GET SPA BUSINESS
magazine
Yes! Send me the FREE digital editions of Spa Business and Spa Business insider magazines and the FREE weekly Spa Business and Spa Business insider ezines and breaking news alerts!
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Event review
Global Wellness Summit 2020

This year’s Global Wellness Summit saw two US surgeon generals, leading spa stakeholders and wellness professionals look towards the role they have to play following the global pandemic. Katie Barnes and Lisa Starr report


It’s been a year since the world’s spa and wellness leaders last convened in Hong Kong at the annual Global Wellness Summit (GWS) to ‘join together to shape the future’ of the sector. And what a year it’s been. No one could have predicted the devastating effect of coronavirus and its impact on travel, hospitality and spas as flights the world-over were grounded, borders shut down and non-essential businesses closed. But with a number of potential vaccines in sight and the majority of facilities now up and running again (albeit at reduced capacity), there’s a chink of light and the overall message from speakers and delegates was one of hope and optimisim (see Spa Business 2020 issue 4 p83).

Given the need for social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, it was a controversial decision to still go ahead with a gathering such as GWS. Looking vibrant in yellow and wearing a face mask, GWS chair Susie Ellis took to the stage to welcome everyone and say: “We made the bold decision to stay the course because we thought the whole conversation about wellness is more important than ever.”

Held at the The Breakers resort in Florida, USA, the summit saw just over 100 delegates attend in person and, for the first time, a virtual audience consisting of 500-plus attendees watch live-streamed and on-demand sessions depending on time zones. Such was the quality and breadth of virtual sessions that those viewing online, including the Spa Business head office team, felt very much like they were still there in person. On page 85, Lisa Starr, Spa Business’ contributing editor, shares her experience as a delegate on the ground, including the extra health and safety precautions in place. “This entire event is serving as a model for gathering in this very challenging time,” said GWS executive director and CCO Nancy Davis.

Industry reset
The theme for this year’s summit, Resetting the World with Wellness, was inspired by a series of eight white papers which parent organisation the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) put together at the request of The Vatican. The papers suggest a new model for health, with a strong emphasis on wellness, going forward and contribute to Pope Francis’ vision for a post-COVID world.

This underpinned all sessions at the summit. Delegates on the ground, and via Zoom with host Anna Bjurstam from Six Senses, brainstormed what wellness will look like five years from now and general outlooks homed in on education, democratisation and tech as a tool to spread the message. All schools of thought will be brought together to provide a GWS ‘roadmap’ for the future.

Marc Cohen, founder of the Extreme Wellness Institute in Australia, painted a picture of a world where “wellness can be just as contagious as illness”, while Austrian consultant Franz Linser compared physical distancing measures of the pandemic to a traditional spa method of fasting (from touch) and said, “as we know from every fasting cure, life tastes a lot sweeter afterwards.”

In a passionate keynote address, 17th US surgeon general Dr Richard Carmona, who’s also the chief health innovations officer at Canyon Ranch, pictured a world embracing complementary medicines to help deal with the escalating cost of mostly preventable diseases, amounting to US$3tn a year in the US alone. “The solution is in this room,” he said. “You have the perfect anti-wellness world crying out for an antidote – you are the vaccine.”

Mia Kyricos, a wellness consultant based in the US, said COVID-19 has been a great catalyst and foresees a time when ‘love’ will be a core business strategy. Irene Forte, of Rocco Forte Hotels, gave a millennial’s perspective – “we all thought we were a little bit invincible,” she said – and spoke of how the importance of being well and building resilience is resonating with younger generations.

Marketing specialist Cathy Chon, from Hong Kong, said: “Over the last two decades we’ve developed brands and companies with a design imperative. Going forward there’s nothing we can’t build, create, grow unless we’re looking at it with a wellness imperative.” Andrew Gibson, a spa and wellness consultant based in Sweden, commended the GWS for building up a “tremendous collaborative force” across the globe and Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses concurred. Jacobs said: “What we do as an industry is so relevant and clearly we’re much stronger collectively than individually. We have to come together at events like this, talk more, communicate more and brainstorm on a greater level because as a group we are a powerhouse. I’m really optimistic about the future because the demand is huge. People want to travel. What we can do post-pandemic is just huge.”

