The wellness tourism industry has seen a massive boom in recent years and has become a halfa trillion dollar market, says a recent study.
The Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) found that wellness tourism now makes up 14 per cent of the total global tourism revenues ($3.2 trillion) each year.
The sector is expected to be boosted even further over the next five years, with some predicting that it could grow steadily by up to 9.9 per cent annually – that’s almost twice the rate of global tourism overall.
This also ties in with timeshare resort trends as more and more shared ownership resorts, including fractional properties, are part of a larger resort featuring a luxury hotel and spa.
The study, carried out by SRI International, also suggested that more than half of the growth in wellness tourism in 2017 will come from the Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern/North African markets.
Meanwhile, India will remain number one globally over the next five years, clocking a 20 percent-plus growth through 2017.
Ophelia Yeung, lead author of the study, said: “For decades, the very concept of a vacation has been associated with excess: too much eating, drinking and too little sleep – leaving too many travelers less healthy when they check out than when they checked in.
“This new research clearly reveals that more people are now choosing destinations that help them keep or get healthy while traveling, while a smaller (and also growing) segment are also now taking trips with the specific, sole purpose of improving their personal well-being.”
The survey also revealed that wellness tourists are higher spenders than average tourists, spending 130 per cent more.
Jean-Claude Baumgarten, former president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, added: “Wellness tourism is poised to reshape tourism as we know it.
“What people want to achieve during their ever diminished time off is undergoing a sea change, with millions more every year demanding destinations that deliver physical, emotional, spiritual and environmental health – along with enjoyment.”