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Global Wellness Summit appoints Hannah Messerli, PhD, to Advisory Board


Messerli’s extensive experience in tourism development - including her current role supporting governments in developing private sector tourism initiatives in countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East - will help guide the GWS’s wellness tourism initiatives

MIAMI, FL – The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), an organization at the heart of the multitrillion-dollar global wellness economy focused on facilitating collaboration, announced the appointment of Hannah Messerli, PhD, Senior Private Sector Specialist in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Group of the World Bank, to its advisory board. Messerli’s appointment follows fast on the heels of two other significant additions to the GWS Advisory Board: internal medicine doctor Nicola Finley, MD, and technology innovator and blockchain expert Maggie Hsu.

“Hannah’s expertise in tourism policy and development and her specific focus on opportunities around nature-based tourism for countries around the globe supports the GWS’s goal to help governments and tourism boards not only expand their wellness tourism initiatives but also measure their value to the local economy,” said Susie Ellis, chair and CEO of GWS.

Wellness tourism is at the powerful intersection of tourism and the multitrillion-dollar global wellness economy. Pre-pandemic, researchers from the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the nonprofit entity whose mission is empowering wellness worldwide, valued the wellness tourism market at $639 billion in 2017. The research organization will be releasing updated figures that take into account the effects of COVID-19 on wellness travel during the Global Wellness Summit taking place in Tel Aviv this November. The GWI defines wellness tourism as travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing - something that there is undoubtedly pent-up demand for in 2021.

“The convergence of wellness and tourism activities - especially post-COVID - is clearly on the increase. A key trend emerging in wellness tourism is a growing hunger for all things authentic and nature-based, experiences that benefit both the traveler and the local community. The GWS platform and community is an ideal place to encourage these vital developments,” said Messerli.

Messerli has been with World Bank Group since 2008 and previously held positions contributing to tourism policy, education and development around the world. In her current role, she specializes in the economic, environmental and cultural dynamics of emerging markets and has contributed to advancing tourism policy and planning in regions as diverse as Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She also co-authored Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Livelihoods, which features more than 20 case studies on tourism development challenges and solutions, and she has contributed to numerous analyses and strategies on tourism development for countries globally, including the development of hiking trails through small towns and villages.
Messerli received a master’s degree and PhD from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, where she majored in Tourism Planning and Development, and an MA from George Washington University, where she also studied tourism.

She joins an esteemed group of health and wellness-minded leaders who serve as Advisory Board members for the GWS.

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