Held in a different location each year, the Global Wellness Summit attracts delegates from over 50 countries.
The 11th Annual Global Wellness Summit was held at The Breakers Palm Beach, a wellness-focused resort that prioritizes employee well-being and social responsibility. With the theme of “Living a Well Life,” the 2017 Summit examined a variety of central content threads, as they relate to the future of the business of wellness globally. The event attracted a record 600+ business and thought leaders from 43 countries and included the launch of an inspirational “Wellness Moonshot,” a call-to-action to rid the world of preventable disease, led by the non-profit Global Wellness Institute.
The Global Wellness Summit celebrated its 10th anniversary in the town of Kitzbühel, nestled in the Alps in the region of Tyrol, Austria. Long regarded as the European cradle of wellness tourism, Tyrol holds a unique place in history as a wellness pioneer. With the theme “Back to the Future,” we acknowledged Europe’s contribution to the wellness movement, along with the Summit’s prestigious history, while at the same time, conceiving the best strategies for the next 10 years.
With a rich history and sophisticated setting, Mexico City was the perfect destination for the ninth annual GWS, and the first one in Latin America. The vibrant capital wows visitors with a deep commitment to preserving its history and culture, while providing a showcase for innovation in art and commerce. Our theme last year was “Building a Well World.” It describes a mission to catalyze collaborative action within every aspect of the wellness industry and achieve sustainable change on a global scale. The keynote speaker was Deepak Chopra, MD, renowned author, physician and Ayurvedic expert. The event was emceed by Giselle Fernandez, the Emmy Award-winning journalist and noted philanthropist.
The eight annual GSWS was held September 10-12, 2014 at the Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, Morocco. The second annual Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) will be held on day one of the Summit. The theme for this year’s event is Fast Forward, and the agenda and keynote speakers will be focused on looking closely and creatively at the future of spa and wellness. Famous for its hammams, argan oil and historical spas, Morocco is one of the top 10 nations worldwide predicted for wellness tourism growth. As well, its government is investing heavily in growing the wellness tourism market—which makes Morocco the ideal host country for this year’s Summit.
The seventh annual GSWS was held in India for the first time in 2013. A truly “defining moment” for our industry occurred when His Holiness the Dalai Lama took the stage for his keynote speech. The record number of delegates also heard from 30 other high-profile keynote speakers who explored where the spa and wellness industries have been, where they’re heading and the many opportunities emerging in new wellness concepts and markets. The 2013 conference featured several critical firsts, including the inaugural Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) and six Global Forums on key industry subsectors. Unprecedented released research from the “Global Wellness Tourism Economy” report revealed this evolving sector to be worth $439 billion globally, or representing one in seven of all tourist dollars.
For its sixth-annual conference, and after adding “& wellness” to its name, the GSWS was held for the first time in collaboration with another organization: the Aspen Institute. The event set a new attendance record, and delegates heard from eclectic speakers such as the former president of Costa Rica, the governor of Colorado, the former chair of Disney’s Imagineering, an Academy Award-nominated actress and an innovation heavyweight. Big-picture economic and geo-political trends were presented, and groundbreaking research from SRI International addressed the spa management education gap.
Held for the first time in Asia, the 2011 Summit attracted a record number of delegates and media. Attendees explored new ways to engage with consumers, enter new markets and embrace new technologies. The world’s first online portal dedicated to the medical evidence that exists for spa and wellness therapies, www.spaevidence.com, was unveiled. A landmark research report explaining the differences between wellness tourism and medical tourism was also presented.
The 2010 Summit attracted top-level executives and thought-leaders from 40 nations, as delegates tackled critical industry issues and emerging opportunities. Highlights included a keynote speech from futurist Edie Weiner, of Weiner, Edrich and Brown. A research report, Spas & the Global Wellness Market: Synergies & Opportunities, from SRI International, examined how the industry can capitalize on the explosive consumer wellness revolution.
The third-annual Global Spa Summit, held in Interlaken, Switzerland at the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa was attended by delegates from a record 32 nations. The 2009 Summit featured keynote presentations by Dr. Adolf Ogi, the former president of Switzerland and United Nation’s Special Advisor, and Reto Wittwer, the president and CEO of Kempinksi Hotels, along with roundtable discussions on topics ranging from profit margins, to the value of hydro and thermal spa experiences, to spa design of the future.
Location: The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, New York, USA
Theme: “Advancing the Global Spa Economy”
Building on work that began in 2007, the 2008 Summit addressed an industry-wide skilled labor shortage, the lack of agreed-upon benchmarking and the need for environmental leadership. Keynote presentations by hotel visionary Ian Schrager and Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th surgeon general of the U.S., provided delegates with powerful calls to action. The landmark Global Spa Economy Report from SRI International was presented.
Location: The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, New York, USA
Theme: “Joining Together. Shaping The Future.”
The inaugural Global Spa Summit made history as leaders from the global spa, real estate, investment, travel, spa education, beauty and wellness sectors came together to chart the future of the booming spa industry, which had seen double-digit growth for the past two decades. The Summit featured a keynote address by Steve Case, whose Revolution LLC. is leading innovation in the health care, wellness and resort industries.