Bensley is known for his unpredictable, memorable presentations, so we're keen to lend him the stage in Hong Kong to see what unfolds
– Nancy Davis, CCO and executive director, GWS
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has announced that landscape-designer-turned-architect Bill Bensley will deliver a keynote speech on hospitality design and sustainability at this year's summit in Hong Kong.
Bensley's keynote will challenge delegates to rethink how hotels and resorts are designed and built, by posing questions he believes that the conscientious traveller of the future will be asking, such as: Does this hotel respect its environment? Does it respect the people that engage with it? Does the hotel add in any way to the community?
"If we ask these questions regularly, hoteliers and developers will be forced to answer," Bensley said. "Our fragile environments walk a tightrope to a healthy future - let's ask those questions now before its too late.
"Conservation of the world's wild places matter and I firmly believe 'rewilding' is key to our mental health."
Bensley has worked on a number of unique projects across the globe, including the award-winning Four Season Tented Camp in the Golden Triangle, Thailand, where guests check-in by river canoe and bunk in the jungle, where they wake to the sight of elephants feeding nearby.
Recently, he has launched his own luxury boutique hotel group, which includes Shinta Mani Wild, a luxe-jungle escape located above a waterfall in the South Cardamom Forest in Cambodia, which combines modern conservation and sustainable tourism.
In addition, his firm, Bensley Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape, has worked on more than 200 projects in 40 countries, with projects including Oberoi Reajvials in Jaipur, MAIA Seychelles, Four Season Langkawi and Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
Nancy Davis, CCO and executive director of GWS, said: "Bill's commitment to, and passion for, the environment and sustainability in hospitality design is unparalleled, and his megaphone is large. I understand Bill is known for his unpredictable, memorable presentations, so we are very keen to lend him the stage in Hong Kong to see what unfolds."
The theme of this year's GWS is 'Shaping the Business of Wellness', and will include a host of speakers discussing emerging business and wellness trends. It will take place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Hong Kong from 15 - 17 October.