Wellness Tourism, a US$500 Billion Travel Industry

Wellness tourism is travel for the purpose of promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities. While wellness tourism is often correlated with medical tourism because health interests motivate the traveler, wellness tourists are proactive in seeking to improve or maintain health and quality of life, often focusing on prevention, while medical tourists generally travel reactively to receive treatment for a diagnosed disease or condition.

This industry unites two mega sectors: tourism and wellness into one powerful tourism product; and it has radically changed the way people travel and their expectations on the different destinations.

According to TravelPulse.com wellness tourism continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, as stated on the 2014 Global Spa and Wellness Economy Monitor.

The report, prepared by SRI International on behalf of the Global Wellness Institute, notes that wellness tourism grew by 12.7 percent in 2013, surpassing 2012’s growth rate of 9 percent.

Overall, wellness tourism expenditures reached $494 billion in 2013. That surpasses the preventative and personalized health market ($432.7 billion) and draws close to the healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss market ($574.2 billion).


A New Concept

The new “Wellness” concept engages the traveler’s mind, body, emotions, and spirit in a holistic way,  in order to achieve mental restoration and physical balance.


Yoga Retreats

Yoga retreats are cropping up around the globe to teach us to stay present, focusing on the here and now of every movement and breath.

Yoga Retreat_Anamaya Resort (Photo: TripAdvisor LLC)
Yoga Retreat_Anamaya Resort (Photo: TripAdvisor LLC)


Outdoor Boot Camp And Extreme Fitness

Around the globe, destinations are beginning to fully leverage their landscapes for outdoor adventure and fitness. It’s in response to a growing segment of travelers who want to combat stress, improve fitness, and lose weight outdoors by pushing themselves to the extreme.

(Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
(Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


Meditation And Stillness Retreats

Instead of blasting through a checklist of must-see tourist sites, an increasing number of travelers are opting to spend vacation time in quiet meditation. These spiritual seekers are finding healing and purpose in meditative retreats.

Golden Door (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)
Golden Door (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)


Hot Springs And Thermal Baths

Bathing in hot springs, the world’s oldest spa experience, is one trend that never goes out of style and has been gaining popularity in recent years.

Soaking in the health benefits and social experience of natural hot springs is the trend (Photo: Google)
Soaking in the health benefits and social experience of natural hot springs is the trend (Photo: Google)


Cleansing And Detox Retreats

At several detox retreats around the world, specialists customize a safe cleanse for the traveler’s specific needs and body type.

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)
(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)


Weight-Loss Resorts

When you book a weight-loss resort trip, you immerse yourself in a program with fitness, nutrition, education, relaxation, and camaraderie that will help you to improve your health in a pleasant environment.

Weight Loss Resort (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)
Weight Loss Resort (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)


Global Wellness Summit

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) is an international gathering that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively impact and shape the future of the global spa and wellness industries. The 2015 Summit will take place in Mexico City, November 13-15, 2015, at The St. Regis Mexico City.






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