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SUMMIT REVIEW

David Udell, group president of Hyatt Asia Pacific, and GWS chair Susie Ellis welcome delegates

UNSTOPPABLE Despite a last-minute change of venue, the Global Wellness Summit returns to its roots in Asia – and looks ahead to a bright future. Jane Kitchen reports

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elegates to the 13th annual Global industry, Ellis noted in her opening remarks. Wellness Summit had red scarves Now, she said, “because of the numbers and draped around their necks as the research, we’ve really showcased the they entered the conference opportunity. We’ve created an industry, at the Hyatt Singapore, a an economy, and a movement that’s welcome ceremony designed unstoppable. We’ve made wellness to bring luck. Inside, GWS something people are really out chair Susie Ellis and David Udell, to learn about and embrace.” group president of Hyatt Asia Pacific, That the event was held in Asia was no welcomed attendees as giant crimson accident; with wellness tourism poised to and gold dragons danced and shook reach US$1tn (€903.5bn, £771.7bn) globally their fantastical heads on stage while a by 2022, “no wellness tourism market is percussion group drummed a deafening growing faster than Asia,” said Ellis. And beat. It was an auspicious beginning indeed. while the GWS is international in scope, part We were not supposed to be here; unrest in of the remit for this year’s theme, ‘Shaping the Hong Kong had forced the GWS team to Business of Wellness’, was to explore the ways relocate the conference to Singapore just in which the growing Asian wellness market two months before. Hosting the conference will indeed change the way wellness there, however, was a return to its roots of business is done around the world. sorts as the idea of the Global Wellness The Asian century Summit was first born at a conference in Singapore in 2005, when Ellis and Co-hosts Catherine Feliciano-Chon other key industry executives saw the and Yoriko Soma each kicked off the need to bring the global spa industry conference with a keynote – FelicianoCo-hosts Yoriko Soma (top) together for an international event. Chon on the Asian Century, and Soma and Catherine Feliciano-Chon This year saw 86 flags line the hall, on the future of wellness in Japan. set the tone for the summit representing the number of countries with Feliciano-Chon slapped some eye-opening attendees at the summit. Four new flags – statistics on the table: Asia boasts 60 per cent Bahrain, Panama, Nepal and the Bahamas – joined of the world’s population, and by next year, will the movement, and half of all delegates were first-timers. have 50 per cent of the world’s middle class. “It’s been In 2007 – the year of the first summit in New York reported that Asian economies are set to be larger than – there were no statistics on the value of the wellness the rest of the world combined, and drive 40 per cent of 82 spabusiness.com issue 4 2019

Profile for Leisure Media

Spa Business issue 4 2019  

Spa Business issue 4 2019  

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