Sometimes it seems like all of the spa conferences are happening at the same time, because they practically are! Right after wrapping up a successful ISPA 2018, global spa and wellness leaders headed to Cesena, Italy, to the world headquarters of Technogym, for the Global Wellness Institute’s 11th annual Global Wellness Summit. This year, 620 attendees from over 50 countries gathered for the 3.5-day event to network, learn and be inspired by one another and thought leaders across a multitude of industries.
After a wonderful introductory video, specially created for the summit by Louie Schwartzberg, Global Wellness Institute chair Susie Ellis welcomed the delegation, and turned over emcee duties to GWI board members Tony de Leede and Mia Kyricos. Technogym founder and CEO Nerio Alessandri shared his vision of wellness, which has inspired him to continue to create some of the most beautiful and innovative fitness equipment available, and has also been the driving force behind the opening of the new Technogym HQ in 2012.
One of the most highly anticipated presentations of the Summit was certainly the updated 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor. The last time we received a report on the industry that is this comprehensive was in 2015, and GWI researchers Ophelia Yeung and Katherine Johnston did not disappoint; the new report shows that the global wellness industry continues to grow, and is currently valued at $4.2 trillion, up from $3.7 trillion in 2015. The 10 industry sectors included showed aggregated growth 6.4 percent, but the high performer of the 10, happily, was the Spa Economy sector, at 9.8 percent.
The delegation was subsequently subdued by a presentation by the World Health Organization’s Dr. Ranieri Guerra, who shared global maps of various populations’ BMIs, showing that we still have much work to do. His advice was, “There is no sense investing in individual wellness until we can address the health of the planet.”
Antonio Citterio, the architect who created the Technogym building, along with many other well-known edifices, discussed the impact of the Italian aesthetic on wellness, and we were treated to wonderful presentations on the Blue Zones of longevity by Dr. Giovanni Mario Pes and Dan Buettner, as well as an update on the Wellness Moonshot by former surgeon general Dr. Richard Carmona, along with Ellis and Jessica Jesse. Afternoon breakouts featured many esteemed experts including Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, Professor Gerry Bodeker, and Dr. Nicola Angelo Fortunati. The day concluded with a presentation by fashion designer Alberta Ferretti, who shared how her desire to make women feel wonderful has fueled her fashion empire. It was a great start to a conference that inspires all of the attendees, and with more to come.