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Study: Wellness Tourism Now a $639 Billion Market


LONDON—Wellness tourism grew from a $563 billion market in 2015 to $639 billion in 2017, or 6.5 percent annually, more than twice as fast as tourism overall (3.2 percent).* And it’s forecast to grow even faster through 2022 (7.5 percent yearly) to reach $919 billion. North America drives the most wellness tourism revenues ($242 billion annually) and Europe the most wellness trips (292 million)—but Asia-Pacific is the eye-opening growth leader, with wellness trips growing a whopping 33 percent in the last two years. China and India rank No. 1 and No. 2 for growth: adding roughly 22 million and 17 million wellness trips respectively from 2015 to 2017. These are just a few findings from the Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) new “Global Wellness Tourism Economy” report released at the World Travel Market in London.

The report’s first edition in 2013 put wellness tourism on the world’s radar, defining it as, “travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing.” And the 100-page new edition is packed with more regional and national data and trends analysis than ever before, including, for the first time, the spending premiums for wellness travelers (both inbound and domestic) for dozens of countries and which national tourism boards worldwide are actively promoting wellness tourism.

Access the full report here.

“Wellness tourism burst into the consumer consciousness just a very few years ago, and it’s hard to grasp the speed of its growth and evolution,” noted Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung, GWI Sr. Researchers. “Wellness, hospitality and travel are now converging in unprecedented ways, from the ‘healthy hotel’ concept going utterly mainstream to airports, airlines and cruises injecting so much wellness programming to the profusion of ever-more-creative wellness destinations, retreats and tours. The wellness concept is transforming almost every aspect of the travel industry—and wellness tourism will only grow faster in years ahead, as it lies at the powerful intersection of two massive, booming industries: the $2.6 trillion tourism industry and the $4.2 trillion wellness market.”

*Euromonitor data for tourism growth overall, 2015 to 2017