The Magazine for spa and wellness in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America​

Global Wellness Summit 2018 Day 2

Day 2 opened withAndrea Illy speaking with passion about coffee and happiness. Protective from many cancers, caffeine health warnings have actually been removed and anti-depressant properties have beenidentified. In Italy, as with many places around the world, drinking coffee is a social practice. “Italian Espresso made coffee great”, claims Andrea and led to the café lifestyle now enjoyed worldwide. Illy focuses on pleasure, health and sustainability. Quality leadsto premium prices enabling economic, environmentaland socially sustainable plantations.


The “Shark Tank of Wellness” Global Student Competition saw three presentations by finalists from the US, Swizerland and Turkey.

Student: Maria Mu, Cornell University, US showcased Belluma,a light device to help people fall asleep with breathing exercises.
Professor: Denise Ramzy

Student: Niccolo Saltarelli, Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, Switzerland presentedCamp Well. A wellness focused vacation camp for families to take activeholidays together in the Swiss Alps.
Professor: Bilal Hassan

Student: Ece Nur Temel, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey showcasedYoga Pod, a personal yoga and meditation studio designed to be placed in airports or public spaces.
Professor: Sebnem Timur Öğüt


Sponsor Jam!

A brief presentation from each of the sponsors updated the audience on the new innovations and projects of the companies supporting the summit this year.



Clodagh,Wellness in Design: From the Cradle to the Departure Lounge

Incorporating as many senses as possible when creating designs, Clodagh explains “We aim to give people a visual hug when they walk into our spaces”. Focusing on experiences rather than just design, she uses biophilia and chromotherapy. Every room is a living room, what’s in the room should be used as unused things weigh life down. You never see a U-Haul following a Hearse, she quotes. Material things cannot be taken with us, it’s better to focus on joy, “Did you find joy? Did you bring joy? Did you leave joy?” Be ready to leave at any time, she advises, as death can happen at any moment!


Mark Britnell, In Search of the Perfect Health System

Hailing from England, Mark has experience from both sides of the NHS (the UK’s National Healthcare System) having been a healthcare worker for many years and 10 years ago having overcome prostate cancer. If turnover was reduced by just 1%, all hospitals in the UK would save approximately 1 million pounds. The NHS is now working with wellness companies to introduce.


The world does not have a perfect healthcaresystem, but if it did, it mightlook something like this:



The Global Wellness Day Team managed to squeeze in a quick get together during the morning break to hear about the success of this year’s celebration.


Meet the Initiative Chairs!

With just a short time on stage for each initiative, I was able to present the Women in Leadership Initiative before hosting a lunch table to interact with people interested in becoming part of this powerful and important initiative to move towards equality.




Rafat Ali,Future of Travel and the Risks of Overtourism

The phrase ‘sustainable travel’ is still ignored 20 years on from when it was first talked about. In 2016, Skift decided to come at sustainability from a different angle – coining the phrase ‘overtourism’ which triggers fear in people.

The new term, overtourism, is used as a new construct to look at potential hazards to popular destinations worldwide, as the dynamic forces that power tourism often inflict unavoidable negative consequences if not managed well. In some countries, this can lead to a decline in tourism as a sustainable framework is never put into place for coping with the economic, environmental, and sociocultural effects of tourism. The impact on local residents cannot be understated either.

Five solutions to this are:

1. Limiting transportation options

2. Make it more expensive

3. Better marketing and education

4. Better collaboration among stakeholders

5. Protect overcrowded areas


During the afternoon ‘Networking Energy Break’ we were invited to experience ‘Ecstatic Dance Movement’ via a silent disco. We donned headphones, all playing the same track, and danced on a platform outside the Technogym wellness facility as the sun broke through the clouds. It was energizing and fun, and really brightened the mood before we headed back inside for the last few sessions of the day.

Panel Discussion: Health and Wellness Technologies Abound: How DoWe Keep Up?
Moderated by Joshua McCarter, chief strategy officer, MINDBODY, US
Sammy Gharieni, founder & CEO, Gharieni Group, Kimberly Kovacs, founder, Cormorant Wellness, Clare Martorana, digital service expert, Rina Raphael, writer & editor, Fast Company magazine,Sue Thirlwall, co-founder & CEO, Priyana MD

Rina of Fast Company talked about the increase in funding (1.1 billion) that has been put towards direct-to-consumer women’s reproductive technology aiming to democratize something the majority of women thought they would never have been able to afford.

Having developed a spa treatment bed that is customizable and fully adjustable via a tablet years ago, Sammy Gharieni admits that untilnow they have still not sold a single one. Technology is not always desired by those in the industry, although it is available.

Panel Discussion: Tapping into the Business of Wellness Travel for Countries and Operators
Moderated by Katherine Droga, founder, Droga & Co.

Dr. Jean-Claude Baumgarten, chairman & CEO, CREWE Associates, Anne Dimon, editor, Travel to Wellness, Manuela Irsara, ecosystem coordinator, health & wellness, IDM Südtirol, Dr. Layla AlMarzouqi, director, Medical Tourism Council Dubai, Christine Peter, spa & vitality expert, Switzerland Tourism, Stewart Roxburgh, senior specialist, wellness opportunity, Scottish Enterprise

Anne Dimon stated that as wellness tourists care about the environment, overtourism is less of a concern as they don’t impact the environment the same way regular tourism does. She spoke also about the demographics of the consumer groups, highlighting the age groups of 30 – 55 and 55+ and the two main groups focused on wellness travel, bearing in mind that millennials are also a growing market as they look for wellness travel experiences. The younger generation is more wellness-minded than the rest and hoteliers need to bear that in mind along with customization and personalization.

Jean-Claude asked how we can band together groups of like-minded wellness travelers as solo travel becomes more of a social experience. Dr. Layla stressed the importance of proving data and information to travelers about their destination allowing them to benefit most from their experience. Stewart talked about creating a culture of wellness within a destination.


Sara Jones
Author: Sara Jones

Subscribe to receive the
latest news and information from

Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe