Global Spa Summit, Switzerland 2009: Highlights
By Susie Ellis, SpaFinder Insider
Global Spa Summit 2009 in Interlaken, Switzerland, just wrapped. I don’t know where to begin, as it was an extraordinary event if I do say so myself. (Actually I believe that every one of the delegates who attended said so which gives me courage to repeat their sentiments.) Over the next few posts I will share some “pearls of wisdom” I learned from the many great spa leaders who gathered for this “World Economic Forum-style Summit” but for starters a brief recap:
1. Delegates attended from a record number of countries (32) with first time participants from Ghana, Nicaragua, Morocco, and Croatia. Spa leaders came from as far away as New Zealand, the Philippines, China, and a large delegation from Europe. It was a real global gathering
2. Highlights included the industry briefing paper, a 100+ page document written by delegates from various countries reporting on the effect of the global economic crisis on the spa and wellness industry in their country. The “around-the-world-in-60 minutes” kick-off presentation featured 25 presenters, who each gave a two-minute synopsis on their report. There is a robust spa industry in Austria, an emerging one in Ghana, and a severely affected industry in Mexico. All, however, expressed optimism for the future
3. Six collaboration sessions attempted to answer the question, “What can we accomplish together that we cannot accomplish alone?” Design, Human Capital, Product Houses, Medicine & Spas, Marketing, and Spa Associations.
4. Keynotes from Mr. Adolf Ogi, former President of Switzerland (pictured left) and Mr. Reto Wittwer, President & CEO of Kempinski Hotels (pictured right)
5. Research, research, research: Intelligent Spas, ISPA, Diagonal Report, Smith Travel Research, Ernst & Young, Cornell & Ecole Hoteliere deLausanne Study
6. Student Strategy Challenge presenting their ideas for the “Spa of the Future”
7. Pre-and post-Summit events which included visits to Dolder Grand in Zurich, Ecole Hotel deLausanne, Clinique La Prairie, Forever Laser Medical Spa in Geneva, and Fairmont Monteux Palace
Will share some of my “ah ha!” moments beginning with my next blog post.
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