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Wednesday 19 December 2018
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09 Nov 2017
Russian Spa Congress shows market potential

Last week, almost 250 spa professionals gathered in the Caucasus thermal springs region of Russia for the 4th annual Spa & Wellness International Congress, or SWIC.

Organised by the Spa & Wellness International Council, headed by Elena Bogacheva, the congress presents a wide variety of speakers and topics for the Russian and Russian-speaking spa world.

The event served as the test for the soon-to-open Green Resort Hotel & Spa, perched on the hill above the river in Kislovodsk, one of four thermal cities in this part of Russia. The hotel is a well-designed and modern space that features a large spa and pool complex on the ground floor, overlooking a rose garden.

This year, 56 speakers made presentations over three days, covering topics including staff management, wellness tourism, psychology in spas and marketing.

According to the most recent Global Wellness Institute statistics, Russia ranks 8th in the world in the number of spas, with more than 3,000 locations, mostly in large cities, and is also 4th on the list of thermal spring areas, with over 800 establishments.

Because of visa and language issues, international tourism to Russia is flat, but domestic tourism is strong, with between 33-36 million annual travellers. According to the Russian Union of Travel Industry, domestic tourism is growing between 8 and 10 per cent a year.

The market is very interested in wellness tourism, and the Russian Ministry of Health reports that only 30 per cent of Russians have expressed satisfaction with foreign wellness visits, feeling that their home market provides a better experience.

The Russian Federation has a Strategy of Development of Tourism in place through the year 2020, in which they hope to improve the quality and competitiveness of their tourism products for both domestic and international visitors, indicating a growing opportunity in this region for spas and wellness-related businesses.

Some highlights from the myriad conference lectures included a presentation by Marion Schneider of Germany’s Toskana Therme on the economic effect of a therme, with her three current facilities providing a strong foundation for growth and tourism in their villages.

Gennady Bartukhin, president of the National Bath Federation, shared his organization's plans for a National Bath Museum in Moscow, and Gayane Suriakhina, director of La Salute Fitness Club & Spa, gave a detailed presentation on the best metrics to create revenue in a club spa.

Neurobiologist Dr Claudia Aguirre shared her findings on skin and beauty synergies with the brain, and local marketing guru Roman Tarasenko gave an SRO gallery ideas and examples for current successful marketing strategies.

A small expo with global and local brand and equipment sponsors including Thalgo, Comfort Zone, Sundari and Iyashi Dome was available for attendees to browse the latest in offerings from these companies, while demonstrations and spa treatments were available in the spa for further experience and participation throughout the conference.

The fourth day of the congress offered tours of local sanatoriums and some other cultural activities, and the evening culminated with the Perfect Spa Awards and Gala Dinner, which honoured local Russian spas across a variety of categories.







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17 Dec 2018
US to have professional T20 cricket competition 'by 2021'
USA Cricket plans to set up a professional T20 cricket league in the country by 2021.
12 Dec 2018
FIBO and Leisure Media announce collaboration
FIBO Global Fitness, organiser of the FIBO portfolio of fitness shows, has announced a partnership with global publisher, Leisure Media.
11 Dec 2018
Sector leaders call for 'preventative health push' to get people more active
Physical activity sector leaders, parliamentarians and leading figures in health and business have called for the strengthening of preventative health measures in the UK.
05 Dec 2018
Inaugural FIBO USA kicks off in Florida, challenging IHRSA Convention
The first ever FIBO USA kicks off in Orlando, Florida today (5 December 2018), directly challenging the established IHRSA International Convention and Trade Show.
04 Dec 2018
Inaugural Sporting Champions awards handed out as part of athlete talent scheme
The inaugural Sporting Champions awards have been held to highlight the successes of a talent development programme that aims to help athletes at all stages of their careers.
03 Dec 2018
Mandarin Oriental encourages guests to disconnect with 'Silent Night' event
Mandarin Oriental has announced that it will host its annual 'Silent Night' event on 12 December.
29 Nov 2018
Glion Institute to host conference on technology and wellness
The Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland will host a three-day conference on Innovation and Technology, and what it means for the spa and wellness industry.
29 Nov 2018
Marcus Buckingham to deliver keynote speech at ISPA Conference
The International SPA Association (ISPA) has announced that Marcus Buckingham will be the day two General Session keynote at the 2019 ISPA Conference & Expo, on 12 September in Las Vegas. Buckingham is a leading authority and best-selling author on employee productivity and best practices of leadership and management.
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Diary dates
15 Jan 2019
Prospects 2019
Expedia HQ
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15-17 Jan 2019
EAG International
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BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME)
Harrogate Convention Centre
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28-29 Jan 2019
Facilities Management Forum
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Stansted
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The Pool & Spa Show
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Atlantic City
United States
29-31 Jan 2019
Spatex 2019
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena
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24-25 Feb 2019
International Manufacturers & Distributors Forum
ExCeL
London
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24-25 Feb 2019
Active Wellness
ExCeL London
London
United Kingdom
24-25 Feb 2019
World Spa & Wellness Convention London
ExCeL London
London
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24-25 Feb 2019
Professional Beauty London
ExCeL London
London
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04-06 Mar 2019
International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF)
Hotel InterContinental
Berlin
Germany
07-09 Mar 2019
(IWF Shanghai 2019) Int'l Health, Wellness, Fitness Expo
Shanghai New International Expo Center
Shanghai
China
more diary dates
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