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The Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) has announced the program and roster of speakers for its third annual International Wellness Tourism Conference (IWTC) taking place Oct. 28–30 in Palm Springs, CA.

Open to both WTA Members and non-members, the conference is totally devoted to wellness tourism, wellness travel, and other topics of interest to DMOs, suppliers, travel agents, wellness retreat leaders, wellness practitioners and others interested in the growing wellness segment of the tourism industry.

Photo credit: WTA Member Run Wild Retreats & Wellness.

Wellness Tourism Conference Covers the Bases

The program of confirmed speakers and topics is as follows:

The Influence of AI and Evolving Trends and Challenges: Bibi Mukherjee, the founding Principal of Curve Trends—a digital marketing agency based in Vermont— discusses how generative and conversational AI is now at the forefront of the travel search experience, leaving many travel marketers wondering how optimization, content and other efforts will be affected.

Brand Building for Health & Wellness Tourism: The creator of branding campaigns for DMOs, institutions and services across four continents, Ilan Geva, currently senior director & head of U.S. office for Vmarsh Healthcare, presents on the topic of Brand Building for Health & Wellness Tourism. 

The Legal Issues of Multi-Day Retreats and Who is Responsible for What: Jeff Ment, Attorney and Managing Partner of U.S. based Ment Law Group, presents the legal issues of multi-day retreats and who is who in retreat/tour planning. The travel organizer, the retreat leader, the hotel/resort, local DMC, etc., who has what role/responsibilities and how do you create the needed contracts and terms and conditions for the traveler.

Trends & Challenges of Suppliers from Around the World (and how challenges are being overcome): Panelists include John Nielsen, general manager, Fivelements, Bali; Olia Kinoti, director, African Oasis Safaris, Kenya; Randall Jackson, U.S. business development leader, BodyHoliday & StolenTime, St. Lucia; and Vu Thien Ha, CEO, Senna Retreat, Vietnam.

What Destination Management Organizations are Doing to Raise Their Profiles with Wellness-Minded Travelers: During this session, attendees will hear from Joyce Kiehl, director of communications for conference sponsor Visit Greater Palm Springs; Rose Jordan, director of tourism, Mineral Wells, Texas; and Tameka Wharton, director of tourism Canada region, Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority.

Suppliers, DMOs and Agents–Working Better Together: This open session will be chaired by travel advisor, Kiron Dhaliwal, president of Concierge Vacations Inc.

Highlights from 2023 Wellness Travel Consumer Survey: Survey highlights will be presented by Anne Dimon, WTA president/CEO, plus the session will include recent booking and payment highlights from Jen Corley, head of product marketing, WeTravel.

Luncheon sponsors Sensei Porcupine Creek will present on their luxury wellness retreat and Lyfe Traveller will present on Sri Lanka and its wellness offerings. Other highlights include the chance to win great getaways, plus a farewell dinner at the legendary Dinah Shore Estate.

For more information, visit