China's natural and cultural resources are the foremost offerings of the country's wellness tourism sector. Although wellness tourism in China is in its infancy, it can offer new opportunities in, and strengthen the overall competitiveness of, China's tourism industry. To achieve this, the assessment and development of wellness tourism resources in China are required. This study examines the potential for wellness tourism development in terms of resources and promotion from the point of view of wellness tourism experts. It surveys professionals working in tourism, health and education in China. The results reveal that environmental assets, including fresh air, clean water and natural features, are considered the most important attributes for the development of wellness tourism in China and that the promotion of wellness tourism can best be achieved through advertising in mass media, governmental support and organizing new regional events. The study implications and future research directions are discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.