Wellness Soars to $3.72 Trillion Global Industry

Global Wellness Institute (GWI) research


The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) released new research at the 10th annual Global Wellness Summit in Kitzbühel, Austria, that confirms wellness is one of the world’s fastest-growing, most resilient markets. The report revealed that the wellness industry has grown 10.6 percent in the last two years from a $3.36 trillion market in 2013 to $3.72 trillion in 2015 and now represents 5.1 percent of global economic output. Also, the research revealed that wellness expenditures are now nearly half as large as total global health expenditures.

Among the 10 wellness markets studied, the fastest growing from 2013 to 2015 were

1) Preventative/Personalized Medicine & Public Health, which increased from $432.7 billion to $534.3 billion (23.5 percent growth rate)

2) Fitness & Mind-Body, which increased from $446.4 billion to $542 billion (21.4 percent growth rate)

3) Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate, which increased from $100 billion to $118.6 billion (18.6 percent growth rate)

4) Wellness Tourism, which increased from $494.1 billion to $563.2 billion (14 percent growth rate)

5) Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss, which increased from $574.2 billion to $647.8 billion (12.8 percent growth rate)

Global Wellness Institute (GWI) researchThe researchers also issued a forecast for five wellness markets through 2020, with wellness tourism the #1 projected growth leader, with 7.5 percent annual growth expected. Regarding Wellness Tourism, its revenues have grown 14 percent from 2013 to 2015 with world travelers making 691 million wellness trips in 2015, which is 104.4 million more than in 2013. Wellness tourism also now accounts for 15.6 percent of total tourism revenues, which is nearing the equivalency of one-in-six of total tourist dollars spent due to wellness travelers spending much more per trip. Wellness tourism is also responsible for 17.9 million jobs worldwide.

As for the Spa Industry wellness market, the spa economyincluding spa facility revenues ($77.6 billion total), and also education, consulting, associations, media, and event sectors that enable spa businesses ($21 billion total), grew to $98.6 billion in 2015. Spa locations also jumped from 105,591 in 2013 to 121,595 in 2015. Since 2013, the spa industry has also added 16,000 spas and more than 230,000 workers (to reach 2.1 million total), and $3.5 billion in revenue.

The GWI research also revealed there is a rapidly rising consumer interest in springs-based activities with the number of revenue-earning thermal/mineral springs properties growing from 26,847 in 2013 to 27,507 in 2015 due to a gain of 660 facilities across 109 countries. These thermal businesses also earned $51 billion in 2015, which is up 2 percent from 2013.

Regarding the Workplace Wellness market, employers are spending more on employee wellness each year as the global industry grew 6.4 percent from 2013 to 2015 to $43.3 billion, with two-thirds of the industry concentrated in North America ($16.2 billion) and Europe ($16.1 billion). The GWI estimates that only 9.5 percent of today’s workforce is covered by a workplace wellness program, but this remains a wellness market with some of the largest growth opportunity.

The GWI research also revealed that the market for residential, hospitality, and mixed-used real estate that incorporates wellness elements, such as human, social, and environmental health into its design, construction, amenities, and services, was one of the fastest-growing wellness sectors from 2013 to 2015 growing at a 19 percent rate to $118.6 billion.