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Global Wellness Institute’s New Research on the $494 Billion Wellness Tourism Sector to be Featured on Agenda at London’s World Travel Market

Wellness Institute Representatives and Research Will Have Strong Presence across WTM’s First-Ever, Three-Day Wellness Tourism Programming

New York, NY – October 31, 2014 – The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), an international think-tank that develops research and resources to grow the global wellness industry, continues its focus on educating the travel industry on the opportunities and nuances within the wellness tourism sector at next week’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London (Nov 3-6).

With the upcoming WTM placing an unprecedented focus on niche travel as the future of tourism, 2014 represents the first year that wellness tourism has been allocated its own programming. This three-day educational track was organized in part by the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC), a division of the Global Wellness Institute, working in conjunction with sponsor Spafinder Wellness 365™. To view the WTM’s full wellness tourism program, click here.

“The landmark study1 released at the inaugural, 2013 Global Wellness Tourism Congress put the stake in the ground for this travel sector and is the basis for all the conversations being held today regarding the opportunities that wellness travel presents for both businesses and governments,” said Susie Ellis, chairman of the Global Wellness Institute. The Global Wellness Institute recently released updated data (see Global Spa & Wellness Economy Monitor report) that showed that wellness tourism continues to be one of the fastest-growing travel categories: revenues expanded from $438 billion in 2012 to $494 billion in 2013 – and that 12.7 percent growth rate was 40 percent larger than originally forecast. And wellness tourism also grew 74 percent faster than global tourism overall in the last year (14.6 percent versus 7.3 percent).

Opportunities for Ministers of Tourism: During next week’s WTM, Institute executives will be holding discussions with Ministers of Tourism from around the world about opportunities to promote their countries’ indigenous wellness travel offerings. The organization is already in discussions with several governments to create one-day Global Wellness Tourism Congresses (held in their nation) to help them strategize and promote wellness tourism.

Collaboration with UNWTO: After joining UNWTO as a private sector Affiliate Member last June, GWI and UNWTO will sign an agreement on November 5 to jointly implement projects. These will address the role of wellness tourism in key fields, including seasonality, product diversification, or specialization of destinations, as well as knowledge areas such as quality standards, professional profiles and the production of a global report on wellness tourism. As a UNWTO Affiliate Member, GWI is part of a global network of more than 400 private tourism companies, non-governmental organizations, destinations and academic entities, contributing to knowledge and expertise to promote the development of responsible, sustainable and accessible tourism. GWI can benefit a wide range of public-private collaboration opportunities, including a powerful platform to connect with governments around the world, and the opportunity to join its UN efforts.

“The Global Wellness Institute’s new affiliation with the UNWTO is incredibly gratifying and will increase our global reach in driving future, high-level discussions about the critical role of wellness in overall tourism development,” said Ellis.

GWI Representatives at WTM: Global Wellness Institute representatives will feature strongly in the WTM panels on the wellness sector. On November 4, board member Dr. Franz Linser, founder and CEO of Linser Hospitality, will discuss what wellness tourism is, and why it is growing significantly faster than tourism in general. On November 5, a session on how wellness tourism is being integrated into national agendas will feature Anni Hood, founder and director of Wellness Business Consultancy, and a key advisor to the Global Wellness Tourism Congress. And, finally, on November 6, Susie Ellis, chairman of the Global Wellness Institute, will chair the discussion on two distinct tourism sectors – medical tourism and wellness tourism, with board member Mia Kyricos participating on the panel.

To learn more about the Global Wellness Institute, visit:

About the Institute: The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) is an international think-tank that brings together leaders and visionaries from private and public sectors to positively impact and shape the future of the wellness industry. The GWI is the umbrella organization that runs both the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) and the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC). The GWI is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the $3.4 trillion spa and wellness industry., the world’s first online portal to the medical evidence for common wellness approaches, is also a GWI initiative.