What: Wellness Tourism Is Projected to Grow 20.9% Annually Through 2025
A December 2021 report from the Global Wellness Institute — called The Global Wellness Economy: Looking Beyond COVID — projects that the wellness tourism market will grow by 20.9% annually through 2025, reaching an impressive $1,127.6 billion market size by the end of that year. This growth rate outpaces the “robust” projection for the global wellness economy, expected to grow 9.9% annually over the same time frame, as well as overall global economic growth (estimated at 7.3%).
Why It Matters: Wellness Travel Is an Increasingly Important Opportunity for Advisors
Wellness tourism took a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic due to travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns. That said, the Global Wellness Institute found that the wellness sectors that saw the greatest downturns in 2020 (including tourism, spas and thermal/mineral springs) now have the highest growth projections through 2025. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, travel advisors can expect to see a major comeback as demand for wellness-related travel experiences rises rapidly over the next few years. Agents may want to consider bulking up their education and offerings in this area to take advantage of this growing business opportunity.
Fast Facts: Wellness Tourism Market Size and Growth Rates
- Wellness tourism’s market size reached $720.4 billion in 2019 but dropped to $435.7 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19. The Global Wellness Institute estimates that the market reached $652.8 billion in 2021 and will grow to $816.5 billion this year.
- The sector’s 8.1% annual growth rate from 2017-2019 was more than 50% higher than the 5.2% growth rate for overall tourism.
- Even with the pandemic, wellness tourism expenditures in 2020 declined less than overall tourism (dropping 39.5% compared to 43%).
- Wellness travel accounted for 6.5% of all tourism trips in 2020, but represented 16.2% of all expenditures, because wellness travelers tend to spend more money per trip than the average traveler.
What They Are Saying: COVID-19 Has Driven Up the Value of Wellness Among Consumers
According to the report: “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the ascendance of wellness as a dominant consumer value all around the world. Consumers are increasingly aware that all aspects of their lives — where they live; how they work; what they eat; and how they exercise, socialize and travel — impact their health outcomes, mental resilience and overall sense of well-being.”
Global Wellness Institute