mindset.
Students have a complete, actionable roadmap for hosting their first retreat and making a profit upon completing the course. The Profitable Retreat Method costs $1,299, an investment that can be recouped with a single sale.
VanAgtmael's journey with Wandering Roots began in 2012 with a car accident that left her in a neck brace for 14-weeks, questioning whether she was living a life she truly desired. She sought to provide others with their own joy through adventure and connection.
"I want (my guests) them to know they are worthy of the things they desire and the things they want to do and enjoy," she said, "I love seeing people finally do something just for themselves.”
The same goes for her students. Her biggest piece of advice for them?
"Don't be frugal," she said. "Dream as big as possible ... we will come back to reality if we need to. There are no rules. Go big."
Click here to learn more about the Profitable Retreat Method.