Ellis then shared her own insights on Resetting the World with Wellness. She sees a paradigm shift away from wellness and prevention towards ‘self-care’ and suggested a new model for ‘wholistic health’ with this self-care approach sitting alongside healthcare (see Diagram 1). “The medical community hasn’t always been a supporter of wellness and prevention, but they’re welcoming the idea of self-care,” she said.

“It’s a friendlier term as it’s more about people taking an active role to take better care of themselves rather than preventing something bad.” By positioning themselves in terms of self-care/healthcare she feels the spa sector has a “unique opportunity to align with the medical arena in a way that they will not only accept but whole-heartedly welcome.”

Mental wellness
A highlight of each GWS is the revelation of industry numbers and this year GWI senior research fellows Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung, aptly, focused on mental wellness. For the first time, they’ve identified a mental wellness industry and have valued consumer spending in the sector at US$121bn (€101.6bn, £91.8bn). We explore the figures and what they mean to spa stakeholders in more depth on p90 (Spa Business 2020 issue 4). GWI has now added mental wellness as a new industry bubble to it’s Global Wellness Economy framework which it estimates to be worth US$4.5tn (€3.8tn, £3.4tn). Johnston shared that next year’s GWI research will focus on updating the economic framework, which will take the pandemic into account.

Dr Vivek Murthy, the 19th US surgeon general, also highlighted mental wellness. In a powerful interview, he spoke about the importance of addressing loneliness on a personal level, in the workplace, in communities and society. Murthy has just been tapped by president-elect Joe Biden to lead the USA’s response to COVID-19 and said that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, dementia and premature death. He sees human connection, relationships and touch as an antidote. “Few medicines are more powerful than love, compassion and kindness,” he said, “and all of us have the power to be healers because all of us have the power to be kind, compassionate and loving.” Read more about his insights on p12 (Spa Business 2020 issue 4).

Ripe for disruption
“There’s never been a better time to be an innovator,” said strategist and transformation expert John Kao. He likened ‘out of the box’ thinking to improvised jazz music vs scripted music and used his keyboard to demonstrate the difference. He foresees “a massive outpouring of wellness” as the pandemic resolves itself and said his contacts in the early-stage venture capital industry are “investing money in wellness like there’s no tomorrow”.

Indeed, the jam-packed agenda of the summit highlighted numerous trends and modalities which would be very fitting for spa stakeholders to focus in this time of disruption and innovation. Consumer media discussed ideas such as antibacterial beauty, red-light therapy to counteract screen time, death, sex, money and regenerative travel (see Spa Business 2020 issue 4 p87).

Dr Nicola Finley, an internal medicine physician at Canyon Ranch, connected her passion of dance with science and evidence. “One of the best ways I can think about cultivating wellness is through dance,” she said, detailing the many studies which show how it’s been proven to help us sociologically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. To prove her point, she got delegates up and moving by leading a Zumba session.

The future is about neo-shamanism and tapping into energy medicine said psychologist and medical anthropologist Alberto Vilioldo. The key to this underpins all healthy ways of life – eat organic, eat well, detoxify, upgrade the brain by feeding it good fats, lower your blood sugar levels etc.

Sleep coach Dr Michael Breus, who’s previously worked with Six Senses (see (Spa Business 2018 issue 2), gave some fascinating insights into determining different types of sleepers, or ‘chronotypes’, offering a more in-depth interpretation of early birds and night owls. Depending on what category you fall into, he detailed circadian rhythms and when the best time to wake up, drink coffee, exercise and go to bed is. He also placed an emphasis on staying hydrated, getting 15 minutes of sunlight daily and suggested a magnesium-loaded banana tea recipe. All things to consider for spas looking to tap into the sleep health trend.

In an equally compelling keynote, scientific journalist James Nestor, focused on the ‘art of breathing’, explaining how we’ve evolved to breathe through our mouths rather than noses which leads to a long list of ailments from chronic sinusitis to stroke and depression. Any spa looking to tap into the breathwork trend could benefit from reading his best-selling book – Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.

Next stop... Tel Aviv
In conclusion to the summit, Ellis closed the event by announcing that next year’s event will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel on 15-18 November. The original intent was for the 2020 event to be held there, but the US-based organisation brought it closer to home when global travel restrictions took hold. “We’re so excited to go to Tel Aviv,” said Ellis. “We already have months of planning behind it. People want to go there because it’s a start-up nation for technology. And there will be some great pre and post-summit trips to Jerusalem and other fabulous areas.”

