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Why the World Tourism Organization hosted a ‘powerful gathering of the minds’ in wellness and medical tourism
POSTED 27 Jul 2016 . BY Jane Kitchen
The spirit was incredibly passionate and positive, with a common goal to make the best decisions for the many parties of interest
– Anna Bjurstram
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC), recently gathered a group of international experts in Budapest with a mission to better understand and explore the growing segment of wellness and medical tourism.

The two organisations plan to publish a report at the end of this year entitled “Exploring Health Tourism,” and part of the meeting’s purpose was to gather input from experts for that report, and to explore the differences and similarities between wellness tourism and medical tourism. The research report is being headed up by Dr. László Puczkó and Melanie Smith of Xellum management consulting company.

“The need to better understand an emerging, global, complex and rapidly changing phenomenon such as wellness and medical tourism has become essential to tap into its potential,” said Marcio Favilla, UNWTO executive director for operational programmes and institutional relations.

The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

Eduardo Santander, executive director of ETC – an international organisation with a mission to promote Europe as a tourist destination – said it’s important to provide tourism authorities, managers and experts with a better understanding of health tourism, and also to provide consistent terminology for the sector.

The two-day event gathered experts from the World Health Organization, the European Union, the World Travel and Tourism Council, the European Spas Association, and the Global Wellness Institute, among others. Representatives from the health-related tourism sector from Hungary, Lithuania, Malaysia and Mexico also attended the event.

“It’s a testament to just how fast the category of travel for health and wellness is growing that the UNWTO and the ETC convened this roundtable,” said Susie Ellis, chair and CEO, Global Wellness Institute.

Anna Bjurstram, board member of the Global Wellness Summit and VP of spas and wellness for Six Senses, attended the roundtable on behalf of the Global Wellness Institute, and said the event made “significant advancement” in classifying tourism under the banners of health, medical and wellness.

“The roundtable was a powerful gathering of the minds and authorities in these fields, and the spirit was incredibly passionate and positive, with a common goal to make the best decisions for the many parties of interest,” Bjurstram said. “I believe we made fantastic progress and look forward to further advancements in the same direction.”

The GWI’s in-depth reports on the global wellness economy and worldwide wellness tourism has contributed to the conversation about the sector’s growth.

“We’re thrilled that this conversation is taking place at such a high level, and see a need for ongoing dialogue and action that establishes the right definitions and taxonomies to structure and promote both medical tourism and wellness tourism,” said Ellis. “We need smart, informed solutions for a global audience that includes such a diverse group of stakeholders: governments, medical organisations, wellness professionals, the hospitality industry, travel and tourism businesses – and ultimately, citizens and consumers.”

The GWI is advocating for recognising medical tourism and wellness tourism as two separate entities.

“After all, it’s common sense that travelling for a medical procedure is a radically different thing than travelling to maintain or enhance one’s health – and that a mix-up of these two tourisms can lead to ineffective promotion, consumer confusion, and wasted money and effort,” said Ellis.

“With the UNWTO/TEC research initiative and recent roundtable, we’re so encouraged to see agreement about the importance of health and wellness for all, and that a focus on prevention is key,” said Ellis.

The final report establishing common grounds for a health-related tourism taxonomy will be published by the end of the year.

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NEWS
Why the World Tourism Organization hosted a ‘powerful gathering of the minds’ in wellness and medical tourism
POSTED 27 Jul 2016 . BY Jane Kitchen
The spirit was incredibly passionate and positive, with a common goal to make the best decisions for the many parties of interest
– Anna Bjurstram
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC), recently gathered a group of international experts in Budapest with a mission to better understand and explore the growing segment of wellness and medical tourism.

The two organisations plan to publish a report at the end of this year entitled “Exploring Health Tourism,” and part of the meeting’s purpose was to gather input from experts for that report, and to explore the differences and similarities between wellness tourism and medical tourism. The research report is being headed up by Dr. László Puczkó and Melanie Smith of Xellum management consulting company.

“The need to better understand an emerging, global, complex and rapidly changing phenomenon such as wellness and medical tourism has become essential to tap into its potential,” said Marcio Favilla, UNWTO executive director for operational programmes and institutional relations.

The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

Eduardo Santander, executive director of ETC – an international organisation with a mission to promote Europe as a tourist destination – said it’s important to provide tourism authorities, managers and experts with a better understanding of health tourism, and also to provide consistent terminology for the sector.

The two-day event gathered experts from the World Health Organization, the European Union, the World Travel and Tourism Council, the European Spas Association, and the Global Wellness Institute, among others. Representatives from the health-related tourism sector from Hungary, Lithuania, Malaysia and Mexico also attended the event.

“It’s a testament to just how fast the category of travel for health and wellness is growing that the UNWTO and the ETC convened this roundtable,” said Susie Ellis, chair and CEO, Global Wellness Institute.

Anna Bjurstram, board member of the Global Wellness Summit and VP of spas and wellness for Six Senses, attended the roundtable on behalf of the Global Wellness Institute, and said the event made “significant advancement” in classifying tourism under the banners of health, medical and wellness.

“The roundtable was a powerful gathering of the minds and authorities in these fields, and the spirit was incredibly passionate and positive, with a common goal to make the best decisions for the many parties of interest,” Bjurstram said. “I believe we made fantastic progress and look forward to further advancements in the same direction.”

The GWI’s in-depth reports on the global wellness economy and worldwide wellness tourism has contributed to the conversation about the sector’s growth.

“We’re thrilled that this conversation is taking place at such a high level, and see a need for ongoing dialogue and action that establishes the right definitions and taxonomies to structure and promote both medical tourism and wellness tourism,” said Ellis. “We need smart, informed solutions for a global audience that includes such a diverse group of stakeholders: governments, medical organisations, wellness professionals, the hospitality industry, travel and tourism businesses – and ultimately, citizens and consumers.”

The GWI is advocating for recognising medical tourism and wellness tourism as two separate entities.

“After all, it’s common sense that travelling for a medical procedure is a radically different thing than travelling to maintain or enhance one’s health – and that a mix-up of these two tourisms can lead to ineffective promotion, consumer confusion, and wasted money and effort,” said Ellis.

“With the UNWTO/TEC research initiative and recent roundtable, we’re so encouraged to see agreement about the importance of health and wellness for all, and that a focus on prevention is key,” said Ellis.

The final report establishing common grounds for a health-related tourism taxonomy will be published by the end of the year.

RELATED STORIES
Authenticity is key for ‘Trailblazers of Wellness Tourism’


Representatives from Slovenia, Finland, Jordan and the Healing Hotels of the World consortium gathered at World Travel Market in London last week for a panel entitled “Trailblazers of Wellness Tourism,” sponsored by the Global Wellness Institute.
Wellness opportunities abound for travel industry at large, suggests panel


A panel at the World Travel Market in London yesterday addressed the issue of “Attracting High-Yield Travellers via Wellness Tourism.”
Wellness expert Anni Hood to lead GWI's 2015 wellness tourism congresses


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Job location: Wisley, Woking, UK
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Job location: Northamptonshire, UK
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Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2018

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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