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Sunday 21 October 2018
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18 Apr 2018
Agenda for ATM wellness symposium to focus on transformative wellness travel

The agenda for the 2018 Arabian Travel Market’s Spa and Wellness Symposium is set, and the Global Wellness Institute-organised event will feature 16 tourism and hospitality experts presenting new wellness tourism trends globally and across the Middle East and North Africa.

A key focus this year will be on the shift from “experiential” to a more “transformative” wellness travel. To bring wellness approaches tangibly to life, the symposium will be held in an experiential theater, with numerous experts and master practitioners demonstrating everything from colour therapy to Ayurvedic medicine.

Attendees will also get a sneak preview of the GWI’s upcoming research on developments in the Middle East and North African wellness travel and spa markets, in advance of the 2018 Global Wellness Tourism Economy Monitor, which will be released at World Travel Market in London this November.

The 2018 symposium is part of an ongoing partnership between the Global Wellness Institute and Arabian Travel Market and World Travel Market. “The Wellness Showcase: Wellness Experiences & Travel Trends 2018” takes place Monday, April 23 from 2:30-5:30 PM in the ATM’s Showcase Theatre.

Speakers include Dr Maria Encarnacion Ridao Alonso, medical director at the Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre; Sharon Barcock, director of spa and fitness operations and development for Hilton in MEA; Dr Abhishek Jain, vice president of business development and operations for Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East for WTS International, and more.

“Wellness travel will continue to grow at a powerful pace: 7.5 per cent every year through 2020, or more than twice as fast as tourism overall,” said Susie Ellis, GWI chair and CEO. “We’re thrilled to again partner with ATM to share the most important wellness travel trends, and give the travel industry some bankable predictions for the future. In a few short years, wellness travel has become utterly mainstream and an incredibly competitive and creative market. Understanding shifts in the landscape is a must to understand travel in general, and its future in particular.”

Major trends that are heating up in wellness travel will be explored, with special attention paid to a macro shift underway from “experiential” to “transformative” wellness travel: what that means, the aspects of the trend, and how travellers now seek (and destinations are innovating) more emotional, life-changing journeys versus disconnected itineraries, classes and treatments.

The symposium will also feature experts from tourism organizations, including Linda Abdullah Ali Ruhi from Dubai’s Health Tourism Council and Carol Hay of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, sharing their strategies for attracting the healthy-minded tourist.
In early November, at the WTM in London, the Global Wellness Institute will release a complete update of its Global Wellness Tourism Economy report, providing all new data, trends and insight on worldwide markets – from figures on wellness trips and expenditures to the breakdown of international/domestic and primary/secondary wellness travellers to (for the first time) the average spending of primary and secondary wellness travelers in top-market countries.

Symposium attendees will get a sneak peek of their coming research for the MENA region, spotlighting interesting new wellness travel and spa developments from the UAE to Saudi Arabia to Tunisia.

Experts will present numerous body, mind and spirit experiences live on stage. For instance, Dr Abhishek Jain of WTS International will demonstrate popular ayurvedic modalities, while other master practitioners will showcase the new “smart” wellness screening and skin analyses, acupuncture, herbal medicine, tai chi, kung fu, colour and aromatherapy, sound/vibrational therapies like Tibetan singing bowls, and laughter yoga.


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19 Oct 2018
Blackstone acquires live events specialist NEC Group
Private equity giant Blackstone has acquired UK-based live events venue operator National Exhibition Centre Group from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.
18 Oct 2018
Alessandri, Clodagh, McCann lead GWS Wellness Awards
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) celebrated recipients of its 5th-annual Global Wellness Awards and the winners of its Shark Tank of Wellness student competition, all of which were announced at this year’s Summit at Technogym Village in Cesena, Italy. More than 630 invitation-only delegates hailing from 50 countries attended this year’s sold-out Summit, and the 2018 Global Wellness Award recipients, determined by the GWS Advisory Board, were announced on the final day of the Summit, as follows:
17 Oct 2018
Bidding for 2026 Olympics could shrink to a two-horse race as Stockholm looks to pull out
The troubled bidding process for the 2026 could become a two-horse race, after a newly-elected Stockholm City Government said no taxpayer money should be "wasted" on hosting the Games.
16 Oct 2018
Birmingham 2022 organisers to involve local communities in Games planning
The Birmingham 2022 organising committee has launched a campaign which will allow local communities to have their say and help shape the city's Commonwealth Games.
05 Oct 2018
Four Seasons Lana’i wins ISPA’s Innovation of the Year award
Four Seasons Lana’i was named this year’s overall winner for ISPA Innovation of the Year award for its Zen Horse Sunset Yoga experience.
27 Sep 2018
Germany to host Euro 2024 after beating Turkey in final vote
Germany has beaten Turkey to host the Euro 2024 football tournament, after a vote by UEFA's Executive Committee.
25 Sep 2018
EAS 2018: Dutch politician Mona Keijzer opens Euro Attractions Show
Mona Keijzer, state of secretary for the Department of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands, was on hand for the launch of this year's European Attractions Show (EAS) - the largest in the event's history.
19 Sep 2018
Edgbaston to increase capacity for Ashes test and World Cup
Edgbaston Stadium is increasing its capacity ahead of a bumper year of international cricket in 2019, when the venue will host an Ashes test as well as matches during the ICC Cricket World Cup.
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Diary dates
24 Apr - 26 Nov 2018
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