Global Spa Summit Unveils 2010 Agenda and Theme "Bridges Worth Building"

The Global Spa Summit (GSS), the premier annual event for the global spa and wellness industries, today unveiled the final agenda for its conference being held in Istanbul, Turkey from May 16-19. Under the theme “Bridges Worth Building,” delegates will be immersed in three days of high-profile keynote addresses, interactive panels, new research presentations, breakout workshops and hosted dining and networking events. The Summit reports a record number of top-level executives have already registered, spanning a historically diverse number of industries and nations.

 The complete, detailed agenda can be accessed here:

“This is a momentous time for the global spa industry. With the recession starting to recede; traditional healthcare costs under worldwide scrutiny; and demand for more preventative, integrative health models; there’s unprecedented new connections being made between spas and medicine, wellness, tourism, fitness and beauty,” said Susie Ellis, Board Member of the GSS. “The agenda perfectly addresses this zeitgeist. It’s designed to help our industry face the future, identify new opportunities, and be poised to take a powerful leadership role in this shifting, expanding global health and wellness market – where spas can, and should be, a cornerstone.”

Bridges to the Future:

While future-focused presentations crisscross the agenda, highlights include prestigious keynotes that directly challenge the industry to examine the “big picture” social, cultural, economic and technological transformations set to shake up the spa and wellness sectors - and the world.

* Edie Weiner, one of the world’s most influential futurists (sought-after by the Fortune 500 and government and academic institutions), will deliver the opening keynote, “A View from the Future,” exploring how the next epoch, the Virtual Age, will radically redefine concepts of wellness, health, leisure, and travel.

* Keynote presenter Philippe Bourguignon, Vice Chairman of Revolution Places, will bring his renowned “future-focused” vision to bear on the spa, travel and wellness industries in his speech “2025: What’s Next?”

* Ahu Aysal, Turkish hospitality luminary, and owner/creator of one of the most renowned boutique spa hotels in the world, Les Ottomans, presents a keynote, “Real Hospitality,” on how she built the bridges between past, present and future at her award-winning property.

Bridges to New Markets & Industries:

The agenda is rich with presentations and research releases analyzing potential new markets, partners and health and tourism concepts that present powerful industry opportunities. Highlights include:

* Dr. Kenneth Pelletier (famed doctor, author and integrative health guru)

will investigate how an intensified focus on evidence-based medicine can open new, profitable doors to the rapidly growing corporate health sector - in his keynote, “Healthy People, Healthy Places: Bridging the Spa World and Integrative Medicine.”
* Pioneering research from SRI International, “Spas and the Global Wellness Market: Synergies and Opportunities,” the first rigorous study benchmarking and segmenting the vast global wellness market, and analyzing future synergies between the spa sector and this nearly $2 trillion market.
* A host of panels and new research explore the developing concepts of medical and wellness tourism and the significant industry opportunities:
- Terry Stevens, Ph.D. (Managing Director, Stevens & Associates) presents “Wellness Tourism: Global Perspectives & Trends,” along with breakout sessions detailing successful case studies/models.
- Laszlo Puczko (author of Health and Wellness Tourism & Senior Associate, Xellum) explores “Past and Present Developments in Wellness Tourism.”
- Renee Stephano (President, Medical Tourism Association) and David Vequist (Founder/Director, Center for Medical Tourism Research) present the latest statistics from the medical tourism arena.
- A post-Summit “Thermal and Spa Tourism Day,” with Dr. Zeki Karagulle (President, International Society for Medical Hydrology and Climatology) directing a tour of landmark medical and thermal destinations across Bursa, Turkey - as well as an “Istanbul Medical Spa Tourism Day” featuring outings to various hospitals and popular destinations for medical travelers.  
* Panels on the fast-developing connections between spas and medicine include “Bridging Spa and Medicine: Fitness, Nutrition and Integrative Health,” chaired by integrative health expert, Dr. Roberta Lee, with Dr. Howard Murad, and Dr. Ken Pelletier - along with breakout workshops including “How Can Healthcare and Wellness Converge?”
 Connecting to New Technologies:

Presentations will tackle how explosive consumer Internet adoption, the rise of new social media/communities, and new marketing platforms will continue to transform the industry. Highlights include:

* Dr. Marc A. Smith’s (Chief Social Scientist, Connected Action Consulting Group) keynote, “The Very Latest in Technology and Social Networking,” on innovations on the horizon poised to revolutionize the spa and wellness markets.

* Dedicated panels on “New Media Marketing” and “Social Media” - along with breakout sessions including “Leveraging Technology for Greater Market Share.”

The Design/Architecture Nexus:
A hallmark of the GSS is its focus on the “spa of the future” and the exploration of the myriad connections between spa, design and architecture. Highlights include:

 * The second annual “Student Challenge,” and presentations of architectural projects from academic teams at Istanbul Technical University and the University of Southern California - competing to design a new eco-tourism destination that could revitalize the ancient thermal springs region of Kula, Turkey.

 * General Session Panel on “Architecture and Design for the Future,” featuring a variety of architects and designers, both from within, and outside of, the spa industry.  Also explored will be trends in green and sustainable design as well as new trends in medical spas. 

Linking to New Research:
Research has been a centerpiece of each Summit, and for 2010 (accompanying the landmark SRI Global Wellness Report), top research firms are slated to unveil diverse studies. Highlights include:

* “Spa Industry Benchmarking Figures, 2009,” Nikita Sarkar, Ernst & Young
* “The New Consumer Mindset: Consumers in 2010 and Beyond,” Euromonitor
* “New Priorities of Today’s Spa Consumers,” Stephanie Perrone Goldstein, Coyle Hospitality
* “Global Fitness Market Report,” Jeff Kohl, Director of Business Development, Precor
 * “Hotels and Luxury Spas: the 2009 Spa STAR Report,” Jan Freitag, VP of Global Development, Smith Travel Research

For registration information contact: [email protected] or visit