In a clearly emotional end, Ellis thanked all her team members, especially Davis, for helping to bring the first hybrid GWS to fruition. “We are a small team, but mighty,” she said of her 15 co-workers. “It’s been a challenging year, as you can imagine, and every single one of these people have worked harder than ever before.”

Empowering women
Architect Veronica Schreibeis Smith received the Leading Woman in Wellness Award

The GWS shone a spotlight on the role of women in wellness. ‘You don’t have to have balls to be a leader’, was the title of a keynote session by Marisa Peer a renowned therapist who’s been in the spa industry for more than 30 years. She explained how women have huge potential in business and have a natural capacity to be great leaders – an uplifting message for a sector predominately made up of women.

Later on in the summit, Veronica Schreibeis Smith, CEO and founding principal of Vera Iconica Architecture was presented with the GWS Leading Women in Wellness Award. She’s worked for well-known industry names such as Rancho La Puerta and was recognised for her passion and work surrounding regenerative wellness architecture and how environments impact human wellbeing and planet earth.

Read more: http://lei.sr/N8p6s_B and http://lei.sr/C3Vh_B

First-person
Attending a conference during a pandemic
Lisa Starr felt the event was ‘safe and seamless’
By Lisa Starr, contributing editor

You have to credit will power. Susie Ellis and the GWS team were determined to hold an in-person event this year, despite the odds stacked against them. Inside the magnificent Breakers resort, there was no sense of the pandemic.

On arrival, all delegates received a mandatory rapid response COVID antigen test – incredibly, everyone attending tested negative. After testing, delegates were adorned with a wristband, which was worn throughout the rest of the event.

Multiple other safety measures were also in place. Attendees had their temperature taken every day, showed the wristband and wore masks at all times – and this was strictly enforced. We entered and exited the main conference room via far UV C portals (supplied by Healthé by Lighting Science) take the viral load off skin and clothes and Delos provided Healthway air filtration systems which capture ultrafine airborne particles that carry bacteria and viruses. Once inside the ballroom, attendees were seated in chairs spaced at a minimum of 6 foot apart and exercise equipment was provided by Planet Fitness “to keep the immunity going”.

As a hybrid event, presentations were both live and virtual. Some sessions were pre-recorded, especially those from distant time zones, but main speakers joined via Zoom afterward to offer additional discourse and answer questions. As an observer, I had no challenges with switching between the two approaches, and offer kudos to the GWS technical team for their seamless management of what was certainly a production challenge. In fact, the entire event went quite smoothly.

The wearing of masks was strictly enforced
All delegates took a mandatory rapid response COVID test pre-summit
Far UV C portals taking the viral load off skin and clothes were just one safety feature
Staffing during a pandemic
Host hotel The Breakers was commended for its employee approach
By Lisa Starr, contributing editor

Michael Tompkins, long-time spa industry figure and partner at hospitality recruitment firm Hutchinson Consulting, was the perfect choice to host a lunch table on current staffing challenges. He sees spa managers who have found themselves out of a job moving to other sectors which are now more accepting of wellness programming such as corporate/employee wellness and senior living communities. Meanwhile, many medical workers such as nurse practitioners who lost their jobs with the stoppage of elective surgeries, are transitioning to medical wellness centres. So it seems the flow of talent is medical people transitioning into medical wellness centres, while spa and hospitality staff are a good fit for senior living.

Summit host hotel The Breakers, which employs 2,000 people and is renowned for its low staff turnover (-15 per cent year) was highlighted for best practice. It paid colleagues in full during the two months it was closed and even offered some of these people to charities or community organisations in the local area that had a need, helping with marketing or financials for example.

Vendors present at the table expressed a huge need for interns on the manufacturing side, as well as positions in sales and digital marketing, as they prepare to move more activity from B2B to B2C.

Media talks
By Lisa Starr, contributing editor

Journalists from consumer publications provided an informative panel on wellness trends. Beyond the typical – which included treatments that boost immunisation, biohacks, telemedicine, virtual trainers and workouts, a focus on the microbiome and preventative care – were some fresh perspectives.

“Healthcare is sterile, and wellness is the cool kid,” said Cecelia Girr of futurist magazine ED\GE, “We’ll see integrations that will give healthcare patients a pleasurable result, and wellness will get the science-backed credibility it needs.” Girr also noted that we’re moving from a focus on looking and feeling good, to “lifting the lid on real pain points in society [death, sex and money] that have a larger impact on our health.”

