ITB Experts Forum Wellness

26 January 2016

The ITB Experts Forum on Wellness, which features path-breaking lectures about wellness in the tourism industry, will once again take place within the framework of the ITB Berlin Convention. The internationally-oriented event, which first took place in 2004, has developed into an important event for the wellness hospitality industry. Time and again the forum presents hot topics well in advance of their establishment in the market, and it also highlights the latest figures on the industry’s development as well as best practice examples from wellness hotels. 

All speakers will be available for interviews after their presentations in front of the auditorium. Simultaneous translation in German and English will be provided.


10:30 - 10:35
Opening ITB Experts Forum Wellness

Michael Altewischer, Managing Partner, Wellness-Hotels & Resorts

10:40 - 11:20
Wellness & Spa Travel Benchmark 2015 - Where Is The Growth?

Budapest: The launch of the fourth edition of the International Wellness and Spa Travel Monitor. IWSTM 2015 introduces the key findings about the most important service lines and facility types with the highest growth potential in wellness travel. Benchmark data from operators worldwide developers and managers have to consider in terms of market challenges and opportunities!

Dr. László Puczkó, CEO, Xellum, Budapest HU

11:25 - 12:05
Best Practice: Weissenhaus Grand Village – Resort & Spa

The Weissenhaus Grand Village is a 400 year old traditonal village on a 75 ha large areal. In 2013/14 it has been completly rebuilt according to monument protection principles. Learn more about this fascinating resort.

Nathalie Fischer, Director of Operations, Weissenhaus Grand Village

12:10 - 12:40
Wellness Trends: Terms and Figures - an up to date overview 2016!

What do guests expect from a wellness holiday and how do hoteliers respond to these needs? Figures that answer such questions are important for developing and operating wellnesshotels and spas. Beauty24 and Wellness-Hotels & Resorts (WH-R) have interviewed guests as well as hoteliers for more than 10 years now. The latest survey will be presented by Wibke Metzger.

Wibke Metzger, Press Officer, Wellness-Hotels & Resorts

12:45 - 13:35
Keynote: Successful Ways Through The Tangle Of Wellness Trends

Dr. Franz Linser on the myriad of trends flooding the actual wellness market and hands-on solutions and orientation. What do we really have to consider?
Excerpt of topics:
+ Real trends versus fake trends
+ How ever new trends pop up in the wellness industry
+ How new lifestyles trigger new wellness trends
+ Best practice examples

Dr. Franz Linser, Founder and Managing Partner, Linser Hospitality GmbH

13:40 - 14:30
Spotlight on Africa:Africa’s Spa & Wellness Industry; Uniqueness, Transformational Dimensions and Future prospects

The African spa and wellness space has very well known parts and very well hidden parts. Africa as a continent is now known to the world as one of the next global business frontiers and also a deep hidden treasure of traditions, culture and opportunity.
• So what’s going on in Africa with wellness?
• What are the traditional & cultural innovations?
• What are the best practices
• What is the evolution?
• What does the future look like?
Dzigbordi will spotlight Africa’s wellness space with data highlights, patterns,
practices, and concepts to generate our thought triggers and bring clarity and
insight about the continent for opportunities and possibilities!

Dzigbordi Kwaku Dosoo, Founder/Chief, Allure Africa Group, DKD Holdings

14:35 - 15:05
Wellness And Spa: Not A Trend, Just Well-Being!?

In his second presentation Dr. László Puczkó asks a sardonic question: Is wellness really a trend? Is it not only fashion? How can eggs be wellness eggs? Is wellness the commercialization of well-being? Where does wellness-washing starts? How much of the more health conscious lifestyle can be converted to wellness trips? There is a fine line between the general healtharisation of hospitality services and wellness motivation for travel? Does it count as a genuine motivation of travellers? What is next?

Dr. László Puczkó, CEO, Xellum, Budapest HU

15:10 - 15:40
Spa and Wellness Destinations: Where does it go from here?

The economics of visitor happiness is the primary objective of successful destination development and place-making. Increasingly destinations are applying this concept and delivering experiences that satisfy the mind, body and the soul. This presentation will examine examples of destinations that are ahead of the game in this field. It will look at their approach, their organisational structure and what they do.

Prof. Dr. Terry Stevens, Managing Director, Stevens Associates

15:45 - 16:25
Medical | Healing Hotels – A promising market niche!?

Hotels with pampering services and wellness are well known. Hotels with a medical & healing department are something quite different. Such types of hotels belong to a small market niche - the success factors of which are kept secret. A case from the Mediterranean shows which challenges and on the other hand economic advantages arise during the entire planning process. The example shows that medical hotels can lead to higher profitability than hotels with only pampering and wellness. Problems connected with such types of hotels will be shown as well as coping strategies.

FH Prof. Dr. Kai Illing, Regio Sana

16:30 - 17:10
Spa und Wellness Marketing: Social Media Influencer Hype or Jackpot?

„Influencer marketing“ is the new big deal right now. It´s not only journalists anymore who communicate with huge numbers of readers - also blogger and some other social media user reach with their texts, photos and videos thousands (and sometimes even millions) of people. That´s why by now almost every big brand is doing some kind of cooperation with influencers to make use of their coverage – the so called “influencer marketing”. But how do they do it and in which way can wellnesshoteliers and spa-operators make use of influencer marketing too?

Moderated by:
Wibke Metzger, Press Officer, Wellness-Hotels & Resorts
Jennifer Ospelt, I Love Spa
Elke Weiler, meerblog


WELLNESS-HOTELS & RESORTS (W-H-R) is a cooperation of fifty hotels located in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands and Italy. It is the leading association for spa-experiences and since twelve years located on top of the german spa-hotel-industry. Meanwhile, next to the first pionieers, there are carefully selected, mostely owner-managed german spa-resorts and international partners in the four or five star-rated-segments. Independent TÜV-experts proof the spa-area of the hotels under the aspects of generosity, innovation and sustainability. A bulked catalogue of WELLNESS-HOTELS & RESORTS (in German) can be ordered at: and +49.(0)211.679 69 69.

Weitere Informationen und Bildmaterial:
Mareike Heck
Wellness-Hotels & Resorts GmbH | Haroldstraße 14 | D-40213 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 (0)211.679 69 60
Fax: +49 (0)211.679 69 68 |