81. Patricia Ladis — Sports & Wellness: an Untapped Market for the Hospitality & Spa Industries

Sports tourism is valued at $800 billion globally while the Global Wellness Institute just released 2023 figures that show Wellness Tourism is valued at $651 billion. Since athletes of all types – amateur, junior, collegiate, senior, and professional – need conditioning and recovery between games, it makes sense that these two market segments intersect. Or so was the hunch of Global Wellness Summit (GWS) CEO, Susie Ellis when she visited Qatar after the World Cup and saw all the services offered to athletes and would-be athletes – sports academies, sports dentistry, sports hospitals, and even sports museums.

Thus began the search for potential in those markets, and GWS is seeing high momentum after bringing industry professionals together to collaborate at both the September 2023 future-focused Wellness Master Class held by Susie Ellis entitled “New Opportunities at the Intersection of Sports + Wellness + Hospitality” and the 2023 Global Wellness Summit with a keynote panel on the same topic, both featuring an impressive group of panelists.

This week’s episode features a licensed physical therapist and former professional dancer who was featured both on the Wellness Master Class and on the Summit panel, Patricia Ladis. The former professional dancer who has used wellness therapies on pro tennis players from the Olympics to Wimbledon—and on professional dancers from Broadway to American Ballet Theater—will explain the realities of this vast untapped market of consumers, especially parents and support staff of athletes before they reach pro-status and sports aficionados who want to keep healthy so they can continue to play the game they love. 

We’ll discuss specifics of how savvy hospitality brands are responding to demands from sports-focused clients looking beyond the basement gym and homemade ice baths in hotel tubs to keep their young athletes or themselves healthy. Today’s episode will underscore the untapped demand for hotels with pro-athlete-level equipment, fitness classes, and wellness programming. We’ll also talk about hotel brands that are creating facilities and retreats that cater to entire amateur or professional sports teams, expanding the function of the hotel and ensuring professional quality for the rest of us. 

Social media and marketing campaigns make access to the wellness routines of celebrity athletes like Tom Brady and LeBron James widely available to the public—and feed our fascination with how these stars are able to do what they do. We’ll talk about how the routines of professional athletes can hold valuable insights for managing physical and mental well-being, and how the wellness tourism industry might show the public how to safely follow their examples.

Patricia Ladis – who happens to be of Greek, actually Spartan, descent – shares historical perspectives on wellness, even how the vigorous training routines of Spartan women, particularly during pregnancy, align with modern research underscoring the benefits of physical activity for expectant mothers. She refers to the findings in her book, Wise Woman’s Guide to Your Healthiest Pregnancy & Birth, to show how reasonable it is to help women return to their sport post-pregnancy. 

This episode – recorded at Symphony Studios in New York City – also has a cameo appearance by Christine Moghadam, the mother of an 18-year-old soccer player who has made it to the Junior Leagues in Spain. She is straightforward about the demands and needs of the families of athletes on the road and the role wellness plays in the investment she and her husband continue to make in their son’s future in sports. 


To learn more, visit Patricia’s site at PatriciaLadis.com.




Hosted by Kim Marshall

Produced by NOVA Media

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