Elaine Glusac of the New York Times said that our connections to other people are being replaced with nature, and to expect an increase in the already popular notion of sustainable travel, and it’s extreme version, ‘regenerative travel’ based on leaving a place better than you found it.

The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Miller mentioned that men are taking wellness much more seriously, and that consumers are also paying more attention to vitamin deficiency, circadian sleep rhythms, red-light therapy as a counterpoint to too much screen time, and vegan and plant-based foods.

Lastly, freelance trend consultant Jessica Smith revealed innovations in anti-bacterial beauty and touch-free packaging, devices that eradicate the virus from clothing as well as anti-viral fabric and wellness architecture and pandemic-proof properties.

Read more: http://lei.sr/b4t6a_B

2020 summit on-demand

It’s still possible to experience the entire 2020 GWS on-demand. A virtual access package can be purchased for US$500 via this link: http://lei.sr/O8l0c

Further reading

The 19th US surgeon general told wellness and spa stakeholders that they all have a part to play in combatting loneliness. See Spa Business 2020 issue 4 p12 for more details.

The Global Wellness Institute identified a new mental wellness industry worth US$121bn. See Spa Business 2020 issue 4 p90 for more details.

Read more about the latest spa and wellness thinking and trends in Spa Business insider’s special GWS edition

Katie Barnes is the editor of Spa Business magazine | [email protected]

Lisa Starr is a contributing editor at Spa Business | [email protected]

Sign up here to get the Spa Business and Spa Business insider weekly ezines and every issue of Spa Business and Spa Business insider magazines free on digital.
There were around 100 in-person delegates and 500-plus virtual attendees
Dr Richard Carmona told wellness delegates “you are the vaccine”
Anna Bjurstam (top left) hosted virtual sessions, including the reveal of GWI’s latest research
Six Senses’ Neil Jacobs joined virtually and shared his optimism about the future
Networking and evening events still took place
Dr Nicola Finley shared her passion for dance and outlined its proven benefits
The GWS ‘small but mighty’ team
A closing champagne toast
Looking forward: next year’s summit will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel on 15-18 November
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Sothys’ Noctuelle night care line nourishes and renews the skin night after night
Lack of sleep, a busy schedule, pollution – every day the skin is subjected to a harsh ordeal. [more...]

ZeroWaste by Urb'n Nature sets sustainability standards in the worlds of luxury spa and hospitality
ZeroWaste by Urb'n Nature is one of the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of natural, plastic-free hotel and spa amenities. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
TylöHelo

TylöHelo specialises in producing bespoke thermal experience areas for luxury hotels and spas. [more...]
i-Tech Industries S.r.l.

The history of i-Tech Industries started with the revolutionary inventions of Gianfranco Tudico, who [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

PENDEX | Simply Ingenious
It trains humans better than humans train humans. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

29 Nov - 02 Dec 2021

Piscina & Wellness Barcelona

Gran Via Exhibition Centre, Barcelona, Spain
29 Nov - 03 Dec 2021

Beauty meetings - aesthetics & anti-aging

Online,
+ More diary  
 
ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
 
SPA BUSINESS
SPA OPPORTUNITIES
SPA BUSINESS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2021
News   Products   Magazine
Event review
Global Wellness Summit 2020

This year’s Global Wellness Summit saw two US surgeon generals, leading spa stakeholders and wellness professionals look towards the role they have to play following the global pandemic. Katie Barnes and Lisa Starr report


It’s been a year since the world’s spa and wellness leaders last convened in Hong Kong at the annual Global Wellness Summit (GWS) to ‘join together to shape the future’ of the sector. And what a year it’s been. No one could have predicted the devastating effect of coronavirus and its impact on travel, hospitality and spas as flights the world-over were grounded, borders shut down and non-essential businesses closed. But with a number of potential vaccines in sight and the majority of facilities now up and running again (albeit at reduced capacity), there’s a chink of light and the overall message from speakers and delegates was one of hope and optimisim (see Spa Business 2020 issue 4 p83).

Given the need for social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, it was a controversial decision to still go ahead with a gathering such as GWS. Looking vibrant in yellow and wearing a face mask, GWS chair Susie Ellis took to the stage to welcome everyone and say: “We made the bold decision to stay the course because we thought the whole conversation about wellness is more important than ever.”

