Wellness Industry Reaches $4.2 Trillion Economy

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The world wellness market is climbing an upward trend and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Over the last two years, the industry grew by 12.8 percent from $3.7 trillion in 2015 to $4.2 trillion in 2017, according to a new research report titled the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor just released by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) at the 2018 Global Wellness Summit (GWS). The report also projects the global wellness economy to grow by 35.1 percent between 2017 and 2022, reaching $5.6 trillion total.

For economic context, the wellness economy grew by 6.4 percent annually between 2015 and 2017, nearly twice as fast as global economic growth at 3.6 percent. Wellness expenditures ($4.2 trillion) are now more than half as large as total global health expenditures ($7.3 trillion), and the wellness industry now represents 5.3 percent of global economic output. Among the 10 wellness markets analyzed for the study were the spa industry, wellness tourism, wellness real estate, workplace wellness, and thermal and mineral hot springs, among others.

“Once upon a time, our contact with wellness was occasional: we went to the gym or got a massage. But this is changing fast: a wellness mindset is starting to permeate the global consumer consciousness, affecting people’s daily decision-making – whether food purchases, a focus on mental wellness and reducing stress, incorporating movement into daily life, environmental consciousness, or their yearning for connection and happiness,” says Katherine Johnston, senior research fellow, GWI. “Wellness, for more people, is evolving from rarely to daily, from episodic to essential, from a luxury to a dominant lifestyle value. And that profound shift is driving powerful growth.”

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The global spa economy has grown to a $118.8 billion market, which includes spa facility revenues (which have reached $93.6 billion annually), as well as education, consulting, association, media, and event sectors, which enable spa businesses (now at $25.2 billion). The number of spa locations increased from 121,595 in 2015 to more than 149,000 in 2017, employing nearly 2.6 million employees. The 9.9 percent annual revenue growth for spas is much higher than the pace from 2013 to 2015 (2.3 percent) and from 2015 to 2017, the hotel and resort spa category added the largest number of spas and revenue, surpassing day and salon spas as the industry’s revenue leader. 

The study features more global, regional, and national data analysis than ever produced by the GWI before. For example, Europe is the fastest growing spender on workplace wellness, and China and India are the fastest growing wellness tourism markets.

For a more detailed look at the individual growth of wellness economy sectors from 2015 to 2017, as well as growth projections from 2017 to 2022, take a look at the charts below. Click here for the full 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor report.

Wellness Economy Sectors 2015 Market Size
(USD Billions)
2017 Market Size
(USD Billions)
Average Annual Growth Rate

Wellness Real Estate

$118.6 $134.3 6.4%

Thermal/Mineral Springs

$51.0 $56.2 4.9%

Personal Care, Beauty, and Anti-Aging

$999.0 $1,082.9 4.1%

Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss

$647.8 $702.1 4.1%

Wellness Tourism




Fitness & Mind-Body




Preventative & Personalized Medicine and Public Health




Traditional & Complementary Medicine



The definition of Traditional & Complementary Medicine has changed, so percent change is unavailable at this time.

Spa Economy
(Spa Facilities)




Workplace Wellness




Wellness Economy

$3,724.4 $4.220.2 6.4%


Wellness Economy Sectors 2017 Projected
Market Size
(USD Billions)
2022 Projected
Market Size
(USD Billions)
Projected Average Annual
Growth Rate

Wellness Real Estate




Workplace Wellness




Wellness Tourism




Spa Facilities




Thermal/Mineral Springs





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