Overview

The Hot Springs Initiative is a global network of hot springs owners, operators, academics and industry participants dedicated to exploring the diverse potential of geothermal waters to contribute to the health and wellbeing of visitors as well as the economies and societies in which they are located. We seek to connect communities who have geothermal water and provide opportunities to meet, share thoughts and collectively grow the industry while generating consumer and political awareness of this unique natural and sustainable resource found in every country on earth.

View our activities and tasks below.

Charles Davidson

Charles Davidson
AUSTRALIA

Initiative Chair

Charles Davidson, Co-Founder & CEO, Peninsula Hot Springs
Charles Davidson is the co-founder & CEO of Peninsula Hot Springs; chairman of the Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC); Victorian Tourism Ministerial Advisory Committee member; founding member and past vice-president of the Australasian Wellness Association (ASWell) and a founding member of the Global Hot Springs Initiative. Charles’ passion for hot springs started the moment he entered the waters at Kusatsu Onsen in Japan in 1992. Since then Charles has travelled to 42 countries on hot springs research missions in a search to find how cultures of the world share the gift of thermal waters for health, wellbeing and community creation. What he learns is translated into transformative experiences at Peninsula Hot Springs, and at other hot springs he has designed, to help visitors relax in nature and with each other to connect with the wellness of their being.

Mark Hennebry

Mark Hennebry
UNITED KINGDOM

Vice Chair

Mark Hennebry, Vice-Chairman, Danubius Hotel Group
Mark Hennebry has a background of over 25 years in the hotel, financial and private equity sectors. Currently a board director for Danubius Hotel Group –  one of Europe’s largest owner/operator of natural resource health spas. Prior to joining CP Holdings, he was the Executive Board Director for Maybourne Hotel Group and before that was with Avestus Capital and was responsible for the asset management of the luxury hotel portfolio, including a number of Four Seasons hotels located around Europe.


Initiative Members

Iztok Altbauer

Iztok Altbauer
SLOVENIA

Thomas Bauer

Thomas Bauer
AUSTRIA

Jean Guy de Gabriac

Jean Guy de Gabriac
FRANCE & BELGIUM

Dr. Nelia Jonker

Dr. Nelia Jonker
SOUTH AFRICA

Amy McDonald

Amy McDonald
UNITED STATES

Vicky Nash

Vicky Nash
UNITED STATES

Jeff Wang

Jeff Wang
CHINA

James White

James White
NEW ZEALAND


Our activities (Objectives/Goals) Include:

  • Coordinate and contribute to the Hot Springs Forum at the annual Global Wellness Summit
  • Provide a forum for sharing best practices from around the world: cross-culturally, historically and archaeologically
  • Provide opportunities for hot springs facilities to share best practices, triumphs, challenges and sustainable business models
  • Develop a comprehensive database for sharing best practices and sustainable models and appropriate technologies
  • Promote geothermal water destinations for nature-immersion/eco-tourism
  • Build a global database of hot springs industry contacts
  • Develop a framework for the evolution of the hot springs culture, systems, operators, owners, the deep value of stewardship and sustainability, environment
  • Educate the consumer and community about the additional value of hot springs

Some of the Specific Tasks of the Group Include:

  • Identify and discuss industry and community strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • Develop a framework for understanding and evolution of the hot springs culture, systems, source-to-end use, health benefits and recreational opportunities
  • Provide access to best-practices for sustainable source-to-end uses
  • Provide cross-cultural and trans-national perspectives for comparative legal issues
  • Promote the deep value of stewardship and environmental sustainability
  • Promote public awareness of geothermal water value for health, recreation, and nature-based tourism
  • Promote environmental and species sustainability awareness thru geothermal water sites
  • Gather and provide access to historical, archaeological and geologic lore of geothermal waters
  • Seek to engage, connect, share and further the Global Community of geothermal health & wellness resource users and operators
  • Share sustainable best practices from diverse geographic and cultural histories
  • Explore and share diverse ways in which cultures have used geothermal water, contemporary and historical
  • Raise awareness of geothermal waters as the essence of S.P.A. “sanus per aquaam”, the historical foundation of SPA culture, by exploring historical lore with current science and best practices from source-to-end uses