The International Spa Association (ISPA) has issued a press release stating that the 2003 ISPA Europe Congress--scheduled for May 29 through June 1 in Stockholm, Sweden--has been cancelled. Although the release stated that the annual event was "cancelled by the former ISPA Europe president and treasurer," no explanation for the cancellation was given. Industry insiders speculate that the event coincides with ISPA's decision to end their "chapter model" and pull financial support from the European Chapter.

ISPA Executive Director Lynne Walker McNee's assures that the change is in the members' best interest. "The organization is large enough that a chapter model is no longer the most effective way to provide the best value and benefits of membership, stated McNees. "Although specific regions elicit different needs, members are saying they want to be seen as a united body, not segregated by chapters within the association. This gives ISPA a stronger front as well as the ability to create alliances with existing organizations for additional industry support. This is what the members want."

The ISPA Asia-Pacific Conference in Taipei, Taiwan, is postponed until sometime in August. ISPA Asia-Pacific President Peter Sng and the Conference and Exhibition Organizing Committee decided it was in the best interest of the members to postpone the conference based on a travel advisory issued by the World Health Organization. The WHO travel advisory includes Taiwan and was issued because of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The ISPA Annual Conference & Expo is Oct. 13-16 in Dallas, Texas, USA. Registration will begin May 1 online at