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Global Wellness Institute's branding structure revealed at GSWS 2014

by Helen Andrews | 29 Sep 2014

Susie Ellis, chair and CEO of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS), unveiled the branding structure of new industry body the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) at the GSWS 2014, in Marrakech, Morocco, earlier this month.

The GWI, whose conception was first announced at GSWS 2013, is an umbrella organisation for the global spa and wellness industries. It has been formed to help attract investment/ funding from outside the industry to support future growth opportunities for the sector. While the annual GSWS will remain an invite-only gathering, it’s parent organisation – the GWI – will help to fund industry research and regional events.

The GWI will encompass the three well-established sub-brands: The Global Spa & Wellness Summit, The Global Wellness Tourism Congress and the re-branded and re-launched research-based content platform WellnessEvidence.com – formerly known as SpaEvidence.com. These existing enterprises are represented by the new GWI logo – each in a different colour. There are several new initiatives that are expected to join the GWI family in the form of sub-brands, including one focused on corporate wellness.

According to Mia Kyricos, brand architect for GWI: “[The aim of the Institute is to] bring together leaders and visionaries from private and public sectors to positively impact and shape the future of the wellness industry.”

To “empower wellness worldwide,” the GWI will continue to provide global research, information and advocate growth and sustainable business practices, with the ultimate vision of becoming the recognised authority and resource for wellness-focused businesses.

Peter Ellis, GSWS’ founder and chair – alongside partner, collaborator and wife Susie Ellis – announced a tiered membership structure to create funding for future initiatives under the GWI umbrella.

The Institute hopes to attract companies, governments and organisations that are aligned with its mission. “These entities should be committed to empowering wellness within their own organisations, cities, regions or the world,” a spokesperson for the Institute told Spa Opportunities exclusively. “These bodies should value the aggregation of wellness-related insight and information as well as the opportunity to collaborate with like-minds committed to the overall wellbeing of our planet’s citizens.”

“We’re hoping to attract literally thousands of people, globally, who want to be part of the institute and can afford this financial level [of investment],” said Pete Ellis at the Summit, adding that prices for the membership range from US$100,000 (€78,000, £61,000) to US$1m (€0.8m, £0.6m).

“Each level has its own benefits, ranging in opportunity from partnering in research all the way to seats on the institute's executive steering committee or governing board of directors,” added Ellis.

Alternatively, at a lower price point of US$1,000 (€776, £610) a year, companies, organisations and individuals can become GWI ‘ambassadors'. “Ambassadors provide essential support to the GWI,” continued the spokesperson speaking exclusively to Spa Opportunities. “This operational funding is necessary to support the development of key infrastructure and day-to-day work, and is accepted in exchange for formal recognition of ambassador contributions on the GWI website, which will be launched in 2015.”

The institute is also planning to develop strategic partnerships and affiliations – with the aim of encouraging organisations or individuals to donate their time or talent to extend the institute’s reach. “The GWI will be seeking content partnerships, affiliations and collaborative relationships with like-minded companies, organisations and relevant departments of global governments,” the spokesperson continued. “We already have established relationships with the governments of the countries where we have held the GSWS and we will look for opportunities to continue those engagements.”

The spokesperson confirmed one such content partnership will be with scientific magazine Scientific American, to create a variety of substantive initiatives focused on the “science of wellness.” The newly re-vamped WellnessEvidence.com website will provide a platform for these evidence-based initiatives.

Susie Ellis added that in addition to research, industry-wide best practice manuals will developed with the funding generated by GWI through collaborative sponsorships. The first of these – The Guide to Hydrothermal Spa Development Standards – was launched at the Summit and is the result of a collaboration of representatives from hydrothermal businesses, giving spa operators and owners the information they need to avoid costly mistakes that occur when these facilities are not designed and built properly.

To keep up the momentum of the wellness tourism movement between summits, the GWI’s Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) is hosting two more roundtables this November – one in New York, at the French Consulate; and one in Washington DC, to be hosted by the Swiss Embassy. The first of these three roundtables was held in London.

The spokesperson continued: “The overarching goal of these roundtables is to help governments and businesses worldwide to understand the value of wellness tourism; encourage the use of common terms and definitions – distinguishing between wellness tourism and medical tourism that are very different wellness segments; educating attendees on the financial aspects of the wellness industry and how the GWTC can support and collaborate with governments, ministries and tourism bodies to benefit from the wellness tourism trend.”

Industry leaders, ministers of tourism, public health leaders, economists, integrative medical doctors and policy makers are invited to the roundtables.

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Susie Ellis, chair and CEO of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS), unveiled the branding structure of new industry body the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) at the GSWS 2014, in Marrakech, Morocco, earlier this month. The GWI, whose conception was first announced at GSWS 2013, is an umbrella organisation for the global spa and wellness industries. It has been formed to help attract investment/ funding from outside the industry
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Susie Ellis, founder and chair of GSWS, announced tiered membership structure to create funding for future initiatives under the GWI umbrella / GSWS 2014
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