Wellness tourism growing steadily on a global scale

Published on : Monday, January 8, 2018

indexWith regard to global medical travel or wellness tourism, the world’s top destinations are Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the United States.

In a world full of stress, wellness tourism is, says Lonely Planet, the industry’s fastest growing sector with a 10% rise in 2017, making it a plus $500bn market. This specialist medical segment is growing even more rapidly, as travellers attempt to cut bills or waiting times. Forecasts might vary, but it is rising at around 20% annually and is currently worth $45 -$72bn.

“There are so many new combinations of travel destinations that focus on … ‘healthy’ experiences – that appeal to both men and women and come at much more affordable price-points,” said Susie Ellis, the CEO of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) on the growth in wellness tourism.

Mindfulness’, seems to be replacing ‘wellness’ currently, with everyone making an offer. Even British Airways has a ‘Mindfulness of Travel’ programme”. This was aimed at creating a calm Atlantic-long-haul flight with meditative videos. Etihad, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic are among the airlines with spa services in their lounges. Hyatt acquired wellness resort and spa group Miraval; InterContinental Hotels Group has its EVEN Hotels brand.

The US is the largest national wellness tourism market by far, but China is making huge gains and progresses at the moment.

The US is the largest national wellness tourism market by far (with an annual $200bn-plus when last counted), followed by Germany (with $60bn). But China has been making huge gains, the last figures showing an annual jump from $12bn to $30bn.


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