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THE NEXT GENERATION OF EVENTSby invitation onlyClick here to read our amazing delegate feedback

Connections Wellbeing

Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa, Portugal, 29 October-1 November 2017

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Q&A with Adams & Butler – our DMC for Connections Luxury in Ireland

Connections Meetings was an amazing experience at all levels, not only on a professional level with all the new ideas, contacts and experiences, but also on an individual level, you really come back enhanced and with more skills in many aspects.
Matthias Werner, Costa del Sol Tourist Board
A totally unique way of 2 days intense meetings making new connections in a far more lasting way than the usual desk to desk. We fully support this format and look forward to attend again - I have told many of my clients and peers at work about the format and my enthusiasm has made them all excited about Connections
Andre Van Der Bijl, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts
Connections enabled me to discuss my clients' needs in a more relaxed format that I am used to. I found that some suppliers may not have understood to relevance of my clients and business to them via an email or even phone call. Talking one to one and having fun whilst doing it overcame that and I made some great contacts and hopefully can run some events in the destinations whose CVBs I met.
Martine Ainsworth-Wells, Ainsworth & Wells Consultancy / ETOA
Connections is fantastic, they think outside the box and showcase its mission to design meetings that will affect us in multidimensional ways. Alliteratively gain an educative experience – share the knowledge – build strong and long-lasting connections.
Kerri Howard, DC Advisory
"Professionally organised, each appointment was worthwhile and just enough time. Found the debates and group discussions very interesting, informative and placed at the right time to hold the level of engagement. Thoroughly enjoyed going off site for the dinner, excellent seafood. I highly recommend Connections."
Kelly Banner, Kempinski Hotels
"What a fantastic couple of days! I am sure you are all right now taking some well earned rest, but can I get in early to say how well run, well thought out, well picked and well managed the whole event was. A lovely cocktail of good fellow suppliers from around the world, suppliers who we could spend proper time with, and a lovely hotel to do it all in."
Alastair Poulain, Original Travel
"Thanks to you and every member of your immediate team and supporting partners for hosting such an unconventional and stimulating event. A team of warm, welcoming and dedicated professionals who never let the mask slip when the Atlantic winds blew a gale through well-laid plans!"  
Sean O'Hara, BBC World News & BBC.com
"It has been a phenomenal event that perfectly achieved all the goals set; well done to you and your great team. I had the chance to develop new high level relationship on one side and on the other one to enhance/strengthen some already undergoing."  
Stefano Bajona, Onirikos
"Would like to congratulate you and your team for this wonderful business event format that I am sure will continue to be very successful in the coming years as there is a need for it. It was definitely very productive!"
Marwa Rizk Jaber, U Group Worldwide
"I have attended so many travel fairs and events all over the world for many years and I have to say Connections is the best."
Frank Zheng , Luxe China Club
"New relationships created, quality debates with experts and the necessary time to get into detail - all in a memorable and fun environment - the best buyer/seller event I have ever attended!"
Dave Allen, Andara Travel
"Overall we found the event to be helpful for forging relationships in a creative manner but most of all, to be part of a momentous and landmark event that was the very first Connections. We felt it was important both professionally and also personally to be part of the starting collection of Luxury travel professionals present and we very much look forward to supporting you and being kept informed of future developments."
Namai Bishop, LuxePrivé
"Honored to be part of it! At last, in an ocean of appointment-based trade shows and endless slideshows, a new format emerges. We strongly feel that smaller scale events like Connections, offer us a greater opportunity to meet, get to know and above all REMEMBER the suppliers present. Great show!"
Marc Mekki, Platinum Private Journeys
"Thank you for a fantastic event. It was honestly the best I have ever attended – top quality buyers, amazing setting and the format worked perfectly. It was so good to have proper time to chat and bond with the clients, especially over such fun activities."
Anna Hayward, Dorchester Collection
"We liked the general concept of not being stuck in a conference room and having longer appointment so that you could engage with agents in a more relaxed environment. It also had a more intimate feel than some other shows which added to the sense of exclusivity.The quality of the speakers was good – particularly enjoyed Jason Atherton."
"A huge thank you to you and your team for putting on such a superb event. I'm delighted to have been part of it. The majority of my one-to-one meetings were very worthwhile and I thought the speakers were engaging and relevant. The choice of venue and weather also helped in achieving some strong connections!"
Richard Bousfield, Rocco Forte Hotels
"The event was very useful, I fully enjoyed the two days at Four Seasons. Being in contact with right people in informal atmosphere is extremely important in our industry."
Maria Fatyushchenko, Moscow International Travel Service
"Connections- the new & cool way of meeting business leaders in tourism. The only true interpretation of business and pleasure."
Bettina Blase, more.PEP in Style
"After so many years in business, I have truly enjoyed the new meeting format, I have tried all options outdoor as well, the possibility to meet new business contacts and catch up with existing ones, in a truly relaxed way. The topics addressed by the high calibre international speakers you selected where an extraordinary highlight for me personally."
Cordula Junius, Occident Orient Connection
"A phenomenal eveny hosted by experienced and enthusiastic professionals. Well done! It was an honour to be included and hope to be invited again next year."
Andrew Newman, Scotia Inspire
"An interesting & stimulating out of the box trade show - it worked!!"
Michael Holtz, SmartFlyer
"Probably the most relaxed, inspirational and exceptional travel gathering to date!"
Boris Yu, Über
"Many thanks for the warm and enthusiastic welcome. Very professional, but never 'fake'. Top and personal!"
Wiet Proesmans, Atlas Reizen
"Well organized and professional event. The event team should all be complimented. Connections is a quality event with a smaller group of senior representatives networking in a more intimate setting. It allows time for serious buyers and sellers to properly discuss business opportunities during the longer face to face meetings and to build stronger relationships at social functions organized around the event."
Michael Merrithew, Merit Travel Group
"A wonderful inaugural event. I'm very motivated to attend future events, especially in the Middle East"
Roger Kershaw, Roger Kershaw Custom Travel
Connections Meetings is a wonderful concept that takes into account that we are in a peoples business and the business is done between people not companies.
Hector A. Venegas, SwarmWorks Ltd.


