By Beth McGroarty, Director of Research, Global Wellness Institute
The GWI’s recent “Global Spa & Wellness Economy Barometer” found that while the top five countries for wellness tourism (1. U.S.; 2. Germany; 3. France; 4. Japan; and 5. Austria) still drive more than half of this half-billion-dollar category’s revenues, their global market share has dropped from 63% in 2012 to 59% in 2013.
Why? Because developing nations worldwide (with some standout nations in Asia and the Middle East/North Africa) are growing fastest now. For instance, measured in terms of wellness travel trips (combining domestic and international), China and India joined the ranks of the top five globally for the first time in 2013.
GWI’s research identified some of the fastest-growing countries for wellness tourism of late—combining both pure percentage growth in trips, and total trips added. (Note: This is just a snapshot of some standout nations for trip growth, but many more exist…)
A Few Wellness Tourism Trip Growth Leaders (2012-2013) – Ranked by % Growth
While pure trip percentage growth is presented here, larger, more established wellness tourism markets like the U.S. added a higher volume of trips (7.2 million)—because smaller, developing countries are building on a smaller base. India ranks #1 worldwide for wellness tourism trips added: 11.6 million year-over-year, with aggressive promotion of its Ayurvedic and yoga traditions paying big dividends. And just look at that 770% growth for Vietnam and 382% spike for Indonesia…smaller bases but massive momentum.