Global wellness industry hits the $4 trillion mark

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Beautiful girl sitting on the couch in the room. Lady in a green towel and with cucumber on her face

The wellness industry has witnessed a growth of 12.8% from 2015 to 2017, as per a report by the Global Wellness Institute.

According to a research report conducted by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the global wellness industry has gone from being a $3.7 trillion market in 2015 to $4.2 trillion in 2017. The report is titled 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor and it charts the 12.8% growth rate of the industry. The research is based on findings from ten different markets and the global wellness economy in each of them.

Some of the key points of the report in an economic context are as follows:

  1. From 2015-2017, the wellness economy grew 6.4% annually, nearly twice as fast as global economic growth (3.6%).
    2. Wellness expenditures ($4.2 trillion) are now more than half as large as total global health expenditures ($7.3 trillion).
    3. The wellness industry now represents 5.3% of global economic output.

The report was released today at the 12th annual Global Wellness Summit being held at Technogym Village in Cesena, Italy, which has attracted 630+ industry leaders from 50 nations.

Among the ten wellness markets analyzed, revenue growth leaders from 2015-2017 (per annum) were:

  • spa industry (9.8%),
  • wellness tourism (6.5%)
  • wellness real estate (6.4%)

“Once upon a time, our contact with wellness was occasional: we went to the gym or got a massage. But this is changing fast: a wellness mindset is starting to permeate the global consumer consciousness, affecting people’s daily decision-making – whether food purchases, a focus on mental wellness and reducing stress, incorporating movement into daily life, environmental consciousness, or their yearning for connection and happiness,” noted Katherine Johnston, senior research fellow, GWI. “Wellness, for more people, is evolving from rarely to daily, from episodic to essential, from a luxury to a dominant lifestyle value. And that profound shift is driving powerful growth.”

As per the GWI data, the following markets are instrumental in the growth of the wellness industry in India

Wellness real estate

The $134 billion wellness real estate market is now about 1.5% of the total annual global construction market and about half the size of the global green building industry. There are now more than 740 wellness real estate and community developments built or in development across 34 countries – a number that grows weekly.

Workplace wellness

Valued at $47.5 billion, the workplace wellness market remains very small in comparison to the massive economic burden and productivity losses (10-15% of global economic output) associated with an unwell and disengaged workforce.

Wellness tourism

The $639 billion wellness travel market’s annual growth rate of 6.5% from 2015-2017 is more than double the growth rate for tourism overall (3.2%). World travelers made 830 million wellness trips in 2017, 139 million more than in 2015 – and these trips now represent 17% of total tourism expenditures.

Spa industry

The spa economy, which includes spa facility revenues (now $93.6 billion yearly), and also education, consulting, associations, media and event sectors that enable spa businesses (now $25.2 billion), has grown to a $118.8 billion market. Spa locations jumped from 121,595 in 2015 to over 149,000 in 2017, employing nearly 2.6 million workers. The 9.9% annual revenue growth for spas is much higher than the pace from 2013-2015 (2.3%).

Thermal and mineral springs

The thermal/mineral springs market continues to clock strong growth as more people turn to water for stress relief, healing and community. The market grew from $51 billion in 2015 to $56.2 billion in 2017, while facilities jumped from 27,507 (in 109 countries) to 34,057 (in 127 countries) – employing 1.8 million workers.

GWI is a nonprofit organisation, which is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the global wellness industry. GWI positively impacts global health and wellness by advocating for both public institutions and businesses.

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