Posts Tagged ‘Global Spa Summit’

Mark Your Calendars: GSS is Coming to America

On the heels of a successful 2011 event in Bali comes news that the sixth edition of the Global Spa Summit will be taking place at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, CO, June 4-6, 2012. Held in collaboration with one of the most renowned think tanks in the world, event organizers say the 2012 summit will be one to remember. For more information, visit

Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Indonesia
Named 2011 Global Spa Summit Platinum Sponsor

The Global Spa Summit (GSS) has announced that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, has joined the event as a platinum sponsor. The GSS and the Ministry will work together to promote the growth of the worldwide spa and wellness industries and to shine a global spotlight on Bali’s spa culture.

“We’re delighted that senior executives of spa companies and associations from across the globe have chosen beautiful Bali as their venue to convene the 2011 Global Spa Summit,” says Jero Wacik, Minister of Culture and Tourism for the Republic of Indonesia. “And I’m convinced that Indonesia, with its long history of traditional herbal medicine, spiritual meditation, massage, and other healing arts is a strong representative of the best of spa tradition.”

“While we were courted by numerous extraordinary destinations across Asia, last year’s Summit delegates overwhelmingly indicated that their first choice was Bali,” says Pete Ellis, Chairman of the Board of the GSS. “I want to thank the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism for their strong support of the Summit and for preparing a warm welcome to the hundreds of industry leaders that will gather there next spring.”

The Global Spa Summit will take place from May 15-18, 2011 (with pre- and post-trips to various spas in Bali planned). The specific venue for the 2011 Summit in Bali will be announced in upcoming weeks. For more information, visit

Eat, Pray…Global Spa Summit

Cool news from the folks at the Global Spa Summit. The 2011 dates and location have been announced, and they’re heading to Bali! This amazing industry event, which I attended this year in Istanbul, Turkey, will be taking place May 16 to 18, 2011, in Bali. Stay tuned for more details. But in the meantime, check out my coverage of the 2010 event. Will you be attending next year’s GSS? I plan to be there again, and I hope to see you there.

Global Spa Summit: Post-Event Synopsis

I’m back from the Global Spa Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, and my mind is buzzing with all of the amazing experiences and ideas. It was a wonderful event, filled with truly interesting speakers, relevant reports and statistics, powerful brainstorming sessions, and incomparable networking opportunities. Here are a few highlights:


  • The session kicked off with a thought-provoking talk by Edie Weiner, a world-renowned futurist who got us all thinking about our industry and its future. One of her most compelling points—look to the 65-and-older set. Though the group traditionally gets lumped into one 65-plus demographic, this population is growing, has money to spend, and has wellness and health needs that our industry can satisfy.
  • The day continued with a presentation from Katherine Johnston of SRI International on her company’s comprehensive market research, Spas & the Global Wellness Market: Synergies & Opportunities. Best lesson: The worldwide wellness market has a nearly $2 trillion value. That number is staggering, but so are the opportunities it presents.
  • In other good news, Jan Freitag from Smith Travel Research reported on the latest benchmarking stats in Hotels & Luxury Spas. The good news? A slow recovery is underway. The first quarter of this year is showing improvement over the dismal years of 2008 and 2009. However, discounting is still prevalent across both hotels and spas, so we all face the challenge of bringing our prices slowly back up. Another interesting find is that salon service numbers are up, so it may be time to refocus on your spa’s haircare and nailcare offerings. We’ll be doing just that in our Hair & Nail Supplement in the July issue, so don’t miss it.
  • One of the big talking points of the conference involved bridging the gap between medicine and spa, and Dr. Ken Pelletier spoke on just that topic and got us all thinking about what we can do. The  healthcare system is not sustainable in its current form, so he tasked us all with coming up with innovative ways to work with insurance companies, doctors, and other healthcare professionals to make preventative medicine a priority.
  • Other hot topics of the day included a look at Wellness Tourism from the perspectives of Terry Stevens, Ph.D., who talked about global trends and best practices, and Laszlo Puczko, who discussed both past and present developments in Wellness Tourism.
  • We also got to experience some of the best hammams Turkey has to offer, thanks to a presentation by Aysegul Sungar. I was so inspired that I’m working on a story on the growing hammam trend in the U.S. for one of the fall issues of American Spa.
  • The day concluded with research presentations on benchmarking, today’s spa consumer, and medical tourism. Stay tuned to the August issue of American Spa for more in-depth reports on these findings.
  • Evening activities included a cruise on the Bosphorus and dinner at the spectacular Les Ottomans Hotel, where I toured the Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa, an inspiring spa that had such unique offerings as a Dead Sea Salt flotation pool and a futuristic-looking meditation room.