Held at the The Breakers resort in Florida, USA, the summit saw just over 100 delegates attend in person and, for the first time, a virtual audience consisting of 500-plus attendees watch live-streamed and on-demand sessions depending on time zones. Such was the quality and breadth of virtual sessions that those viewing online, including the Spa Business head office team, felt very much like they were still there in person. On page 85, Lisa Starr, Spa Business’ contributing editor, shares her experience as a delegate on the ground, including the extra health and safety precautions in place. “This entire event is serving as a model for gathering in this very challenging time,” said GWS executive director and CCO Nancy Davis.

Industry reset
The theme for this year’s summit, Resetting the World with Wellness, was inspired by a series of eight white papers which parent organisation the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) put together at the request of The Vatican. The papers suggest a new model for health, with a strong emphasis on wellness, going forward and contribute to Pope Francis’ vision for a post-COVID world.

This underpinned all sessions at the summit. Delegates on the ground, and via Zoom with host Anna Bjurstam from Six Senses, brainstormed what wellness will look like five years from now and general outlooks homed in on education, democratisation and tech as a tool to spread the message. All schools of thought will be brought together to provide a GWS ‘roadmap’ for the future.

Marc Cohen, founder of the Extreme Wellness Institute in Australia, painted a picture of a world where “wellness can be just as contagious as illness”, while Austrian consultant Franz Linser compared physical distancing measures of the pandemic to a traditional spa method of fasting (from touch) and said, “as we know from every fasting cure, life tastes a lot sweeter afterwards.”

In a passionate keynote address, 17th US surgeon general Dr Richard Carmona, who’s also the chief health innovations officer at Canyon Ranch, pictured a world embracing complementary medicines to help deal with the escalating cost of mostly preventable diseases, amounting to US$3tn a year in the US alone. “The solution is in this room,” he said. “You have the perfect anti-wellness world crying out for an antidote – you are the vaccine.”

Mia Kyricos, a wellness consultant based in the US, said COVID-19 has been a great catalyst and foresees a time when ‘love’ will be a core business strategy. Irene Forte, of Rocco Forte Hotels, gave a millennial’s perspective – “we all thought we were a little bit invincible,” she said – and spoke of how the importance of being well and building resilience is resonating with younger generations.

Marketing specialist Cathy Chon, from Hong Kong, said: “Over the last two decades we’ve developed brands and companies with a design imperative. Going forward there’s nothing we can’t build, create, grow unless we’re looking at it with a wellness imperative.” Andrew Gibson, a spa and wellness consultant based in Sweden, commended the GWS for building up a “tremendous collaborative force” across the globe and Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses concurred. Jacobs said: “What we do as an industry is so relevant and clearly we’re much stronger collectively than individually. We have to come together at events like this, talk more, communicate more and brainstorm on a greater level because as a group we are a powerhouse. I’m really optimistic about the future because the demand is huge. People want to travel. What we can do post-pandemic is just huge.”

Ellis then shared her own insights on Resetting the World with Wellness. She sees a paradigm shift away from wellness and prevention towards ‘self-care’ and suggested a new model for ‘wholistic health’ with this self-care approach sitting alongside healthcare (see Diagram 1). “The medical community hasn’t always been a supporter of wellness and prevention, but they’re welcoming the idea of self-care,” she said.

“It’s a friendlier term as it’s more about people taking an active role to take better care of themselves rather than preventing something bad.” By positioning themselves in terms of self-care/healthcare she feels the spa sector has a “unique opportunity to align with the medical arena in a way that they will not only accept but whole-heartedly welcome.”

Mental wellness
A highlight of each GWS is the revelation of industry numbers and this year GWI senior research fellows Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung, aptly, focused on mental wellness. For the first time, they’ve identified a mental wellness industry and have valued consumer spending in the sector at US$121bn (€101.6bn, £91.8bn). We explore the figures and what they mean to spa stakeholders in more depth on p90 (Spa Business 2020 issue 4). GWI has now added mental wellness as a new industry bubble to it’s Global Wellness Economy framework which it estimates to be worth US$4.5tn (€3.8tn, £3.4tn). Johnston shared that next year’s GWI research will focus on updating the economic framework, which will take the pandemic into account.

