hot springs initiative

The Hot Springs Initiative is an international wellness ThinkTank dedicated to exploring the diverse values of geothermal waters for health, recreation, tourism and community. We seek to connect the global communities involved with geothermal water and to provide network events and conferences to help grow consumer and political awareness of this unique segment of recreation, health and tourism markets (industry). Our intention is to connect the global community of hot springs and geothermal resources by raising awareness of this unique and distinct segment of global recreation, health and tourism industry (community). View our activities and tasks below.

2017 Briefing Paper
The briefing paper is a snapshot of this industry sector including valuable information on latest trends, challenges and initiative accomplishments. Read full paper HERE



Amy McDonald

initiative Chair

Amy McDonald, Owner Principal, Under a Tree Health and Wellness Consulting
Amy McDonald is the owner of Under a Tree Consulting and has designed world class wellness experiences over 30 years that support optimal health and sustainability on an international level. Specialties include turnkey development and operational consulting globally. An advocate of water’s healing properties, Amy has chaired the Hot Spring Initiative for GWI for the past 2 years.



Mark Hennebry

vice chair

Mark Hennebry, Vice-Chairman, Danubius Hotel Group
Mark Hennebry has a background of over 25 years in the hotel, financial and private equity sectors. Currently a board director for Danubius Hotel Group –  one of Europe’s largest owner/operator of natural resource health spas. Prior to joining CP Holdings, he was the Executive Board Director for Maybourne Hotel Group and before that was with Avestus Capital and was responsible for the asset management of the luxury hotel portfolio, including a number of Four Seasons hotels located around Europe.

initiative Members



Dr. Nelia Jonker


James White




Vicky Nash


Our activities (objectives/goals) include:

  • Coordinate and contribute to the Hot Springs Forum at the annual Global Wellness Summit
  • Provide a forum for sharing best practices from around the world: cross-culturally, historically and archaeologically
  • Provide opportunities for hot springs facilities to share best practices, triumphs, challenges and sustainable business models
  • Develop a comprehensive database for sharing best practices and sustainable models and appropriate technologies
  • Promote geothermal water destinations for nature-immersion/eco-tourism
  • Build a global database of hot springs industry contacts
  • Develop a framework for the evolution of the hot springs culture, systems, operators, owners, the deep value of stewardship and sustainability, environment
  • Educate the consumer and community about the additional value of hot springs


Some of the specific tasks of the group include:

  • Identify and discuss industry and community strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • Develop a framework for understanding and evolution of the hot springs culture, systems, source-to-end use, health benefits and recreational opportunities
  • Provide access to best-practices for sustainable source-to-end uses
  • Provide cross-cultural and trans-national perspectives for comparative legal issues
  • Promote the deep value of stewardship and environmental sustainability
  • Promote public awareness of geothermal water value for health, recreation, and nature-based tourism
  • Promote environmental and species sustainability awareness thru geothermal water sites
  • Gather and provide access to historical, archaeological and geologic lore of geothermal waters
  • Seek to engage, connect, share and further the Global Community of geothermal health & wellness resource users and operators
  • Share sustainable best practices from diverse geographic and cultural histories
  • Explore and share diverse ways in which cultures have used geothermal water, contemporary and historical
  • Raise awareness of geothermal waters as the essence of S.P.A. “sanus per aquaam”, the historical foundation of SPA culture, by exploring historical lore with current science and best practices from source-to-end uses