  • The next morning kicked off with a discussion on Architecture & Design and was followed by a keynote address by the incomparable Philippe Bourguignon, who talked about the evolution of luxury and what we can expect in 2025 when it comes to wellness.
  • I then attended a breakout session on spa retail, and my takeaway on this? This is a topic that inspires passion in spa owners and directors and in spa product manufacturers, and there are some wonderful ways we can all be working together to grow our business—but it’s going to take a lot of work. In fact, this is perhaps one of the most asked-about topics here at American Spa, which is why we recently debuted Shelf Life, a guide to growing your retail business. Stay tuned for our next edition in October.
  • After a lovely lunch with Dr. Murad, where I learned more about his company’s new partnership with Massage Envy, we headed off to an afternoon that focused on technology and social media. We here at American Spa do have a new website, a blog, and Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I left with about five pages of notes on what we can be doing to make our online presence even more impactful, thanks to a report by Marc Smith and a panel led by Fairmont Raffles’s Anne McCall. Let me tell you — if  you haven’t thought about your online offerings, it is time to start. Check out our May story, “Virtual Bliss,” for information about how online booking and gift card capabilities can help grow your business, and watch for our September issue, where we’ll report about the importance of social networking.

Also, be sure to check out our August issue, which will feature event photos, research reports, and more on the 2010 Global Spa Summit. It was an incomparable experience, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Scenes from Global Spa Summit

While there have already been some truly exciting pre-event activities here in Istanbul, the Global Spa Summit officially kicked off Monday night. But the day included a number of exciting Pre-Summit Bridge Building Sessions. I sat in on a session called Leveraging Technology for Greater Market Share, led by Lopo Champalimaud, co-founder of Wahanda. It was an interesting hour filled with tips and trends from several industry movers and shakers. My favorite cool idea to help build your spa’s world-of-mouth reputation? Invest in a PC and set it up near your reception desk. As guests depart, invite them to put a post about their experience on consumer review sites like or Potential clients are always trolling the web for spa reviews and recommendations, and this is a great way to get your spa to the top.

Post-session, I headed to the Welcome Cocktail Reception and Dinner at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski, the event’s host hotel. As you can tell by the photos, a wonderful time was had by all. Check back often. I’ll be blogging more about the amazing experience I’m having at this year’s event.

Global Spa Summit Kicks Off in Istanbul

Today, I arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, for my first ever Global Spa Summit. The first event? A spectacular cocktail reception at Swissotel and a tour of its lovely Amrita Spa. In spite of a rather wicked case of jet-lag, it has been such a fun evening, filled with connecting with friends like American Spa columnist Peter Anderson, Universal Companies’s Alfredo Carvajal and his lovely wife, Living Earth Crafts’s Jim Chenevey, SpaEquip’s Polly Johnson, and many more. Enjoy a few preview pics here. And stay tuned, I’ll be blogging throughout the event and posting photos, as will my SpaTrade colleague, Lisa Starr (check us out enjoying the fabulous city views). Welcome to Turkey!

Take Part in the Global Spa Summit’s Industry Survey

SRI International is currently conducting a survey on behalf of the Global Spa Summit (GSS) on wellness trends throughout the spa industry, and your participation would be greatly appreciated. Simply click here to fill out the brief, confidential survey, and as a thank you for your help, you will receive an email of the results once all the data is processed that will help keep you informed about our constantly evolving industry. The survey closes April 9th, so be sure to log on before then.

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