Dr Vivek Murthy, the 19th US surgeon general, also highlighted mental wellness. In a powerful interview, he spoke about the importance of addressing loneliness on a personal level, in the workplace, in communities and society. Murthy has just been tapped by president-elect Joe Biden to lead the USA’s response to COVID-19 and said that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, dementia and premature death. He sees human connection, relationships and touch as an antidote. “Few medicines are more powerful than love, compassion and kindness,” he said, “and all of us have the power to be healers because all of us have the power to be kind, compassionate and loving.” Read more about his insights on p12 (Spa Business 2020 issue 4).

Ripe for disruption
“There’s never been a better time to be an innovator,” said strategist and transformation expert John Kao. He likened ‘out of the box’ thinking to improvised jazz music vs scripted music and used his keyboard to demonstrate the difference. He foresees “a massive outpouring of wellness” as the pandemic resolves itself and said his contacts in the early-stage venture capital industry are “investing money in wellness like there’s no tomorrow”.

Indeed, the jam-packed agenda of the summit highlighted numerous trends and modalities which would be very fitting for spa stakeholders to focus in this time of disruption and innovation. Consumer media discussed ideas such as antibacterial beauty, red-light therapy to counteract screen time, death, sex, money and regenerative travel (see Spa Business 2020 issue 4 p87).

Dr Nicola Finley, an internal medicine physician at Canyon Ranch, connected her passion of dance with science and evidence. “One of the best ways I can think about cultivating wellness is through dance,” she said, detailing the many studies which show how it’s been proven to help us sociologically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. To prove her point, she got delegates up and moving by leading a Zumba session.

The future is about neo-shamanism and tapping into energy medicine said psychologist and medical anthropologist Alberto Vilioldo. The key to this underpins all healthy ways of life – eat organic, eat well, detoxify, upgrade the brain by feeding it good fats, lower your blood sugar levels etc.

Sleep coach Dr Michael Breus, who’s previously worked with Six Senses (see (Spa Business 2018 issue 2), gave some fascinating insights into determining different types of sleepers, or ‘chronotypes’, offering a more in-depth interpretation of early birds and night owls. Depending on what category you fall into, he detailed circadian rhythms and when the best time to wake up, drink coffee, exercise and go to bed is. He also placed an emphasis on staying hydrated, getting 15 minutes of sunlight daily and suggested a magnesium-loaded banana tea recipe. All things to consider for spas looking to tap into the sleep health trend.

In an equally compelling keynote, scientific journalist James Nestor, focused on the ‘art of breathing’, explaining how we’ve evolved to breathe through our mouths rather than noses which leads to a long list of ailments from chronic sinusitis to stroke and depression. Any spa looking to tap into the breathwork trend could benefit from reading his best-selling book – Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.

Next stop... Tel Aviv
In conclusion to the summit, Ellis closed the event by announcing that next year’s event will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel on 15-18 November. The original intent was for the 2020 event to be held there, but the US-based organisation brought it closer to home when global travel restrictions took hold. “We’re so excited to go to Tel Aviv,” said Ellis. “We already have months of planning behind it. People want to go there because it’s a start-up nation for technology. And there will be some great pre and post-summit trips to Jerusalem and other fabulous areas.”

In a clearly emotional end, Ellis thanked all her team members, especially Davis, for helping to bring the first hybrid GWS to fruition. “We are a small team, but mighty,” she said of her 15 co-workers. “It’s been a challenging year, as you can imagine, and every single one of these people have worked harder than ever before.”

Empowering women
Architect Veronica Schreibeis Smith received the Leading Woman in Wellness Award

The GWS shone a spotlight on the role of women in wellness. ‘You don’t have to have balls to be a leader’, was the title of a keynote session by Marisa Peer a renowned therapist who’s been in the spa industry for more than 30 years. She explained how women have huge potential in business and have a natural capacity to be great leaders – an uplifting message for a sector predominately made up of women.

Later on in the summit, Veronica Schreibeis Smith, CEO and founding principal of Vera Iconica Architecture was presented with the GWS Leading Women in Wellness Award. She’s worked for well-known industry names such as Rancho La Puerta and was recognised for her passion and work surrounding regenerative wellness architecture and how environments impact human wellbeing and planet earth.

