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ITB Experts Forum Wellness

Destinations, Wellness

March 8, 2018

10:45 - 14:45

Convention Hall 7.1a, Auditorium New York 3


All speakers are available for interviews after their sessions outside of the auditorium.


10:45 - 11:00

Michael Altewischer, Managing Partner, Wellness Hotels & Resorts

More than ever it is important to offer online bookable Spa- and Wellnessholidays. But going online is a challenge. To be online means to be comparable! Prices and services are reviewed by any guest, offers and services are valued in public. The competition is no longer local or regional. If not global, then at least nationwide actions are necessary. This opens up unexpected opportunities. In this context, what are the key issues for users/customers in the near future?

Roland Fricke, Wellness Entrepreneur, Internet Junkie, Travel Expert, Marketing Specialist, Founder and CEO,

Does it make sense to add Destination Spa programs into a standard hotel or resort? Consultants the world over are receiving requests from operators and investors of mainstream hotels and resorts to supplement their existing operation with complete wellness programs. But is it a good fit? Other hotels & resorts are looking to convert their entire property into a wellness resort. Is it even possible? Both concepts provide the participants with significant challenges that can not always be mastered by the owners or senior management. They want to save their financially flagging property by riding the wellness wave, but it’s not a solution suitable for everyone. Sam Foster talks about the challenges and what investors need to know and do in order to (successfully) implement these change processes.

Samantha Foster, Director, Destination Spa Management

What do German guests expect from a wellness holiday and how do hoteliers respond to these needs? Figures answering these questions are the key for developing and operating wellnesshotels and spas. Beauty24 and Wellness-Hotels & Resorts (WH-R) have interviewed guests and hoteliers since 2004. The latest survey will be presented by Michael Altewischer.

Michael Altewischer, Managing Partner, Wellness Hotels & Resorts

Wellness hotels and centers all around the world show signs of conversion in terms of what and how they offer for their guests. Many turn to natural resources such as thermal springs, muds, micro-climate or cultural traditions and rituals. Guests are looking more and more for services and treatments that have natural properties and represent cultural evidence. Still, we can see that wellness hotels see direct competition from ’nature’ – consider forest bathing! 

-       What kind of resources can we consider relevant?
-       How can a hotel and its guests can know that one natural remedy is a) harmless and b) effective?
-       Where is the business case and where are its limits?

Dr. László Puczkó, Director of Industry Intelligence, RLA – Resources for Leisure Assets

The hectic modern lifestyle brings more and more people out of their balance. Places of peace and quiet become more and more important. People are looking for retreats to refuel. Motives for this are, for example: the way to your own center, the search for meaningfulness and orientation, direction and perspective. The interest in products and services that promise us meaning, depth and unique value retention will increase. In the age of individualism and seemingly limitless "self-design", however, there is also increasing pressure to constantly have to optimize his life in all areas: at work, at leisure, even in sleep.
- How is the spa industry responding to these far-reaching developments?
- Or: how should the industry react?
- What new opportunities arise for us as a wellness provider?

Dr. Franz Linser, Managing Partner, Linser Hospitality GmbH

Despite global problems and anxieties, the Polish economy grows. According to OECD report, GDP in 2017 will increase by more than 4 percent. Together with it, the wellness tourism market is also growing, which is driven by internal consumption. Only in the years 2013 - 2015 1.2 million wellness trips have been recorded. Will Poland be able to become a regional leader and become an attractive destination not only for Poles in the next few years?

Arkadiusz Dawidowski, President, European Spa Foundation Poland

In view of the aging population in many countries, the interest of operators to develop wellness programmes for the senior 65+ market is increasing. Sam Foster has designated a network called FLOURISH (Due to a particularly suitable environment people can get healthy and age-appropriate develop) founded that specializes in healthy aging (not anti-aging) and concentrated as a guide for creating these programmes serve:

F - Free from diseases (diagnostics and therapy)
L - Life attitude
O - Outlook, positive attitude to life (emotional health)
U - Understanding / cognitive function (mental health and brain function)
R - Resilience and rest (relaxation therapy + sleep)
I - Independence: physical (mental) and emotional (relationships)
S - Social Environment & Support
H - Hobbies, interests and leisure activities

As part of the ITB Expert Forum Wellness, Sam Foster reports on her network.

Samantha Foster, Director, Destination Spa Management