First Global Hotel Spa Forum Set for 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit

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Industry leaders to address tough issues and strategize best ways forward for $19-Billion sector at a ‘defining moment.’

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Today the hotel spa industry is experiencing its own 'defining moment,' including the shift from spa to wellness.

The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) today announced that the first-ever Global Hotel Spa Forum, which is tailored to address unique issues faced by, and opportunities on the horizon for, hotel spas worldwide, will take place at the 2013 Summit in New Delhi, India. The Forum will represent the first time executives from hotel and resort spas worldwide are invited to collectively strategize on how to solve the most pressing challenges faced by this important industry sector and innovate for a successful future.

The Hotel Spa Forum will be held on the third day of the Summit, which takes place October 5-7 at The Oberoi, Gurgaon. The Forum agenda and discussions will be critical for hotel executives, as well as companies that work with hotels, such as design firms and consultants.

Forum Chair Anne McCall, who is vice president of spas at Fairmont Raffles Hotels, pointed out that the hotel spa industry is at a true crossroads. “The spa boom in the first decade of the new century was primarily led by luxury spas in the hotel and residential segment. Since then new challenges have risen: luxury for luxury’s sake has became less popular; there has been a slowdown in residential and mixed-use projects; and there is more focus on ROI for hotel spas. Today the hotel spa industry is experiencing its own ‘defining moment,’ including the shift from spa to wellness.’”

Hotel spas represent an estimated 16 percent (approximately 14,000) of the 87,000-plus spas in operation worldwide.* However, this sector accounts for a significantly larger share of the market, representing roughly 27 percent ($19 billion) of total spa industry revenues of $73 billion.

McCall described a provocative agenda for the Forum, including addressing these topics:

  • Has the luxury spa lost its luster? The global recession changed the narrative about luxury and luxury spas, and the spa can no longer be a loss leader for residential properties or a costly amenity for hotels. Are there new opportunities and business segments to bring back the sparkle?
  • Is wellness the future? Can the industry take advantage of a widening definition of the hotel business when the margins on most wellness activities are small and the insurance requirements on many are large? Are the new “wellness hotels” the equivalent of the luxury spa boom of 12 years ago, or is it a niche?
  • Is anyone listening? Can the industry grow the size of the spa market or will it just be restricted to battling for market share? How does it meet this challenge and get the attention of customers and investors?
  • Did hotel spa brands deliver or fizzle? Can strong differentiated spa brands still emerge, and can brands create new customer demand and higher returns?
  • Is the industry inspiring creativity? Is there real innovation in this sector? The hotel industry is not known for breaking paradigms. Will the spa industry follow that path? Is it inspiring itself, suppliers, designers, consultants and owners to become more creative—or creating roadblocks to innovation? (How many truly unique luxury hotel spas have been built in the last 10 years?)
  • Can performance be improved without turning to rates and cost control? Are there new business models, better program options with higher margins, new business extensions, or fewer cost layers that can be created to drive performance? When the industry can’t agree to share benchmarks, can it even grow the segment?

“There is a lot on the minds of executives at many leading hotel companies,” said McCall. “Hotel spa leaders and industry stakeholders must address how we can better support our brands and attract more guests. We invite representatives to bring new ideas and honest answers to this important discussion.”

The Hotel Spa Forum will be sponsored by Delos®, the pioneer of Wellness Real Estate™, designed to sustain both the environment and enhance residents' health and wellbeing.

"We are delighted to sponsor the inaugural Global Hotel Spa Forum," said Paul Scialla, founder of Delos®, the pioneer of Wellness Real Estate™. "A key forum topic is to introduce wellness into the hotel industry, which aligns perfectly with Delos' commitment to integrate wellness into the hotel guest experience, and we look forward to being a part of such an important event."

To learn more about the Summit, or to register to become a delegate, visit:

About the Summit: The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) is an international organization representing senior executives and leaders from over 40 countries, joined by a common interest to drive economic development and understanding of the spa and wellness industries. Delegates from diverse sectors, including hospitality, tourism, health and wellness, beauty, finance, medical, real estate, manufacturing, and technology, attend the organization’s annual Summit, which is held in a different host country each year. After just seven years, the GSWS is now considered the leading global research and educational resource for the $1.9 trillion spa and wellness industry. It is known for introducing major industry research reports quoted widely around the world and initiatives such as, the world’s first online portal to the medical evidence behind common spa and wellness therapies. For more information, visit

  • SRI International data 2007-2012

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