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Second Day of the GSWS Brings Together Industry Thought Leaders


Industry stalwarts commemorate the spa & wellness industry’s role in the tourism growth story – both globally, and in India

New Delhi. The second day of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) explored the ancient, modern and emotional business of wellness. India’s hospitality titans related their personal and entrepreneurial journeys, while keynotes and panels featured world-renowned Indian and South Asian spiritual and wellness leaders. The morning session was followed by a press conference where industry stalwarts addressed the media on the Spa & Wellness Industry’s role in the growth of tourism.

When asked about the relationship between laughter and wellness, Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, renowned Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and University of Arizona, stated “As His Holiness the Dalai Lama had elaborated earlier, happiness is the key to achieving overall wellness. When one is happy, the two distinct hemispheres of the brain, which are otherwise separate, synchronize and harmonize. Happiness and laughter releases endorphins, which are natural opiates that give the body a ‘high’ and increase the threshold of pain. This means that when one is indulging in happy thoughts, humour and laughter, the body is in a better state of wellbeing and can even tolerate more.”

Kapil Chopra, President, Oberoi Group, India, spoke about the challenges and growth of the Indian spa and wellness industry, “There are a number of challenges associated with building a luxury spa brand in India, including labour issues, bureaucratic rules and customer requirements. However, the rewards from the spa and wellness market far outweigh the challenges, and it provides a huge opportunity for hoteliers in the country. This market is showing 30 percent year-on-year growth in India, which makes it the fastest growing segment in hotels and hospitality. This rapid growth is due to the changing trends and patterns amongst Indian customers, who are now embracing wellness not just as a recreational practice, but as a holistic way of life.”

Raymond Bickson, CEO & MD, Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces commented, “The Indian spa and wellness market is experiencing considerable growth. There are currently over 2300 spas in the country, with an additional 700 to be added in the next two-five years. Authentic and holistic wellness is in the DNA of the country, and the wellness market is one of the most exciting in India right now, fuelled by thousands of years of culture and traditions, which are now being embraced by domestic and international travellers alike.”

Andrew Gibson, Group Director of Spas, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group added, “Hotels and hoteliers are moving away from just the business and financial aspects of hospitality, and are placing more of an emphasis on providing an environment that facilitates and enhances wellness. Luxury hotel spas play a very important role in the spa and wellness industry, as hotels have tremendous support facilities and infrastructure to create world-class wellness havens. A truly great spa provides experiences, not just therapies, and the foremost requirement for any exceptional spa professional is passion, rather than just skill or talent ”

About the Summit: The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) is an international organization representing senior executives and leaders from over 40 countries, joined by a common interest to drive economic development and understanding of the spa and wellness industries. Delegates from diverse sectors, including hospitality, tourism, health and wellness, beauty, finance, medical, real estate, manufacturing and technology, attend the organization’s annual Summit, which is held in a different host country each year. After just seven years, the GSWS is now considered the leading global research and educational resource for the $1.9 trillion spa and wellness industry. It is known for introducing major industry initiatives such as, the world’s first online portal to the medical evidence behind common spa and wellness therapies. For more information, visit


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