Back from Italy: Global Wellness Summit 2018 Takeaways

Back from Italy: Global Wellness Summit 2018 Takeaways

With William Wesley Myers, director of spa & wellness at Langham Hotels and Resorts and Lisa Yang Michaelis, CEO of Love Love Spa and Founder of Wellness Month

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Global Wellness Summit 2018, held this year at Technogym headquarters in Cesena, Italy. Each year, wellness industry leaders and innovators gather from around the globe at GWS to shape the future of the industry.

It’s clear that our industry is full of opportunities to expand and innovate, improving lives worldwide! 

Through the summit, I witnessed the example set by Technogym founder Nerio Alessandri who has a very robust family life (with a large family!) and learned from Sir Rocco Forte, British hotelier, philanthropist, keen sportsman and chairman of luxury hotel chain Rocco Forte.

They both have allowed and wanted their young children to work with them as they grew their companies and now the children are grown up and working in the business. They reminded me how I had my kids work in my business early on and that I I have had them step aside (they are 13 and 15) so I could work more efficiently. I realized after the summit that it’s time to bring them back in and have them grow and learn entrepreneurship. There is so much I want to share with them about a new business that is growing rapidly and the dynamics of running it!

In addition to my own personal revelations and goal-setting, the 2018 GWS was full of insight. Event highlights included a fashion show that captured the intersection of fashion and wellness, thought-provoking presentations from industry luminaries like GWS Co-Founder and Global Wellness Institute CEO Susie Ellis, and the unveiling of the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor, an expansive report featuring data on the major markets comprising the global wellness economy.

Key takeaways from this report include:

  • The Global Wellness Industry grew by 12.8% in the past two years to $4.2 trillion in 2017, a growth rate that nearly doubles the overall global economic growth rate.
  • Wellness Tourism grew at more than twice the rate of the tourism industry overall. Wellness tourism reached $639 billion in 2017, with 6.5% growth 2015-2017 versus 3.2% in tourism overall.
  • The spa economy is now a $118.8 billion-dollar market, with the number of locations jumping from 121,595 in 2015 to more than 149,000 in 2017.

It was a wonderful trip and learning experience, and I’m grateful every day to belong to a positive, future-focused community of wellness professionals.



Fashion show at Il Grand Hotel di Remini

With William Wesley Myers and Julie Keller Callaghan, editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa

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