Wellness Travel Outstrips Global Tourism Growth
by Robin Amster

Wellness travel, which now represents a sizable chunk of global tourism revenues, is growing at nearly twice the rate of total worldwide tourism, according to a study released at the first Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC).

The Global Wellness Tourism Economy study is the first to analyze the fast-emerging wellness tourism segment, said SRI International. SRI conducted the study in conjunction with the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) held Oct. 5 to 7 in New Dehli, India. The inaugural Global Wellness Tourism Congress was held during the Summit.

“Wellness tourism is poised to reshape tourism as we know it,” said Jean-Claude Baumgarten, former World Travel & Tourism Council president and CEO and keynote speaker at the Summit.

“So many 21st century forces are fueling it, including the rise of chronic diseases and the unprecedented stress of modern life.”

Fast growth—lucrative market
Wellness tourism now accounts for about 14%, or nearly $439 billion, of all domestic and international tourism expenditures, the study said.

It’s projected to grow by more than 9% a year through 2017. That’s nearly 50% faster than overall global tourism.

Wellness tourism is also a lucrative market.

Compared to the average international and domestic tourist, the international wellness tourist spends about 65% more per trip while the domestic wellness tourist spends about 150% more per trip, according to the study.

Opportunities for travel agents
 "The Global Wellness Tourism Economy Report is of special significance to travel professionals,” said Susie Ellis, chairman and CEO of the Global Spa and Wellness Summit.

“It reveals new directions in tourism, including the kinds of experiences tourists will seek and the countries where they will travel to find them."

Ophelia Yeung, the study’s author and co-director of SRI’s Center for Science, Technology & Economic Development, said the research reflects a major shift from vacations associated with excess—too much eating, drinking and too little sleep—to those focused on health and wellness.

“People are now choosing destinations that help them keep or get healthy while traveling,” Yeung said. “A smaller, and also growing, segment are also now taking trips with the specific, sole purpose of improving their personal well being,” she added.

Wellness tourism is one of many niches in the increasingly popular special interest market. Clients who take wellness trips are also likely to take part in other niche activities during their trip including culinary, adventure, cultural or eco-tourism pursuits, the study said.

That broadens the options agents can sell.

You must be logged in to leave a comment Login | Register
Tip of the Day

We're going to welcome all the tourists to come down here and visit our beaches and attractions. We're open for business.

Florida Gov. Rick Scot

Daily Top List

Theme Parks By Annual Attendance in 2015

1. Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort – 20,492,000 people

2. Disneyland at Disneyland Resort – 18,278,000

3. Tokyo Disneyland at Tokyo Disney Resort – 16,600,000

4. Universal Studios Japan – 13,900,000

5. Tokyo DisneySea at Tokyo Disney Resort – 13,600,000

Source: Wikipedia

Top Stories
Travel Agents See Changes In The Face Of Wellness Travel
Travel Agents See Changes In The Face Of Wellness Travel

Top trends point to a broadening customer base and more options—and therefore, more need for a professional guidance.

Future of Wellness Revealed
Future of Wellness Revealed

Ahead of this year’s Global Wellness Summit (GWS), industry CEOs, economists, and researchers gave their predictions for what’s to come in the European wellness market.

Medical Tourism Poised for Continued Growth
Medical Tourism Poised for Continued Growth

Niche expected to reach $140 billion by 2022.

Age Matters: Different Ages Have Different Preferences In Wellness Travel
Age Matters: Different Ages Have Different Preferences In Wellness Travel

Outdoor adventure programs and ecotourism matter significantly more to Millennials and Gen X than they do to Baby Boomers.

Wellness Products Shape Up For Spring
Wellness Products Shape Up For Spring

From Spa Houses to healing therapies, from personal coaches to MDs, new wellness products are helping form a larger niche for travel agents to sell.

On the Right Track: Wellness Programs Roll Out as New Data Show Increasing Interest
On the Right Track: Wellness Programs Roll Out as New Data Show Increasing Interest

New data suggest suppliers (and employers) who add wellness programs are on the right track. No pun intended.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Holland America Line