Read more: http://lei.sr/N8p6s_B and http://lei.sr/C3Vh_B

First-person
Attending a conference during a pandemic
Lisa Starr felt the event was ‘safe and seamless’
By Lisa Starr, contributing editor

You have to credit will power. Susie Ellis and the GWS team were determined to hold an in-person event this year, despite the odds stacked against them. Inside the magnificent Breakers resort, there was no sense of the pandemic.

On arrival, all delegates received a mandatory rapid response COVID antigen test – incredibly, everyone attending tested negative. After testing, delegates were adorned with a wristband, which was worn throughout the rest of the event.

Multiple other safety measures were also in place. Attendees had their temperature taken every day, showed the wristband and wore masks at all times – and this was strictly enforced. We entered and exited the main conference room via far UV C portals (supplied by Healthé by Lighting Science) take the viral load off skin and clothes and Delos provided Healthway air filtration systems which capture ultrafine airborne particles that carry bacteria and viruses. Once inside the ballroom, attendees were seated in chairs spaced at a minimum of 6 foot apart and exercise equipment was provided by Planet Fitness “to keep the immunity going”.

As a hybrid event, presentations were both live and virtual. Some sessions were pre-recorded, especially those from distant time zones, but main speakers joined via Zoom afterward to offer additional discourse and answer questions. As an observer, I had no challenges with switching between the two approaches, and offer kudos to the GWS technical team for their seamless management of what was certainly a production challenge. In fact, the entire event went quite smoothly.

The wearing of masks was strictly enforced
All delegates took a mandatory rapid response COVID test pre-summit
Far UV C portals taking the viral load off skin and clothes were just one safety feature
Staffing during a pandemic
Host hotel The Breakers was commended for its employee approach
By Lisa Starr, contributing editor

Michael Tompkins, long-time spa industry figure and partner at hospitality recruitment firm Hutchinson Consulting, was the perfect choice to host a lunch table on current staffing challenges. He sees spa managers who have found themselves out of a job moving to other sectors which are now more accepting of wellness programming such as corporate/employee wellness and senior living communities. Meanwhile, many medical workers such as nurse practitioners who lost their jobs with the stoppage of elective surgeries, are transitioning to medical wellness centres. So it seems the flow of talent is medical people transitioning into medical wellness centres, while spa and hospitality staff are a good fit for senior living.

Summit host hotel The Breakers, which employs 2,000 people and is renowned for its low staff turnover (-15 per cent year) was highlighted for best practice. It paid colleagues in full during the two months it was closed and even offered some of these people to charities or community organisations in the local area that had a need, helping with marketing or financials for example.

Vendors present at the table expressed a huge need for interns on the manufacturing side, as well as positions in sales and digital marketing, as they prepare to move more activity from B2B to B2C.

Media talks
By Lisa Starr, contributing editor

Journalists from consumer publications provided an informative panel on wellness trends. Beyond the typical – which included treatments that boost immunisation, biohacks, telemedicine, virtual trainers and workouts, a focus on the microbiome and preventative care – were some fresh perspectives.

“Healthcare is sterile, and wellness is the cool kid,” said Cecelia Girr of futurist magazine ED\GE, “We’ll see integrations that will give healthcare patients a pleasurable result, and wellness will get the science-backed credibility it needs.” Girr also noted that we’re moving from a focus on looking and feeling good, to “lifting the lid on real pain points in society [death, sex and money] that have a larger impact on our health.”

Elaine Glusac of the New York Times said that our connections to other people are being replaced with nature, and to expect an increase in the already popular notion of sustainable travel, and it’s extreme version, ‘regenerative travel’ based on leaving a place better than you found it.

The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Miller mentioned that men are taking wellness much more seriously, and that consumers are also paying more attention to vitamin deficiency, circadian sleep rhythms, red-light therapy as a counterpoint to too much screen time, and vegan and plant-based foods.

Lastly, freelance trend consultant Jessica Smith revealed innovations in anti-bacterial beauty and touch-free packaging, devices that eradicate the virus from clothing as well as anti-viral fabric and wellness architecture and pandemic-proof properties.

Read more: http://lei.sr/b4t6a_B

2020 summit on-demand

It’s still possible to experience the entire 2020 GWS on-demand. A virtual access package can be purchased for US$500 via this link: http://lei.sr/O8l0c

Further reading

The 19th US surgeon general told wellness and spa stakeholders that they all have a part to play in combatting loneliness. See Spa Business 2020 issue 4 p12 for more details.

