Wellness Tourism initiative Members
Each Wellness Tourism Initiative member's mission is to share and examine the challenges we face and be proactive in expanding and spearheading education and clear messaging in both the public and private sector.
Managing Director of Slovenian Spas Association, Celje (Slovenia)
Iztok Altbauer was born on 28 December year 1958 in Slovenia. He graduated from University of Ljubljana Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana (Slovenia) in German language and sociology. From 01 March 2008 to present day he is Managing Director of Slovenian Spas Association, Celje (Slovenia) where he is leading Slovenian Spas Association and acting as a representative for its members in all legal matters, conducting marketing activities, responsible for PR and R&D.
Managing Partner & Co-founder, Satteva Spa and Wellness Concepts, Mexico
With over 25 years in the spa industry, Baker is co-founder and managing partner at Satteva Spa and Wellness Concepts. She has a lifelong passion for wellbeing, and has worked with award-winning spa companies around the world such as the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Baker is a board member of the Green Spa Network and co-chairwoman of the Global Wellness Institute’s Sustainability Initiative.
Founder and managing director of Healing Hotels of the World, Germany
Anne Biging is founder and managing director of Healing Hotels of the World, a membership of hotels and resorts committed to healing. As a visionary of the tourism industry Anne has founded Healing Hotels of the World 2006 anticipating the global need for health and purpose in life. Healing Hotels of the World has currently 100 partner hotels worldwide. Before founding Healing Hotels of the World Anne had a successful track record of over 20 years experience in international tourism destination marketing, public relations and hotel consulting.
Managing Director Medi City, Nottingham, UK
David is applying more than thirty years of healthcare experience to MediCity, with a primary focus on harnessing entrepreneurship to meet the world’s healthcare challenges by creating the optimal environment and personalised support for innovators in health and wellbeing. His primary experience was gained as a Biomedical Scientist within the UK National Health Service, followed by Amersham International and Johnson and Johnson. He has led start-up organisations, including Oxonica Healthcare Ltd. As a CEO / General Manager within Philips, David led high-tech ventures focused on personalised medicine.
Regional Director for Madeira Tourism, Portugal
Kátia Carvalho is the newly Regional Director for Madeira Tourism and has been responsible for the promotion of Madeira Archipelago in the last 7 years. Originally from Lisbon, Portugal, she has started her career in PR and found her passion for advertising in 1999. Worked in two of the biggest Portuguese Advertising Agencies for four years and in 2003 moved to Madeira. In 2005 discovered her new passion – tourism. Started as a Marketing Manager in Madeira Promotion Bureau and three years later assumed the leadership of the company, where she stayed until March 2015. In the end of 2013 she was introduced to Wellness Tourism and has been ever since a passionate advocate of Madeira as a future Wellness destination.
aldina duarte ramos
Global Director, Well-being Product, Accor Hotels, Luxury & Upscale Brands, France
Aldina Duarte Ramos is global director of wellbeing products for Accor's luxury and upscale brands portfolio, featured at over 300 hotels and 150 spas. Aldina previously defined the SoSPA and SoFIT concepts for Sofitel Luxury Hotels and supervised their worldwide implementation. She also is president of the French Spa Association and former President the French Wellness Tourism Commission where she supervised the working group for the creation of Spa Standards. She has 17 years of experience in the hospitality and spa industries.
Executive Chairman, The Brighter Group, United Kingdom
Steve Dunne is one of the UK's foremost strategy experts in the fields of digital communications and Public Relations. He is a much in demand speaker on the subject of digital strategy and advises many of Europe’s major brands. He is a Executive Chairman of The Brighter Group, one of the UK’s leading marketing communications companies, and CEO of Digital Drums Ltd, a digital and PR training company. A PR professional with over 30 years experience, Steve has held senior management roles in British Telecom, HSBC and South African Airways as well as being a director and board member of a range of PR consultancies including Affinity Consulting, Countrywide Porter Novelli and Brighter Group.
