SSTH Hosts Swiss Medical Spa & Hospitality Think Tank


EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (SSTH) hosted the first Swiss Medical Spa & Hospitality Think Tank, a one-day forum bringing together industry experts, academics and students to discuss the future of medical and spa trends in the hospitality industry.

As self-care and wellness continue to dominate cultures around the world, the demand for medical services in the hospitality and tourism sectors continues to grow. Event topics centered around the ways in which hospitality organizations can offer guests well-rounded packages addressing everything from diet and fitness to life coaching and stress management.

Speakers included:

  • Peter Yesawich, Ph.D., of Brown Legacy Group, who discussed the “Mother Standard” of care practice at Cancer Treatments of America, and the similarities between the focus on patient experience in medicine and guest experience in hospitality.
  • Lisa Clarke of the Destination Medical Center’s Economic Development Agency, who explained the ways in which the desire to optimize guest experience has driven the infrastructure overhaul at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The clinic sought to add hoteliers to provide an environment to detract from the physical and emotional toll of undergoing treatments.
  • Radesh Palakurthi, Ph.D., of the University of Memphis presented “Outbound Health and Wellness Tourism Destination Choice by U.S. Consumers: A Trade-off Analysis of the Significant Decision Factors.”
  • Ali Poorani, Ph.D., of the University of Delaware Hospitality Associates for Research & Training presented “Marketing & Sensory Evaluations”
  • Frederick J. De Micco of the University of Delaware and SSTH’s CV Wijeratne hosted “Bridging Healthcare to Hospitality (H2H),” presenting research and serving on an expert panel discussing the key forces driving change and opportunities in the global health, spa and wellness, medical and hospitality industry, as well as potential components of a corresponding curriculum.
  • Michael Hartmann, SSTH managing director, discussed his development of a Swiss professional degree program with an option to major in spa & wellness management, focusing on both functional management and soft skills.“People want an experience,” said Hartman. “People want all of their senses to be stimulated. People want us to build on their childhood imprints. This is particularly relevant for health and wellbeing tourism, where guests have very specific expectations and needs. The medical and hospitality fields are connecting their expertise to provide patients and guests with a higher quality experience on all aspects.”
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