Just how well are we?
Wellness is the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health. Globally, wellness sectors now represent a $3.7 trillion economy and this sector is spending more money in our region as tourism expands.
In the Global Wellness Economy Monitor 20171, published by the Global Wellness Institute ( GWI), the report shows that, although still growing, the wellness economy faces significant challenges going forward: growing income inequality and divergent access to wellness, the need for evidence- based wellness, and the tension between mandated wellness and personal freedom. The GWI defines wellness as: "The active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health". For the purpose of estimating its size, they define the wellness economy as encompassing industries that enable consumers to incorporate wellness activities and lifestyles into their daily lives. The global wellness economy, which encompasses 10 diverse sectors, was worth an estimated $3.7 trillion in 2015. The wellness economy now represents more than 5% of global economic output and is almost half the size of all global health expenditures, which reached $7.6 trillion in 2014.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, revenues from spa facilities in our region totalled $2.1bn, coming from 4,465 venues. As for the number of wellness tourism trips and expenditures ( inbound and domestic), our region had $8.3bn in expenditures. Over 63,982 people were employed by the sector in 2015, and it is estimated that the sector will require 88,222 employees by 2020.
Wellness Tourism Trips and Expenditures, 2013 and 2015
Wellness tourism is travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing. This market includes two types of wellness tourists: those who take a trip entirely for wellness purposes (primary wellness tourists) and those who seek to engage in wellness activities as part of any kind of trip (secondary wellness tourists). The emerging global middle class; rising disposable incomes; and growing consumer interest in health, travel, and new experiences are all fueling strong demand – propelling wellness tourism into a $563.2 billion global market in 2015. From 2013 -15, wellness tourism expenditures grew by 6.8% annually in dollars ( or 16.7% annually in Euros), much higher than the 3.4% annual dollar increase for overall tourism (or 13.2% annually in Euros). Wellness tourism expenditures are distributed among many travel and tourism segments, from food and lodging to activities, excursions, shopping, and other services. Within each segment, some expenditures may include wellness- focused activities ( e. g., visiting a spa or hot spring, taking a meditation or tai chi class, etc.), while other expenditures may be “generic” (such as transportation, general food and lodging, or buying souvenirs).
Illness at work is a global epidemic suffered by billions of workers and costing the world’s economy 10 - 15% in output. As the cost of unwell workers rises, employers are spending more on employee wellness as a means to lower healthcare costs, improve morale and recruitment, raise productivity, and stay competitive in the market. We estimate that the workplace wellness market is worth $ 43.3 billion globally, which includes employer expenditures aiming to raise awareness, provide education, and offer incentives that address specific employee health risk
seismic shifts in the way we aspire to and perceive true beauty. Wellness has disrupted the world of beauty almost beyond recognition. In order to look good, you have to feel good. No longer is the focus only on external measures to enhance beauty, instead there is a shift to an holistic approach; a movement from artificial to organic; from cosmetic repair to on-going prevention; from topicals to ingestibles – along with scientific validation that beauty changes everything.
Embracing the c-word - cancer
Wellness industry will stop turning away cancer sufferers and, instead, provide comfort, solace and positive recovery paths. In the past, fear and mis- information alongside expensive insurance policies meant that the wellness industry did not welcome cancer sufferers. This is set to change, with the sector embracing them in a big way. Whether undergoing treatment or in recovery, sufferers will find comfort and support from the wellness industry.
Wellness not just for the elite/ rich
In a world where rising inequality and a sense of unfairness is leading to a global, populist backlash – a wellness industry that’s become narrowly associated with wealthy elites (eg. $300 yoga pants and expensive treatments) must, and will, change. Changes will include more wellness businesses giving back and doing something to bring more services to more people - wellness tourism development that thinks beyond the property, to the whole community – and more wellness for the workers that actually deliver it .
1 Data presented is for the year 2015, with analysis based upon extensive primary and secondary research conducted from January to September 2016 by the Global Wellness Institute. Research included a review of recent literature and reports on spas, wellness, wellness tourism, thermal/ mineral springs, workplace wellness, and wellness real estate, along with telephone interviews with more than 50 stakeholders in various wellness sectors around the world. The Global Wellness Institute also conducted a web-based global industry survey in May-July 2016, collecting more than 1,200 responses related to operations and revenues from spa and wellness industry stakeholders.
2 Eight wellness trends as identified in its “2017 Wellness Trends” publication, from the Global Wellness Summit held in Tyrol, Austria, October 2016
Spa Facilities by Region, 2015 Number of spas and spa facility revenues
Global Wellness Economy: $3.7 trillion in 2015