Wellness Tourism Global Wellness Institute

Wellness tourism is the highly effective intersection of two large and rising multi-trillion-dollar industries: tourism and wellness. Holistic health and prevention are more and more on the center of client decision-making, and folks now count on to proceed their wholesome lifestyles and wellness routines when they are away from residence.

In 2013, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) unveiled the inaugural version of the Global Wellness Tourism Economy report—a landmark examine that defined the parameters and characteristics of the emerging wellness tourism sector, estimated its global dimension, and highlighted its far-reaching financial impacts. In that report, GWI first measured wellness tourism at $439 billion 2012. Since that point, wellness has turn into a significant drive in the global tourism market, with wellness tourism expenditures reaching $720 billion in 2019 (followed by a downturn in 2020 due to the pandemic). Prior to the pandemic, wellness tourism had persistently grown a lot sooner than common tourism. Wellness tourism development is predicted to speed up within the coming years with the post-pandemic resurgence of tourism activities. [Note that GWI’s most up-to-date wellness tourism data may be found at: Wellness Economy Data Series.]

Five Key Things to Know About Wellness Tourism
1. What is wellness tourism?
The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness tourism astravel related to the pursuit of sustaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing. With a lot unwellness embedded in today’s travel, wellness tourism brings the promise of combating these adverse qualities and turning travel into an opportunity to keep up and improve our holistic well being.

2. Wellness tourism is not medical tourism.
Wellness tourism is usually conflated with medical tourism—not solely by customers however in vacation spot marketing. This confusion is attributable to an incomplete understanding of those markets and inconsistent utilization of terminologies by destinations, authorities organizations and promotion agencies. Sometimes the time period “health tourism” is also used as a catch-all to explain many types of medical and wellness services and activities—from open coronary heart surgery and dental care to destination spas and yoga retreats—causing additional confusion. In reality, these two sectors function largely in separate domains and meet totally different shopper needs.

A good approach to perceive the difference is to look at our health and wellbeing on a continuum:

* On the left are poor health, harm and illness. The medical paradigm treats these conditions. Medical tourism falls on this side—for instance traveling to a different place to obtain surgery or a dental therapy as a end result of it is more affordable, larger high quality, or unavailable at residence.
* On the right facet of the continuum is wellness—these are the proactive issues we do to maintain a healthy lifestyle, cut back stress, prevent illness, and enhance our wellbeing. This is what motivates wellness tourism.

There is some overlap between medical tourism and wellness tourism—for instance, DNA testing or govt checkups. But in general, the kinds of guests, activities, providers, businesses and rules involved are very totally different between medical tourism and wellness tourism, although they could share a dependence on a region’s fundamental tourism and hospitality infrastructure and facilities.

three. Who are the wellness travelers?
There is a standard false impression that wellness vacationers are a small, elite and rich group of leisure vacationers who go to vacation spot spas, well being resorts, or yoga and meditation retreats. In fact, wellness vacationers comprise a wider and more various group of consumers with many motivations, pursuits and values.

GWI identifies two forms of wellness travelers:

* Primary wellness traveler:A traveler whose journey or destination alternative is primarily motivated by wellness.
* Secondary wellness traveler:A traveler who seeks to hold up wellness while touring or participates in wellness experiences whereas taking any sort of journey for leisure or business.

Importantly, primary and secondary wellness travel could be done by the identical person on different trips, and these two forms of wellness travel reinforce one another. Over time, some secondary wellness vacationers will resolve to take a primary wellness journey, as their interest in and expertise with wellness grows. For instance, an individual who visits a day-use hot spring during a household trip (secondary wellness travel) may later be motivated to plan a weekend getaway staying at a hot spring resort (primary wellness travel).

four. Every vacation spot has something unique to supply to wellness travelers.
Like other forms of specialty travel, wellness travel is not a cookie-cutter experience. Every destination has its personal distinct flavors in relation to wellness, linked with its native culture, natural belongings, meals, and so on. Some travelers may be happy with a generic therapeutic massage, exercise class or smoothie. The extra discerning and complicated wellness travelers—especially these within the millennial generation—are excited about what the vacation spot offers that’s totally different from someplace else. These unique and authentic experiences may be built upon indigenous therapeutic practices; ancient/spiritual traditions; native crops and forests; special muds, minerals and waters; vernacular architecture; avenue vibes; local elements and culinary traditions; history and tradition; and so forth. Because each vacation spot is totally different, there is all the time something unique to offer wellness vacationers.

