The continued expansion of the global wellness industry, the growth of wellness tourism worldwide and the need to clearly segment it from medical tourism were some of the key messages to emerge from this year’s Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS).
Held in Delhi, India on October 5-7, the seventh annual summit attracted a record 375 delegates from 42 countries and was billed by attendees as the most successful to date. Commenting on the industry’s role in the world, GSWS chairman and chief executive Susie Ellis said: “This is a critical time for the wellness industry, filled with opportunities we could not have imagined just a decade ago.”
Ellis added that: “The wellness industry is no longer a niche. It is now utterly mainstream and has gained so much credibility that governments, the medical establishment and consumers are now looking to us for ideas, help and solutions.” Several speakers at the summit highlighted an ageing global population, unsustainable healthcare costs for governments around the world and a continued uncertain economic forecast as key drivers behind the growing focus on wellness.
Among those was economist Thierry Malleret, co-founder of The Monthly Barometer and formerly a senior director of the World Economic Forum. Malleret outlined the impact of global developments such as the prevalence of chronic illnesses and their effect on healthcare bills and commented that: “the spa and wellness industry is very much at the right place, at the right time” in terms of helping to tackle these issues.
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