Our Market

The tourism industry is an important contributor to global Gross Domestic Product.

The sector faced significant headwinds due to COVID-19 and the ongoing travel restrictions of 2020 and 2021.

As the world is opening up again, the sector is staging an impressive rebound.

What Is Wellness Tourism?

The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness tourism as travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing. With so much unwellness embedded in today’s travel, wellness tourism brings the promise of combating those negative qualities and turning travel into an opportunity to maintain and improve our holistic health.

Wellness travellers comprise a broad and diverse group of consumers with many motivations, interests and values.

The Global Wellness Institute identifies two types of wellness travellers:

  • Primary wellness traveller: A traveller whose trip or destination choice is primarily motivated by wellness.
  • Secondary wellness traveller: A traveller who seeks to maintain wellness while traveling or who participates in wellness experiences while taking any type of trip for leisure or business.

Types Of Wellness Tourism

Wellness tourism includes a wide range of options.

Wellness travelers pursue diverse services, including physical fitness and sports; beauty treatments; healthy diet and weight management; relaxation and stress relief; spiritual tourism, including meditation and yoga, whether classical or as exercise; and health-related education.

Wellness travellers may seek procedures or treatments using conventional, alternative, complementary, herbal, or homeopathic medicine. Wellness resorts and retreats offer short-term residential programs to address specific health concerns, reduce stress, or support lifestyle improvement.

Growth Of Wellness Tourism

Wellness tourism sits at the intersection of two large and growing industries: the $2.6 trillion tourism industry and the $4.2 trillion wellness industry. Holistic health and prevention are increasingly at the centre of consumer decision-making, and people now expect to continue their healthy lifestyles and wellness routines when they are away from home.

There is no question that wellness tourism, spas, and thermal/mineral springs are the wellness economy sectors that were most adversely affected by COVID-19. These sectors require a physical presence and/or full immersion for the actual experience.
The sector’s 8.1% annual growth rate from 2017-2019 is more than 50% higher than the 5.2% growth rate for overall tourism.

Wellness travellers made 936 million international and domestic wellness trips in 2019, which is 145 million more than in 2017, and then trips fell to 601 million in 2020. Wellness trips accounted for 6.5% of all tourism trips but represented 16.2% of all expenditures in 2020. This is because wellness travellers tend to spend much more per trip than the average traveller.