5. Wellness tourism brings advantages to businesses and stakeholders past the wellness sectors.
The wellness tourism financial system is much bigger than a narrowly defined set of typical wellness businesses, corresponding to spas, wellness retreats, thermal/mineral springs and boot camps. Wellness travelers (especially secondary wellness travelers) wish to proceed their wellness lifestyle throughout travel, and this lifestyle could encompass wholesome consuming, exercise/fitness routines, mind-body practices, nature experiences, connections with native individuals and tradition, etc., thereby creating opportunities for companies similar to yoga studios, gyms and fitness centers, wholesome food stores/markets, occasions, arts and crafts, museums and plenty of others.

In addition to wellness experiences, all wellness vacationers want transportation, food and lodging, and they’ll likely seek out shopping or leisure. All of these businesses—whether they are wellness-specific or not—benefit from wellness tourism and are a part of the wellness tourism economy. There are numerous opportunities to infuse wellness into all kinds of amenities and services, which might help companies differentiate, present extra worth, and capture larger spending by wellness travelers. Examples embody airport spas that target wellness travelers in transit; wellness-centered motels for people who want higher sleep and common fitness routines; specialty eating places serving healthy, organic or native delicacies; transportation corporations that use clean fuels or low-/zero-emission automobiles; or reward shops that promote merchandise which may be linked to distinctive local wellness traditions.

Wellness tourism could help locations mitigate the adverse impacts of mass tourism or over-tourism. Because wellness travelers tend to be high-spenders and favor experiences that are genuine and distinctive, there is much less strain for locations to have interaction in a “race to the bottom” strategy that competes on value and amount.

Wellness tourism also provides locations with a possibility to reduce the seasonality of visitor flows. For instance, ski locations can entice wellness vacationers excited about hiking and other outside actions in the summertime, whereas seashore locations can attraction to vacationers looking for a extra tranquil setting to de-stress or take a retreat within the wintertime.

Measuring Wellness Tourism:
GWI defines wellness tourism astravel related to the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing. We measure wellness tourism by aggregating the trip expenditures of people who find themselves outlined as wellness vacationers. These expenditures include lodging, food and beverage, actions and excursions, buying, in-country transportation (travel inside the country), and different providers (e.g., concierge, telecommunications, travel agent providers, travel insurance coverage, etc.). We embody expenditures made by each international and domestic travelers:

* International wellness tourism expenditures: All receipts earned by a rustic from inbound wellness vacationers visiting from abroad, with an overnight stay.
* Domestic wellness tourism expenditures: All expenditures in a country made by wellness vacationers traveling within their very own nation, with an overnight keep.

Within every of the worldwide and domestic tourism segments, we estimate the portion of journeys and expenditures which might be represented by wellness vacationers, including both the primary and secondary wellness tourism segments (as outlined above). We mixture the spending of main and secondary wellness tourists, both international/inbound and domestic, across 212 countries, to arrive at the size of the worldwide wellness tourism trade.

For more info:

* In 2018, GWI launched an updatedGlobal Wellness Tourism Economyreport, which provides in-depth analysis and knowledge for the sector.
* GWI’s 2020 white paperResetting the World With Wellness: Travel and Wonder explores why the speedy growth of travel has resulted in an unhealthy business and how marvel, awe and connection could be wellness-enhancing and assist us reconnect with our purpose for travel in a post-COVID-19 future.
* GWI’s wellness tourism figures are additionally updated and launched every few years within the Global Wellness Economy Monitor. For the latest wellness tourism research, see Wellness Economy Data Series.
* Additional information and sources are available via GWI’s Wellness Tourism Initiative.