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GSS Research Finds $106 Billion Wellness Tourism Market Held Back by Conceptual Confusion: With Exclusive Commentary from Susie Ellis About What This Means for the Spa Industry

Posted: September 15, 2011

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Released at the GSS in Bali, Indonesia in May 2011, the report was a collaborative effort of Katherine Johnson, research scientist, SRI International; Dr. Laszlo Puczko, head of the Tourism Division, Xellum Ltd. (Hungary); Melanie Smith, PhD, lecturer/researcher, Corvinus University (Budapest); and Susie Ellis, Global Spa Summit Board Member.

*SRI International, “Spas and the Global Wellness Market,” 2010 recently asked Susie Ellis, board member of GSS and founder of SpaFinder, what the recent research report, Wellness Tourism and Medical Tourism: Where Do Spas Fit? means for smaller spas and how this information can help them improve their businesses. Ellis responded as follows.

"I think the results of this report are extremely positive for spas throughout the world, whether large or small, day spas or hotel/resort spas, destination spas or medical spas. The reason? This study shows that the consumer is most comfortable recognizing medical tourism separate from wellness tourism. A medical tourist travels across borders because they are seeking a medical procedure from a medical doctor, and a wellness tourist travels across borders seeking integrative wellness/preventive approaches to improve their health and quality of life.