Global Spa & Wellness Summit Reveals Growth in Global Wellness Market

The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS), an international organization representing leaders of the spa and wellness industries, has released key findings on the global wellness market. An analysis completed by SRI International, the organization’s nonprofit research partner, showed that the spa industry grew 58 percent from 2007 to 2013 with a 47 percent increase in the number of spa locations, which is approaching nearly 106,000 sites. “It has been six long years since our first spa industry research report, and to see nearly 60 percent growth across years marked by global financial collapse was as impressive as it was unexpected,” says Ophelia Yeung, senior consultant at the Center for Science for Technology & Economic Development of SRI.

Also impressive, according to Yeung, is the sheer scope of the thermal and mineral springs industry and the recent and projected growth in the wellness tourism market. The study revealed that the thermal and mineral springs industry is now a $50 billion market, spanning 26,847 properties across 103 nations. Wellness tourism, meanwhile, has expanded to $494 billion in revenue, rising 12.5 percent from 2012 to 2013, exceeding SRI’s original growth forecast of 9 percent. Wellness tourism also represents 14.6 percent of all travel dollars spent, with 586.5 million wellness-focused being taken trips in 2013. According to SRI, international wellness travelers spend 59 percent more than the average tourist, while domestic wellness tourists spend 159 percent more.

“Key economic and demographic trends, we predict, will continue to fuel growth for these segments," says Yeung. These trends include the rise of the global middle class, which is currently at two billion people but expected to reach five billion by 2030; ongoing momentum for tourism; people proactively seeking a healthy lifestyle; and the developing markets and new properties across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, according to Yeung. 

Stay tuned for our December issue for a full report on the research.