Sunday, 9 March 2014

European Wellness Tourism Expected to Grow 7.3% through 2017

Susie Ellis, Chairman and CEO, Global Spa and Wellness Summit, presented the outcomes of the research study The Global Wellness Tourism Economy 2013 at ITB Berlin this week.

According to S. Ellis and the outcomes of the research, wellness tourism is a nearly half-trillion dollar market, representing 14 percent of total global tourism revenues, ($3.2 trillion) overall, and is directly able to create 12 million jobs. The proposal for future growth is 9.1% annually through 2017.

Typical wellness markets are Europe (203 million trips) and North America (163 million trips), but Asia and Latin America are the wellness destinations which will grow more dynamically. Domestic wellness tourism makes up 68% of revenues, but domestic tourists spend less money per trip ($680) than international tourists ($2066). However, the domestic wellness tourist spends about 150 percent more than the average domestic tourist. 13 of the top 20 nations for domestic expenditure worldwide are in Europe – with Germany in first place, the United Kingdom in third place, and Austria in sixth. European wellness tourism is expected to grow 7.3% through 2017, is responsible for 2.4 million direct jobs across Europe, and the total regional economic impact is 451.7 billion USD.

S. Ellis spoke about the common terminology focusing on the differences among health, medical and wellness tourism. She advised unambiguously to use the term medical tourism rather than health tourism. The experts identified five key aspects to make wellness tourism stronger:
• focus on a unique, indigenous offering
• do not confuse wellness and medical tourism
• do not forget the domestic wellness tourist
• package wellness tourism and emphasize the “feel good” factor
• “eco” message is key to wellness tourists.

Wellness tourism has synergy with other high profile niche segments such as, for example, cultural tourism, culinary tourism, sport tourism and sustainable tourism.

More at (This article also available in Czech)

Source: Susi Ellis, The Global Tourism Wellness Economy 2013, ITB Berlin 2014.