Connections is the global networking and event organiser exclusively serving senior leaders and experts in luxury, wellness and meetings. We bring handpicked leaders from the industry together to do business and discuss trends and challenges facing the marketplace. The agenda will blend networking with senior executives, educational content that will challenge and inform, and hands on practical experiences that will showcase the latest techniques in wellness.  

Each event welcomes just 80 delegates (30-40 top buyers, 30-40 selected wellness suppliers and sponsors).

The buyers attending represent both experts in their field and other agency & operator representatives. They join us to further develop their understanding of wellness, in order to enhance their clients experiences and build on their bottom line.

The suppliers are only the best companies in wellbeing around the globe who are invited to participate; these include hotels, DMC’s and destinations.

How do we do it

With your input, we match you with relevant buyers or suppliers, enabling you to forge valuable connections and share ideas through memorable experiences.


  • Bonds participants through memorable experiences
  • Facilitates long-lasting business relationships
  • Presents a creative environment that inspires rather than tires
  • Offers you the opportunity to share and learn with a passionate delegation
  • Build relationships that are made to last



We believe that high-quality face-to-face meetings and networking opportunities are the most effective way of making and maintaining contacts, and doing business with new and existing partners.

Connections offer delegates several new ways to hold their meetings, including:

  • Conventional: Hold your one-to-one meeting at your exclusive branded table
  • Genteel: Enjoy a manicure while meeting at your exclusive branded table
  • Relaxed:  Stroll around the hotel’s beautiful landscape.
  • Inspirational: Immerse yourself in the icelandic cultural lifestyle while learning to cook traditional culinary dishes.

Connections meetings can last for up to 45 minutes; if the meeting concludes early, delegates can take advantage of the networking opportunities, experience activities and healthy refreshments.

Strictly ONE supplier senior executive to ONE buyer senior executive. Both suppliers and buyers have the opportunity to choose the way to conduct their meeting (subject to availability).


Date & Time Activity & Location Description
Sunday  29 October
All Day Spa, wellness classes and pool VIP transfers – check in
19.30 – onwards Connections at A Petiscaria Informal dinner and drinks
Monday 30 October
06.30-08.30 Running, gym, swimming, pilates, aqua fit and nature walk Optional activities
07.30-08.30 Connections at Mercado Culinario Breakfast
08.30-09.15 Connections Opening Opening welcome with Micaela Giacobbe (Connections), Rob Veltman (Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa) and Stella Photi (Wellbeing Escapes)
09.15-10.00 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
10.00- 10.45 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
10.45- 11.15 Healthy break Business Break
11.15-12.00 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
12.00-13.30 Wellbeing discussions led by Stella Photi, MD Wellbeing Escapes Connections discussions
13.30-14.30 Connections by Cascata pool Connections picnic lunch
14.30- 14.45 Healthy break (including Spa taster from therapists) Business break
14.45-15.30 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
15.30- 16.15 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
16.15-17.00 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
17.00-17.30 Healthy break (including Spa taster from therapists) Business break
17.30-18.15 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
18.15-19.00 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
19.00-20.00 Free time Free time
20.00 Transfer Transfer to dinner venue
Tuesday 31 October
07.30-09.00 Connections at Mercado Culinario Breakfast
09.00-09.30 Connections Day 2 briefing and feedback
09.30 Transfer Transfer to Caldas de Monchique
10.00-11.00 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
11.00-11.45 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
11.45 Transfer Transfer to restaurant on the beach
12.30-14.00 Connections at Luar da Foia Connections lunch
 14.00 Transfer Transfer to National Park
15.15-16.00 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
16.00-16.45 Meet at the supplier’s table and choose an activity Connections Experience
17.15 Transfer Transfer to hotel
18.15-19.15 Free time Free time
19.15 Dinner sponsored by Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa Connections closing dinner
Wednesday 1 November
All Day Free time VIP transfers – check out

Each one-to-one Connections experience* lasts up to 40 minutes and is held at either the supplier’s table or experiencing a myriad of cultural and regional experiences, including golf, tennis, bike rides, table football games, beach volleyball, massages or walking the grounds.