Founder, PRCo, United Kingdom
Victoria Fuller worked for 27 years at PRCo which she founded in 1987 and helped develop into Europe's largest specialist luxury travel PR agency. She directed Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts account for fifteen years and Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces for twelve years on their European marketing strategies. With the health and wellness sector always a key personal focus, Victoria was instrumental in positioning and promoting several of the world's top destination spas including Ananda in the Himalayas, The Original FX Mayr, SHA Wellness and Grayshott. Most of these have been clients for over a decade and continue as clients today.
Co-founder, The Monthly Barometer, FRANCE
Thierry is the co-founder and main author of the Monthly Barometer, a succinct predictive analysis exclusively provided to private investors and some of today's most influential opinion and decision-makers. He was until 2011 a senior partner at IJ (Informed Judgement) Partners, an investment boutique for ultra-high-net-worth individuals based in Geneva, and prior to that managing partner at Rainbow Insight, an advisory boutique which he founded, providing tailor-made intelligence to investors. Thierry has written several business and academic books, and has published four novels (two of which under a pen-name). In addition, he is a public speaker with some of the world’s leading agencies. He also sits on several advisory boards.
Senior Lecturer in Business Management at University of Derby, Buxton, United Kingdom
Elina Michopoulou is a Senior Lecturer in Business Management at University of Derby, Buxton. She is active in several research fields including tourism, technology and disability. She holds a B.Sc. in Tourism Management from Technological Institute of Patras, Greece, a Masters degree in e-Tourism and a PhD in Accessible Tourism Information Systems from University of Surrey, UK. Previously she worked for 2, 5 years as a Research Officer in eTourism Research Development and Evaluation at the University of Surrey for the European Commission funded eContent Project OSSATE (One-Stop-Shop for Accessible Tourism in Europe). Elina was involved in Organising and Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2004 in Athens, Greece.
Founder & Managing Director, Wellbeing Escapes, United Kingdom
Stella Photi combined her passion for preventative health with her extensive travel industry experience to create Wellbeing Escapes in 2005. This is when her quest began to make healthy breaks accessible and to offer down to earth objective advice on a wide range of wellbeing experiences. Wellbeing Escapes was a pioneering in the wellness space, and since thenhas inspired thousands of people to take a different type of holiday and has helped highlight wellness tourism as a serious segment in the mainstream travel market. Prior to starting Wellbeing Escapes, Stella managed Leisure Sales for a major U.S. airline in Europe and before then worked for major tour operators.
Managing Director, Xellum Management Consulting, Hungary
Managing director of Xellum Management Consulting and president of the Association of Tourism Consultants, Puczkó is an expert on health and wellness tourism, and has authored numerous books on the subject, including the co-authored Health, Tourism and Hospitality, which will be released at the Global Wellness Tourism Congress. László graduated in 1993 as an economist specialized in tourism and logistics at Budapest University of Economics. Since 2006 he has been the president of the Association of Tourism Consultants, and founded The Tourism Observatory for Health, Wellness and Spa (2012).
Program Manager, Cluster Wellness Tyrol, Austria
Since 2007, Robert Ranzi has been managing projects of Cluster Wellness Tyrol, a network with 130 enterprises, institutions and universities covering the health, wellness and tourism industry. The cluster organizes events, conventions and impulse workshops in order to stimulate innovation and economic growth. Robert is a studied clinical and health psychologist with experience and results in adult education, marketing and strategic project development.
Founder & CEO, Insignia Worldwide, United Arab Emirates
Gaurav Sinha founded Insignia Worldwide, one of the Middle East’s most successful advertising and marketing services agencies in 2003 and has been chief executive throughout. A vibrant thought leader in the luxury, travel and lifestyle marketing sector, Gaurav has worked in the Middle East for the past 19 years and is internationally recognised as a protagonist in his field. After a decade of working within the advertising industry, ending with a stint at global advertising giant Lowe, he took on the role of Head of Marketing for Hilton Worldwide in the Middle East between 1998-2002.
Specialty Markets Manager, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, United States
Cheryl Smith is the specialty markets manager for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. With over 20 years of healthcare experience, Cheryl manages global sales initiatives promoting Las Vegas as a premier international medical, wellness and convention travel destination. In 2014, Las Vegas attracted a record 41.1 million visitors, including 2.9 million who visited a Las Vegas spa.