The Global Wellness Institute identified a new mental wellness industry worth US$121bn. See Spa Business 2020 issue 4 p90 for more details.

Read more about the latest spa and wellness thinking and trends in Spa Business insider’s special GWS edition

Katie Barnes is the editor of Spa Business magazine | [email protected]

Lisa Starr is a contributing editor at Spa Business | [email protected]

Sign up here to get the Spa Business and Spa Business insider weekly ezines and every issue of Spa Business and Spa Business insider magazines free on digital.
There were around 100 in-person delegates and 500-plus virtual attendees
Dr Richard Carmona told wellness delegates “you are the vaccine”
Anna Bjurstam (top left) hosted virtual sessions, including the reveal of GWI’s latest research
Six Senses’ Neil Jacobs joined virtually and shared his optimism about the future
Networking and evening events still took place
Dr Nicola Finley shared her passion for dance and outlined its proven benefits
The GWS ‘small but mighty’ team
A closing champagne toast
Looking forward: next year’s summit will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel on 15-18 November
LATEST NEWS
Naural ‘cannabis’ levels boosted by exercise
Exercise has been found to increase levels of endocannabinoids – cannabis-like substances produced by the human body – which in turn helps reduce inflammation and could potentially treat conditions such as arthritis, cancer and heart disease.
Depression – exercise and mindfulness ahead of medication in new treatment guidelines for mild cases
People suffering from mild depression in England should be offered exercise, mindfulness, therapy or meditation before medication, such as antidepressants.
€100m investment in wellbeing hubs planned for City of Madrid
The City of Madrid could become one of the healthiest in the world if plans by the council come to fruition.
New course educates spas on how to best serve transgender clients
A new trans-awareness course, certified by Habia, has been launched for the spa sector to help teach spa staff how to accommodate, attract and support transgender clients.
Luxury eco hot springs development to position Victoria as Australia’s wellness state
A sustainable hot springs retreat is set to open in Fingal on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, drawing on the healing benefits of water, immersion in nature and sleek minimalist design.
Nuffield's new Barbican club combines fitness with GP services as part of 'health campus' wellness plan
Nuffield Health has reopened the historic Barbican health club in London, as part of ambitious plans to establish its first wellness "health campus" in the UK.
Westin’s Heavenly Spa concept touches down in UK
Marriott’s luxury city hotel brand Westin has opened a new location and branded Heavenly Spa by Westin urban wellness retreat in London, UK.
Luxury urban spa to open in Oslo with restored public baths, rooftop sauna and Nordic wellness rituals
Nordic Hotels & Resorts is creating an urban wellness retreat in Norway’s capital city of Oslo as part of its 231-room hotel project.
ISPA reveals Dan Heath as opening keynote for 2022 conference
Bestselling author and entrepreneur Dan Heath has been announced as the opening Power Session keynote speaker for The International Spa Association’s (ISPA) 2022 Conference.
Serenbe wellness community expands with new group wellness retreat
Award-winning US wellness community Serenbe has unveiled a brand new spa and wellness Portal Retreat that accommodates between six to 12 guests.
SpaSeekers wins contract to supply Tesco’s loyalty scheme with spa deals
Spa bookings agency SpaSeekers has signed a deal with UK supermarket giant Tesco to exclusively provide spa vouchers to its 19 million Clubcard loyalty-card members.
Dates announced for 2022 Spa Life UK and Ireland conventions
Industry events Spa Life UK and Spa Life Ireland will go ahead in 2022, with organisers promising more practical, hands-on activities to enhance the event experience.
+ More news   
 
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Sothys’ Noctuelle night care line nourishes and renews the skin night after night
Lack of sleep, a busy schedule, pollution – every day the skin is subjected to a harsh ordeal. [more...]

ZeroWaste by Urb'n Nature sets sustainability standards in the worlds of luxury spa and hospitality
ZeroWaste by Urb'n Nature is one of the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of natural, plastic-free hotel and spa amenities. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
TylöHelo

TylöHelo specialises in producing bespoke thermal experience areas for luxury hotels and spas. [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

PENDEX | Simply Ingenious
It trains humans better than humans train humans. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

29 Nov - 02 Dec 2021

Piscina & Wellness Barcelona

Gran Via Exhibition Centre, Barcelona, Spain
29 Nov - 03 Dec 2021

Beauty meetings - aesthetics & anti-aging

Online,
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2021

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS