This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
PEOPLE Susie Ellis One of the hardest-working champions of the spa industry, Susie Ellis talks to Rhianon Howells


Susie Ellis is president of SpaFinder Wellness™, the spa marketing and media company, author of SpaFinder’s Spa Trends Forecast and chair and CEO of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS). She’s also on the board of the Center for Medical Tourism Research and is a member of the spa advisory board for the University of California, Irvine’s, spa and hospitality management program.


Ellis began her spa career in the 70s as a fitness instructor at California’s Golden Door destination spa where she worked for Deborah Szekely and quickly progressed into management.


After leaving the Golden Door, she worked as a consultant and got an MBA from the University of California Los Angeles, before working as an assistant to two consecutive International Spa Association (ISPA) presidents. In 1995, she was recruited by Donald Trump to manage his first spa at The Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. She’s married to Pete Ellis, who’s SpaFinder chair and the CEO and chairman emeritus of the GSWS, making them one of the spa industry’s power couples.


44 LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014


sales and marketing company Autobytel and when he took it public in 1999, the couple invested in a number of companies – including a New York-based travel agency and magazine publisher called SpaFinder. Today, SpaFinder is no longer a travel


Ellis was recipient of the International Spa Association’s 2012 Visionary Award


SPA TRENDS


Penning SpaFinder’s annual Spa Trend Report™, has won Ellis a reputation as a soothsayer since the first one was published in 2002. Over the years, she’s frequently been on target in identifying trends, including spa lifestyle real estate (2005), sleep health (2007) and wellness tourism (2009) – so much so that, today, its publication is eagerly awaited by both consumer and industry press.


SPAFINDER WELLNESS™ The Ellises got involved with the spa industry early on for investment purposes, unaware it would become their life’s work. In 1995, Pete launched the online car


agency, although it still works with over 25,000 travel agents. Instead, it promotes spa and wellness experiences direct to consumerss through its website, vertical search technology, reservation system and gift card programme. More than 25,000 wellness-focused consumers visit spafinder.com each day, and over the last few years, the company has launched sister sites in the UK, Europe and Canada. It’s this international perspective, believes Ellis, that’s one of her great advantages when compiling the annual trends report. “We have a bird’s eye seat here at SpaFinder,” she says. It was a vision of creating greater unity in the industry that motivated Susie and Pete – along with a group of leading spa professionals – to launch the GSWS. Although many of the founders are still on the board, Ellis has been the driving force.


MEDICAL COLLABORATION Although much of her time is taken up by the GSWS – which takes place in New Delhi, India in 2013 and will see the launch of an additional associated event, the Global Wellness Tourism Summit – Ellis is still the face of SpaFinder and


www.leisurehandbook.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164  |  Page 165  |  Page 166  |  Page 167  |  Page 168  |  Page 169  |  Page 170  |  Page 171  |  Page 172  |  Page 173  |  Page 174  |  Page 175  |  Page 176  |  Page 177  |  Page 178  |  Page 179  |  Page 180  |  Page 181  |  Page 182  |  Page 183  |  Page 184  |  Page 185  |  Page 186  |  Page 187  |  Page 188  |  Page 189  |  Page 190  |  Page 191  |  Page 192  |  Page 193  |  Page 194  |  Page 195  |  Page 196  |  Page 197  |  Page 198  |  Page 199  |  Page 200  |  Page 201  |  Page 202  |  Page 203  |  Page 204  |  Page 205  |  Page 206  |  Page 207  |  Page 208  |  Page 209  |  Page 210  |  Page 211  |  Page 212  |  Page 213  |  Page 214  |  Page 215  |  Page 216  |  Page 217  |  Page 218  |  Page 219  |  Page 220  |  Page 221  |  Page 222  |  Page 223  |  Page 224  |  Page 225  |  Page 226  |  Page 227  |  Page 228  |  Page 229  |  Page 230  |  Page 231  |  Page 232  |  Page 233  |  Page 234  |  Page 235  |  Page 236