Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and Global Spa Summit Partner to Present First-Ever Spa Education Day

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, at the forefront of the international hospitality industry, has announced the curriculum for its first Spa-Hotel Education Day, as well as the parameters for its first Student Spa Strategy Challenge. Both will be held in conjunction with the 2009 Global Spa Summit (GSS), the premier annual gathering for spa and wellness industry executives from around the world.

According to the landmark global spa economy report issued at the Global Spa Summit 2008 by SRI, the total size of the worldwide spa economy in 2007 was $255 billion. The Summit's partnership with a major academic hospitality institution like Lausanne provides further evidence that spa and wellness is now firmly recognized as a critical, growing sector of the hospitality industry, as well as an increasingly valuable part of the guest experience.

The GSS, to be held at the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa in Interlaken, Switzerland, on May 17th — 19th, 2009, will mark the first time that the Summit will be held in Europe. As in years past, this third-annual Summit includes ancillary program and events designed to foster excitement about spa and wellness innovation worldwide.

The Student Strategy Challenge

For the 2009 GSS, three leading hospitality schools, the Institut de Management Hôtelier International (France), the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) (Switzerland), and Cornell University (U.S.) will compete in a 'Student Strategy Challenge' to develop new, feasible and innovative spa concepts targeting the emerging 21-to-30-year-old market.

"Around the world, top hospitality schools are integrating spa and wellness management programs into their curriculum, in response to the incredible demand for top talent in these areas," said Pete Ellis, Chairman of the Global Spa Summit Board of Directors. "This groundbreaking competition will allow a few pioneering students the opportunity to showcase their ideas in front of top spa industry executives from across the globe."

Working in teams of four, students will first compete against other teams at their respective institutions. Each school's winning team will then present their concepts to an elite panel of judges at the GSS, with the winning team receiving free registration to a future Summit (a prize worth US$2,290 per student).

GSS Spa-Hotel Education Day To Emphasize Collaboration

In keeping with the GSS' theme "The Power of Collaboration," the Summit will host a dedicated Spa-Hotel Education Day to focus on helping spa and hotel managers gain a better understanding of their counterpart's perspective and business operations, to improve their ability to work together and maximize the value of their properties.

This full-day event, to be held at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) on Wednesday, May 20th, will bring together expert instructors, including top spa and hotel managers from prestigious Swiss/European hotels, as well as EHL alumni.

"Though hotel guests might not fully appreciate the distinction, spa managers and hotel managers have often been cut from very different cloth, so much so that you could say that one category is from Mars and the other from Venus," said Mr. Ellis. "Now that spas are increasingly vital not only to people's health, but to the health of a hotel's bottom line, it's critical that these two management segments understand each other--and innovate together--to provide the best possible experience for their guests."

As research emerging from the first two Global Spa Summits revealed, the shortage of qualified spa management professionals to meet the demands of a rapidly growing industry is one of the key challenges facing the spa and wellness sectors. This year's partnership between the Global Spa Summit and the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne--which initiated the Student Challenge and is hosting the Education Day-- represents a productive example of academic institutions and the global spa industry coming together to address this ongoing challenge.

REGISTRATION: Delegate registration is now open at


To learn more about the Student Strategy Challenge or the Spa Education Day at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, contact: Demian Hodari - [email protected]

To learn more about the Global Spa Summit -— or to speak with Global Spa Summit Chairman Pete Ellis, contact: Betsy Isroelit @ RBI, (213) 300-0108, [email protected]