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Sunday 19 November 2017
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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 Nov 2017
IAAPA 2017: Brass Ring winners announced
IAAPA has announced its winners for this year’s Brass Ring Awards, recognising a number of companies at the annual IAAPA expo for their achievements in excellence across different parts of the industry.
15 Nov 2017
ESPA spa at Gleneagles named ‘best in the UK’
The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA has been named the best UK spa at this year’s 2017 Good Spa Guide Awards.
14 Nov 2017
IAAPA 2017: Four join prestigious Hall of Fame at Opening Ceremony
IAAPA has welcomed four new members into its prestigious Hall of Fame, with Puy du Fou’s Phillipe De Villiers, Give Kids the World Village’s Pamela and Henry Landwirth, and music composer Richard Sherman all named in this year’s class of inductees.
08 Nov 2017
Emotional healing, self-development, retreats: Photi reveals trends to watch in wellness travel
The wellness travel market will continue the dramatic change seen over the past 10 years, according to Stella Photi, founder of Wellbeing Holidays.
06 Nov 2017
IAAF plans clearer world rankings system and heritage department to boost participation
The qualifications system for the athletics World Championships and the Olympic Games will be redesigned in an effort to make the sport clearer and increase participation at all levels.
01 Nov 2017
Future of wellness travel to dominate WTS agenda
The future of wellness travel and how to gain a competitive edge within the booming sector will feature heavily at this year’s Wellness Travel Symposium (WTS).
31 Oct 2017
Founder of Spabreaks.com named finalist for inaugural female travel awards
Abi Wright, the co-founder and managing director of Spabreaks.com, has been named as a finalist at the inaugural everywoman in Travel Awards.
25 Oct 2017
Hot springs leaders gather in US for 2nd annual Global Thermal Think Tank
The second annual Global Thermal Think Tank took place earlier this month in California and New Mexico, US, bringing together world leaders in hot springs for days of talks and thermal experiences.
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Diary dates
17-19 Nov 2017
SpaCE (Spas of Central Europe) Show
Radenci Spa & Health Resort
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Slovenia
20 Nov 2017
Awards for Hospitality Experience and Design (AHEAD) - EUROPE
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Destinations & Travel Management Summit
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Sleep: The Hotel Design Event
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London
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22 Nov 2017
Postgraduate & Professional Open Evening
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High Wycombe
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23 Nov 2017
Beautyworld Middle East Roadshow to Nigeria
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European Health Prevention Day
Chamber of Commerce (IHK)
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27 Nov 2017
Leisure, FEC and Indoor Play Trade Exhibition
Drayton Manor Hotel
Tamworth
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27 Nov 2017
FEC Excellence Awards 2017
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Tamworth
United Kingdom
27-29 Nov 2017
TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit
NH Collection Barcelona Constanza
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28-29 Nov 2017
MIPIM Asia
Grand Hyatt Hotel
Hong Kong SAR
29 Nov 2017
Sports Broadcasting & New Media Rights: Their Ownership, Protection & Commercial Exploitation - A Masterclass
TBC
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29-30 Nov 2017
ARCHITECT@WORK - Italy
Fiera Milano Congressi
Milan
Italy
04 Dec 2017
SpaHive Mastermind
The Publick House
Sturbridge
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