The Connections group experience entails culinary activities such as cooking your own lunch. Connections debates are group discussions with a moderator encouraging participants to offer their views and opinions. Travel Weekly editors will be present at specific discussions for editorial coverage.

Click here to download the PDF version of the programme.


Through Connections, senior executives are able to gather precious intelligence and insight, triggering new ideas and know how, in order to shape their future strategic plans for their businesses.

With panel discussions, debate and extraordinary speakers comes learning, sharing of ideas and inspiration.

Previous speakers include:


Connections Wellbeing has places for just 30 of the world’s most prestigious supplier brands with impressive wellbeing credentials. Connections will welcome international hotel chains, individual spa properties, DMC’s and destinations that have significant wellbeing products – all coming together for two stimulating days. The event, to be held in the luxurious surroundings of the Macdonald Monchique resort & Spa offers an innovative, focused and fruitful platform for wellness senior executives to build powerful and personal relationships in business.

All participants who join this event will be treated equally, with an all-inclusive package to minimise additional costs and arrangements. Flights are not included.

Suppliers – What’s In It For You?

Get Connected

Connections Wellbeing connects 60 leading top-end suppliers and buyers over two days. The full agenda includes your one-to-one meetings, dedicated invaluable networking breaks around breakfast and lunch as well as the prestigious Connections dinner with evening entertainment. Wi-Fi, all activities, healthy food and refreshments are all included.

Get Inspired

During the two days you will meet and be surrounded by thought leaders from in and outside the wellness industry who will provide you with ideas, insights and trends to help you develop your business. You will take part in some memorable experiences that will help you forge long-lasting business relationships.

Get Return on your Investment

By participating in Connections Wellbeing you will feature in an online TV interview, contribute to an exclusive digital publication circulated to the worlds agency and supplier community, and become a founding member of the Connections Community. You will earn a place on our Guest List and receive invitations year-round to our exclusive and invitation-only quarterly Connections Leaders Dinners and monthly Travel Weekly Business Breakfast, and will join the exclusive group business community within Connecting Travel.


Connections Wellbeing handpicks 30 international buyers from the globe – who come together to meet just 30 of the world’s most prestigious wellness brand suppliers with impressive high-end credentials. The buyers attending the event involve recognised agents and operators in wellness and other agencies who are interested in developing their understanding of wellness to upsell to their clients.

Buyer representatives must be director level or above of a travel company that regularly contracts outbound business that services high net worth customers.

To participate we ask you to complete a simple survey that will be used to confirm your suitability for this unique event.

Buyers – What’s In It For You?

  • Intimate access to an exclusive group of leading wellness suppliers
  • An easy to use appointment scheduling service to enable you to connect with over 30 suppliers through one-to-one, group and shared experiences
  • Inspirational speakers to provide stimulating insights and thoughtful debate
  • One-to-one meetings – with a bespoke diary based on selected preferences
  • Up to three nights hosted accommodation at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland
  • VIP Ground Transfers from/to the airport
  • All meals during the event programme


Would you like to place your brand in front of the 60 handpicked, major players who are responsible for billions of revenue in the wellness market?

These include sponsoring:


Connections Networking breakfast and keynote speakers
Connections Networking lunch and keynote speakers
The prestigious Connections Networking dinner and keynote presentations
Connections TV interviews online for 30 weeks after the event
VIP luxury transfers

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Connections Wellbeing is delighted to welcome the following companies supporting the event series:


Contact Us


Micaela Giacobbe

Founder and director of commercial events

Founder and director of commercial events for Connections, spearheading the launch of the next generation of events.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7881 4848
Mobile: +44 (0)7852 557661
Email: [email protected]

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Evangeline Estrella

Operations Manager

Operations Manager for Connections, supporting the launch of the next generation of events.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7881 4885
Mobile: +44 (0)7971 660 984
Email: [email protected]

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David Benitez

David Benitez

Head of Business Development – Meetings

Head of Business Development for Connections, supporting the launch of the next generation of events.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7881 4836
Mobile: +44 (0)7453 576041
Email: [email protected]

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Greg web

Greg Reeves

Head of Business Development – Luxury and Wellness

Head of Business Development for Connections, supporting the launch of the next generation of events.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7881 4836
Mobile: +44 (0)7814 229681
Email: [email protected]

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Alejandro Roca

Alejandro Roca

Event Executive

Event Executive at Travel Weekly Group for Connections, supporting the launch of the next generation of events.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7881 4889
Mobile: +44 (0)7783 993688
Email: [email protected]

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Anna Gorska web

Anna Górska

Buyer Marketing Manager – Meetings

Buyer Marketing Manager – Meetings at Travel Weekly Group for Connections, supporting the launch of the next generation of events.

Mobile: +48 664 411 429
Email: [email protected]

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Ginevra Ferne

Sales Manager

Sales Manager for Connections, supporting the launch of the next generation of events.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7881 4890
Mobile: +44 (0)798 093 4479
Email: [email protected]

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