People, Travel

Int’l Health Tourism Growth Twice Overall Average

Global health tourism grew by 14% between 2013 and 2015.  Global health tourism grew by 14% between 2013 and 2015.

The Global Wellness Institute recently reported that global health tourism revenues grew an impressive 14% from 2013-15 (to $563 billion), more than twice as fast as overall tourism (6.9%), while also projecting that this “unstoppable” travel category would grow another 37.5%, to $808 billion, by 2020.  

The GWI released new data on Thursday revealed that international wellness tourism revenues have been growing at a significantly faster clip (20% from 2013-15) than domestic wellness travel (11%).

And that secondary wellness tourism (where such services are sought during travel) is growing slightly faster than primary wellness tourism (where it is the main purpose of the trip), reported.

The top 20 national wellness travel markets (inbound and domestic combined) were also identified and the US remains the global powerhouse with $202 billion in revenues, or more than three times more than the No. 2 market, Germany.

However, China showed the biggest growth: jumping from the ninth largest market in 2013, to fourth in 2015, with revenues growing more than 300% from $12.3 billion to $29.5 billion.

  International Wellness Tourism Growing Fast

Domestic wellness tourism represents the majority of wellness trips (83%) and revenues (67%).

International/inbound wellness travel grew at a much faster rate than its domestic equivalent from 2013-15: 22% growth in trips and 20% growth in revenues for international, compared to 17% and 11% for domestic.

While international revenues grew more than twice as fast as domestic, both categories saw strong growth from 2013-15: International trips grew from 95.3 million to 116 million, while domestic trips jumped from 491 million to 575 million.

Secondary wellness tourists accounted for 89% of wellness tourism trips and 86% of expenditures in 2015–up from 87% of trips and 84% expenditures in 2013. While the travel and hospitality industries tend to focus on the primary wellness traveler (where wellness is the main motivation for the trip), they need to pay keen attention to mainstream travelers who are increasingly incorporating more healthy experiences (whether spa treatments, fitness or food) into their overall leisure and business travel.

The United States remains the overwhelming world leader, representing over one-third of global wellness tourism revenues, while the top five countries (the US, Germany, France, China and Japan) represent 61% of the world market.

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