Wellness tourism is growing twice as fast as the tourism sector overall, accounting for around 830 million trips a year and is worth an estimated $639 billion, according to figures released at World Travel Market London. It can encourage people to travel beyond over-crowded destinations, spend more and enjoy new experiences.
According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, tourism expenditure grew 3.2% in the two years to 2017, but wellness tourism was up 6.5%, which was more than global GDP and it's growing in every region of the world. Europe accounts for the highest number of wellness trips, but spend is highest in North America, which accounts for over a third of the world's total. Asia is the fastest growing market, due largely to the expanding middle class and explosion of tourism in the region.
Speaking during an hour-long Wellness and Wellbeing Hour at WTM, the authors of the Global Wellness Tourism Economy report, senior research fellows Ophelia Yeung and Katherine Johnston, said the sector had already generated more than 17 million jobs worldwide.