Singapore – Organizers of an international gathering focused on the wellness industry are moving the meeting, originally scheduled in Hong Kong, Singapore.
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), announced by organizers as the premier gathering of international leaders in the global wellness economy of $ 4.2 trillion ($ 5.83 trillion), announced its decision Thursday (August 15th).
The event, which is due to take place from October 15 to 17, will now take place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Singapore.
In response to a request from The Straits Times, Ms. Susie Ellis, chairman and CEO of GWS, cited Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests as a reason for the change.
"With the increase in unrest in Hong Kong, it was decided to move the Singapore Summit. While we are saddened by the current situation in Hong Kong, we are happy to present the 13th Annual Singapore Summit in October."
A ten-week confrontation between police and protesters has thrown Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it transitioned from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Mass demonstrations are expected over the weekend.
More than 700 people have been arrested since the start of the protests in June, and tear gas is often used by police when trying to disperse protests in the city.
The protests also paralyzed operations at Hong Kong International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, forcing the airport to halt checks, creating long delays for passengers and canceling 1,000 flights this week.
"In our quest to ensure that travel is as seamless as possible at the Global Wellness Summit, our leadership, advisory board and GWS partners believe that this change in location is important for the collective well-being of everyone involved in summit. " said Mrs Ellis in a statement.
"We work closely with the event organizers and the host sponsor to ensure that the event remains top-notch and has a small interruption for all participants and presenters."
Ms Ellis added that Singapore, as a historic destination and financial center, will be an "exciting home" for the upcoming summit and will offer its delegates a unique first-hand view of the many opportunities available in the wellness markets in Asia.
GWS is just an invited international fair that brings together industry leaders and visionaries to shape the business of wellness and the future of the industry.
Previous summits have taken place in the US, Switzerland, Turkey, India, Morocco, Mexico, Austria and Italy.