When you combine pure annual percentage growth and trips added—no wellness tourism market is growing faster than Asia-Pacific. 7 of the top 20 wellness tourism markets in the world are now in Asia: Japan, China, India, Thailand, South Korea, Australia and Indonesia.

 When it comes to pure annual wellness tourism percentage growth (albeit starting from small bases), Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East-North Africa rank #1 and #2. But when you combine pure percentage growth—with the number of trips added annually—no global region is growing faster than Asia-Pacific.

Across the Asia-Pacific region, 152 million wellness tourism trips are now taken each year (domestic and international combined). And an eye-opening 32 million are being added annually. And that means Asia is on a pace to surpass current leaders, Europe (216 million annual wellness trips) and North America (176 million).

Asia-Pacific clocked 27 percent growth in wellness tourism trips in 2013, and 21 percent growth in expenditures (to rise to an $84.1 billion market).

One key part of this growth story is that Asia-Pacific has registered the highest increase in the number of spas from 2007-2013, adding more than 10,000. And the number of hotel/resort spas more than doubled in that time.

So no matter how you do the math, the prospect for continued wellness tourism growth is beyond strong in Asia, building on the rising incomes of the middle class, the increased attention these consumers pay to the preventive aspect of health, the wealth and diversity of wellness traditions that are already embraced by Asian consumers and the increasingly sophisticated integration of traditional wellness practices (e.g., Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga, Thai massage, etc.) into spas and wellness offerings.

Seven of the top 20 wellness tourism markets in the world are already in Asia: Japan (ranked #4), China (#9), India (#12), Thailand (#13), South Korea (#15), Australia (#16) and Indonesia (#17). 

See the national Asia-Pacific wellness tourism leaders today in the above chart…

AuthorBeth McGroarty, Director of Research, GWI