Spa business issue 2 2018

Page 86


The summit includes guided meditation and yoga, helping attendees to focus and clear their minds

The power of healing The fifth annual Healing Summit saw attendees from 27 countries gather in Berlin. Jane Kitchen reports on the highlights


healing hotel is a living entity – it’s the most optimistic outlook of the future,” said Anne Biging, CEO of the Healing Hotels of the World, as she opened the fifth annual Healing Summit in Berlin in March. “It’s about changing our heart, changing our mind and changing our habits, because without that, nothing is going to happen.” The summit attracted around 130 attendees from 27 countries and a diverse range of industries for two days of talks about the business of healing.

Healing and resilience

Kyricos (top) spoke on wellness branding; for Griffith (above) success comes in the form of meditation and ayurveda

86 issue 2 2018

Neuroscientist Dr Marjorie Woollacott explained how science is catching up with a more subtle understanding of healing. She addressed how the placebo effect shows the power of the mind over healing and pain. Woollacott also highlighted studies showing how meditation improves ADD symptoms and the efficacy of reiki on people who have had a heart attack. “Complementary therapies can help us to heal our own self, our society and our planet,” she said. Steve Griffith, founder of Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat & Spa in Bali, detailed his success in corporate wellness. Before opening his retreat, he created a leadership programme of transcendental meditation and ayurveda, which 2,000 people a year now participate in. “Organisations are looking for individuals to have resilience,” he said. ©CYBERTREK 2018

Experience over spa Stacy Fischer-Rosenthal, president of New York’s Fischer Travel Enterprises, detailed what her clients – high net-worth individuals who pay a US$100,000 joining fee plus US$25,000 a year membership – are looking for. “The luxury traveller wants what money can’t buy – they want experiences,” she said. “Going to a spa and moving from one thing to another doesn’t create a truly luxury experience – they want an educational and experiential experience, and they want to connect with people around the world.” These sentiments were echoed by Stella Photi, founder of UK travel agency Wellbeing Escapes; Diana Stobo, founder of The Retreat Costa Rica; and Corinna Yap, wellness director at COMO Shambhala, when outlining the growing wellness markets in Europe, North America and Asia. Stobo said that increasingly, her clientele is looking to immerse themselves in nature and to test their courage. “It’s expanding and taking a step out of your comfort zone,” she explained. Her location encourages people to meet one another and become part of a community in their stay – something Photi also said her clientele is increasingly asking for. Yap reported that in China, more families are taking on wellness travel so COMO has created programming for children.

Getting the message Mia Kyricos, president and founder of wellness consultancy firm Kyricos & Associates, advised attendees on creating brands that have emotional impact. “The difference between good and great brands are the ethereal things – the emotional connection,” she said. She told attendees that wellness needs to be inclusive. “Wellness and

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