Wellness Tourism Summit Releases Programme

Have you booked your tickets yet?

Beach boot camp, massage, mindful meditation and coastal walks are just some of the ways delegates can start the day at Australia’s first ever Wellness Tourism Industry Summit on March 19 and 20.

Hosted at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, the Summit already has over 150 eager delegates signed up and eager to tap into the booming wellness tourism sector – one of the fastest growing segments in tourism overall.

After plenty of anticipation, the Summit programme has just been revealed, and promised to cover the latest research, consumer trends and best practice in wellness travel and tourism, comprising of over 30 leading wellness travel experts from around the globe sharing their insights on the industry’s latest and greatest. Here are some of the day’s highlights:

After a half-day introduction and networking drinks on Thursday March 19, the main conference day on Friday 20 will commence with a specially-designed Wake Up to Wellness program, with guests selecting one of several wellness experiences to set the tone for the day’s proceedings. Delegates can get their hearts and minds pumping with a beach training session run by Noosa Heads Surf Lifesaving Club – expect sprints, lunges, squats and ropes. Alternatively, they can take in some ‘fresh air mindfulness’, a special meditation session led by Wellness Tourism Summit speaker Damian Chapparo of renowned Aro Ha Retreat in New Zealand. To really get to know Noosa, guests can also join an immersive nature walk with Trek Coach, or join Claire Toone, owner of Noosa Flow, for a morning yoga, pilates and meditation class.

WTS Founder, Katherine Droga

Katherine Droga, founder of the Wellness Tourism Summit and Chair of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) Wellness Tourism Initiative, will release findings from research carried out among 1,500 consumers across 8 key countries that shows a growing demand for eco-friendly and sustainable experiences such as open-air cold baths at Arctic Bath hotel and spa in Sweden or connecting with nature at Daintree Ecolodge, a trend Droga describes as ‘the sleeping giant of wellness tourism’.

Accor’s Paris-based Vice-President Wellbeing, Luxury and Premium Brands, Emlyn Brown, will share how hotels can maximise their end-to-end guest experience, and stand out in the increasingly competitive world of luxury hotel wellness travel.

Sharon Kolkka, general manager and wellness director at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, and Janine Hall – founder of Escape Haven and The Palm Tree House in Bali, Indonesia, will share their experiences and exchange views on what immersive wellness travelers are looking for.

Other topic highlights include the growing wellness bathing trend (Charles Davidson, Founder Peninsula Hot Springs) insights into Slow Food and Travel (Deb Caruso, Vice President of Slow Food Noosa) Positive Psychology and Synchronicity (Chris Mackey, Clinical Psychologist and presenter on Destination Happiness) and trending global spa experiences (Megan Larsen, Founder & Director of Sodashi Skincare and Neil Owen Co-founder and Director of Spa Vision) – which will be moderated by our very own SPA+CLINIC Editor Nadine Dilong.

Katherine says there are plenty of reasons why businesses should tapping into the wellspring of benefits that come with wellness tourism. “There are huge benefits to businesses engaging in wellness tourism. Wellness travelers often tread lightly, respect the environment, value local community connections, and help mitigate over-tourism issues that many destinations now face” said Droga. “Wellness travelers also assist a destination with seasonality flows, stay longer than regular tourists and often spend more” continued Droga.

We’ll see you in Noosa!

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