Tomas Haupt - Dec 12, 2016
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The Global Wellness Institute recently reported that global wellness tourism revenues increased by 14% from 2013-2015 (to $563 billion), more than twice as fast as tourism overall (6.9%). It is also predicted that the sector will grow by another 37.5% by 2020 (to $808 billion).

Another interesting fact is that international wellness tourism revenues (20%) have been growing much faster than domestic wellness revenues (11%). Moreover, secondary wellness tourism (wellness not being the main purpose of the trip) is growing slightly faster than primary wellness tourism (wellness being the main purpose).

As of now, domestic wellness tourism represents 83% of wellness trips and 67% of revenues. However, international wellness tourism is growing at a fast rate. From 2013 to 2015 international wellness tourism has seen an increase of the trips from 95.3 million to 116 million (22%). The number of domestic trips has increased consequently, but at a slower rate (11%) from 491 million to 575 million.

Wellness tourism currently stands mainly on secondary wellness tourists. These accounted for 89% of wellness trips and 86% of expenditures in 2015, an increase from 87% of trips and 84% expenditure in 2013. It is clear that hoteliers and hospitality industry workers need to change their focus on secondary travelers rather than primary, taking these numbers into account.

When it comes to countries in particular, the U. S. remains the world wellness leader, with $202 billion in revenues. This is over one third of global wellness tourism revenues and more than three times more than the second in line – Germany. China showed itself as the fastest growing country. It jumped from 9th to 4th position and the countries’ revenues increased by more than 300%, from $12.3 billion to $29.5 billion.

Overall the top five countries (U.S., Germany, France, China, Japan) represent 61% of the world market. Concerning the rest in the TOP 20, Brazil entered the world elite of wellness tourism for the first time, surpassing Portugal.

While China is on the rise, most European countries and Japan with Canada are showing decline in wellness tourism revenues. This is mainly caused by depreciation of the Euro and other currencies against the US$ during the period of 2013-2015. In terms of wellness trips, basically every single country in the TOP 2015 is on a rise.

Countries that are most significantly on the rise in terms of wellness trips are Australia (+85%), China (+60%), Brazil (+46%), Indonesia (+40%) and Russia (+31%). Thus it seems that there is a clear trend that developing nations are on the rise in terms of wellness tourism development.

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