Global Spa & Wellness Summit Unveils 2014 Theme “Fast Forward”

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Futurist speaker Dr. Kjell A. Nordström to keynote event; Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development named as Titanium Sponsor.

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Our agenda and keynote speakers will be focused on looking closely and creatively at the future of spa and wellness, from new technologies that will transform our businesses and the way wellness gets delivered; to the future of design.

The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) today unveiled its futurist theme - Fast Forward - for its 8th annual event, taking place September 10-12 at the Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, Morocco. The event, which is considered the world’s most prestigious gathering of business, government and academic leaders in the wellness, travel and spa industries, is expected to attract a record number of attendees. The 2nd annual Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) will take place concurrently on September 10.

“This year, the Summit is hitting the Fast Forward button,” said Susie Ellis, GSWS Chairman and CEO. “Our agenda and keynote speakers will be focused on looking closely and creatively at the future of spa and wellness, from new technologies that will transform our businesses and the way wellness gets delivered; to the future of design; to exploring the latest in brain science and its implications; to the next wave in retailing; to presenting crucial, new research that will illuminate and shape our industry’s future path.”

Dr. Kjell A. Nordström, a Swedish economist, futurist thought-leader and renowned co-author of Funky Business, is the Summit’s first announced keynote speaker, in what will be a prestigious, high-profile line up of future-focused thinkers. His provocative presentation will analyze a coming, new world marked by seismic demographic and consumer shifts: “The future is urban and female. The influence of countries and men is fading away - prepare yourselves for Amazonia,” says Nordström.

About Dr. Kjell A. Nordström

Dr. Kjell A. Nordström holds a doctoral degree in International Business from the Stockholm School of Economics. His research and consulting focus is in the areas of corporate strategy, multinational corporations and globalization.

He has published three books (co-authored with Jonas Ridderstråle) and numerous articles on the internationalization process of firms. His books (Funky Business, Karaoke Capitalism, Funky Business Forever) have been featured on CNN and CNBC and appeared in Fortune, Fast Company, Time Magazine, Financial Times, Paris Match, etc. Funky Business was an international bestseller and was translated into 32 languages. Funky Business Forever (2008), his long awaited update, takes a look back on the later half of the millennium’s first decade, and provides evolved thinking and commentary in a way that is truly “funky” and down to business.

Titanium Sponsor - Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development

The host country sponsor of the 2014 event, the Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT), has also committed to the Summit’s highest level of sponsorship – Titanium. This generous support is in addition to SMIT’s responsibilities as the co-organizer of the Global Wellness Tourism Congress.

“Interestingly, Morocco ranks among the top 10 nations worldwide for wellness tourism growth through 2017 and is expected to have an annual growth rate of 14.7 percent, 60-plus percent faster than the global average,” said Ellis. “SMIT has proven itself incredibly forward thinking when it comes to realizing the potential of wellness tourism and attracting investment, making them a perfect partner for the 2nd annual GWTC.”

"We are proud to welcome the 8th annual Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) to Marrakech, Morocco. This event embodies our commitment to promote Morocco as a world-recognized wellness destination," said Imad Barrakad, CEO, Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development. "As host sponsor and co-organizer, we look forward to bringing the leaders in spa and wellness together and introducing them to Morocco’s unique spa heritage – including Moroccan hammams and our increasingly popular export, Argan oil."

To register to become a delegate to the GSWS, click here. For more information, visit or email Alexandra Plessier at Alexandra(at)gsws(dot)org. For sponsorship information, contact Executive Vice President Sallie Fraenkel at sallie(at)gsws(dot)org.

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. For more information, visit

About SMIT:

A key player in planning and tourism development in Morocco, the SMIT is committed to develop and implement innovative concepts to produce the best results and to meet the expectations of all its partners. In addition to its contribution to the conception of the Strategic Vision 2020, the SMIT is a major player in setting of the execution of tourism development projects.

Since its creation, the SMIT has actively worked to carry out different missions, including: conception and the development of the tourism product as defined by the national strategy; the identification of potential sites for targeted developers and operators; engineering studies and the investment advisory; promotion of investment opportunities; and enhancement of private initiative and public-private partnership. Then SMIT philosophy is based on the capitalization of its key success factors in each business area explored and each project developed. Aiming to make Morocco the 20th most important tourist destinations in the world by 2020, the SMIT is the initiator of innovative projects and is a key player in the field of engineering and tourism development through its public and private partnerships.

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