Just how well are we?

Middle East Business (English) - - CONTENTS -

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.

MENA re­gion

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).

Work­place well­ness

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

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