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Global Wellness Summit Announces 2024 Theme: “A Watershed Moment for Wellness”

The agenda for November’s conference in Scotland will have a double vision: broadly exploring how the wellness industry is at a pivotal moment for growth and disruption, while also taking a deep dive into the topic of water, from the explosion of interest in a new breed of bathing, sauna, hot springs, cold immersion, and wild swimming experiences to the water-hungry wellness and spa industries waking up to their role in creating a sustainable “blue economy”

Miami, FL – June 4, 2024 – The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), the foremost gathering of international leaders in the multitrillion-dollar global wellness economy, today announced the theme for its 2024 conference being held in St. Andrews, Scotland from November 4-7: “A Watershed Moment for Wellness.” The agenda, at the macro level, will explore how the wellness industry is at a watershed moment for growth and evolution, gathering global experts to analyze the newest directions within each sector– whether fitness, mental wellness, wellness tourism, healthy food and weight loss, wellness real estate, well-tech, beauty, wellness policy, and more.

A Dive into the ‘H2O Experience Economy’: The agenda will also specifically explore the surge in water-wellness experiences, a welcome democratic trend in an age of ever-wealthier wellness. If “sanus per aqua” (or “health by water,” the Latin acronym for “spa”) is the most ancient of wellness approaches, experts will discuss the powerful renaissance in water-based therapies underway, and how emerging hydrothermal approaches and technologies could revolutionize wellness in the future. The agenda will tackle many topics where water and wellness intersect, from the global surge in new urban bathhouses, sauna centers, and vast water-wellness parks that are becoming the new social “hotspots” to the wave of new and restored hot springs destinations (from reimagined Japanese onsens to an investment rush in hot springs development in the US).

Climate Change, the Water Crisis, and the Wellness Industry: Climate change is severely threatening the world’s most precious resource, water. The wellness and spa industries are voracious consumers of water, while wellness tourism often creates other negative environmental impacts that threaten marine/water ecosystems and can hurt local coastal communities. The agenda will bring sustainability experts together to show how the industry needs to change, from boosting the wellness industry’s role in the “blue economy” (the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth and preserving endangered ocean ecosystems) to embracing the ethics of water (how clean water is a basic human right, now denied to 2.2 billion people) to adopting new technologies and practices that could transform the industry’s water use efficiency.

The Perfect Location: Europe/the UK is the ancient birthplace of water-wellness and spa, and the ideal place to explore the theme. Scotland’s water is famed worldwide (crucial for some of its biggest exports, like scotch and whisky) and it’s one of the world’s most water-rich countries. It has more than 30,000 lochs, 10,000 miles of coastline, and enough rivers and streams to circle the Earth three times. In 2024, 98% of Scotland’s bathing waters will again meet or exceed the country’s strict environmental standards.

Host Sponsor, Kohler–Water Experience Innovator & Sustainability Activist: The 2024 host sponsor is Kohler Co., which for 150 years has been a storied brand in design and innovative water features/experiences. With the Summit being held at one of their seven global properties, the iconic Old Course Hotel with a reimagined Kohler Waters Spa, delegates will literally be immersed in the theme. The company is also a renowned leader in sustainability and protecting the world’s water resources and is working hard toward net zero environmental impact by 2035.

“There is powerful synergy between this year’s Summit theme on how water intersects with wellness and Kohler Co.’s mission, which not only includes pioneering water design, features and experiences for wellbeing but also working hard to fight climate change and protect the world’s water resources,” said Nina Kohler, strategy and design leader for the Hospitality Group at the Kohler Co.

A Watershed Industry Moment, for Growth, for Disruption: The wider agenda will explore the historic momentum for the industry. Global Wellness Institute researchers find that the wellness economy was worth $5.6 trillion in 2022 and forecast that it will rise to $8.5 trillion by 2027. They will unveil a complete update of the Global Wellness Economy Monitor in Scotland, with new data and insights on each wellness sector.

“This is a watershed moment for wellness. In our 2024 trends report, we note that we’ve seen more industry disruptions in the last year than in the last decade–whether the rapid rise of medical-wellness and longevity concepts or Big Pharma rewriting weight loss,” said Susie Ellis, GWS chair and CEO. “With fast-shifting consumer demands, fast-evolving technology, demographic shifts (including a profoundly aging population), accelerating climate change and demands that businesses take environmental action, this year’s agenda will investigate how our industry will continue to see further radical transformation.”

Registration is open. First-time delegates can apply to attend here.

Media who would like to attend the GWS in Scotland can apply here.


About the Global Wellness Summit: The Global Wellness Summit is an organization that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively shape the future of the $5.6 trillion global wellness economy. In addition to an annual conference, held at a different location around the globe, GWS hosts regular in-person and virtual gatherings, including an annual Wellness Real Estate & Communities Symposium, and a series of Wellness Master Classes. GWS also produces the Global Wellness Conversations podcast and “The Doctor is INclusive” webinar series. The organization’s annual Global Wellness Trends Report offers expert-based predictions on the future of wellness that are oft-quoted in the media. The 18th annual Summit will be held in St. Andrews, Scotland, November 4-7, 2024.