Inaugural Global Wellness Tourism Congress Announced; Will Be Held In Conjunction with 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit

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Ministers of Tourism and Industry VIPs Will Gather in New Delhi, India to Shape Booming Wellness Tourism Market. SRI International To Present “Wellness Tourism Economic Impact Study,” First Research to Benchmark This Travel Category.

Within the estimated $2 trillion global tourism economy, wellness tourism is a market that has explosive growth potential, given the demographic, economic and lifestyle trends in both high-income and rapidly developing countries

The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) today announced that a dedicated Global Wellness Tourism Congress will be held in conjunction with the Summit taking place in New Delhi, India from October 5-7, 2013. The Congress will bring together ministers of tourism and other wellness tourism thought-leaders to shape the best strategies to promote and grow this fast-emerging travel category.

Taking place on Saturday, October 5, 2013 (the first day of the GSWS), the Congress’ full-day agenda will include the presentation of case studies illustrating unique, successful national wellness tourism campaigns – along with critical findings from a new SRI International* research report, the first to analyze the scope of, and predicted future growth for, the global wellness tourism sector.

"Within the estimated $2 trillion global tourism economy, wellness tourism is a market that has explosive growth potential, given the demographic, economic and lifestyle trends in both high-income and rapidly developing countries,” said Ophelia Yeung, Co-Director, Center for Science, Technology and Economic Development, SRI International. “Yet, too few industry stakeholders and consumers fully understand this new travel category, leading to missed opportunities for both. By quantifying the size and impact of global wellness tourism, and identifying best promotional practices, this Congress and new research should educate - and reverberate with - governments and wellness businesses around the world.”

SRI International pegged the value of the worldwide wellness tourism market at $106 billion three years ago, already more than twice the size of the much more heavily promoted medical tourism market ($50 billion).

Details on the Congress:

The 2013 Global Wellness Tourism Congress will be an invite-only and “think-tank-like” forum devoted to jumpstarting further growth for this evolving tourism category. Leaders directly responsible for promoting wellness tourism in their nation/region will discuss, and ultimately forge, a set of industry recommendations on how to best grow consumer participation, and how individual nations/regions can drive the most media attention at the least cost.

On the Agenda:

  •     National Case Studies: Case studies from countries across Asia, Europe, North and South America and the Middle East/Africa will be presented. Those nations showing the most innovation and success in their diverse wellness tourism campaigns will share “best ideas” on topics like attracting investment and promotional support from both the public and private sectors, and how to best market offerings to domestic and international tourists. The Congress will then synthesize the numerous ways that nations, tourism and spa associations and spa/wellness businesses are most successfully collaborating, with the goal of identifying a more cohesive global approach.
  •     “Wellness Tourism Economic Impact Study”: SRI International will present key findings from the most comprehensive research on wellness tourism undertaken to date. An invaluable new resource for communicating the value of wellness tourism to governments and businesses, the report will provide detailed insight into this rapidly growing market.
  • “Wellness Tourism of the Future” Forum: This moderated, collective “brainstorming” session among assembled governmental leaders that are responsible for their nation’s tourism strategies and wellness tourism experts will focus on designing wellness tourism models that could most powerfully capitalize on this rising travel trend. A discussion of how wellness tourism is distinct from medical tourism will also be on the agenda.

“Throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America, the wellness traveler is driving new paradigms for both healthcare and tourism,” said Josef Woodman, CEO of Patients Beyond Borders. “We’re seeing rapid change and big opportunities, as stakeholders seek to capture market share in the evolving wellness tourism category.”

About the 2013 GSWS: The seventh annual Summit, whose theme is “A Defining Moment,” will take place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, in New Delhi, India, voted the world’s leading luxury hotel by the World Travel Awards for the last two years. India is a fitting destination for this first-ever Congress, with a government that has taken a leadership role in promoting wellness tourism, and with rich, natural “wellness tourism” resources, as the birthplace of Ayurveda and yoga.

For more information, or to register for either the entire Summit or the one-day Global Wellness Tourism Congress, please visit:

About the Summit:
The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) is an annual event that attracts executives and leaders from around the world with an interest in the spa and wellness industries. Delegates from diverse sectors, including the hospitality, tourism, finance, medicine, real estate, manufacturing, technology, consulting, and product industries, attend this intimate, invitation-only gathering. The Summit has been responsible for some of the most important spa industry research, including a breakthrough research tool,, the world’s first online portal to the medical evidence for common spa and wellness therapies. The GSWS was honored as "Spa Event of the Year" for the last four years by AsiaSpa magazine’s awards program.

*Founded as the Stanford Research Institute

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Beth McGroarty
Global Spa and Wellness Summit
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