Global Wellness Industry Grew 10.6% in Two Years

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The global wellness industry grew 10.6% in the last two years, from a $3.36 trillion market in 2013 to $3.72 trillion in 2015, according to a press release from the Global Wellness Institute (GWI). This new data on the 10 markets that comprise the global wellness “cluster” provides fresh evidence that wellness is one of the world’s largest, fastest growing, and most resilient markets.

Economic Context

  • From 2013-2015, the global wellness sector registered double-digit growth, while the global economy/GDP shrank by -3.6%* – a “growth gap” of nearly 15%.
  • The wellness industry now represents 5.1% of global economic output.
  • Wellness expenditures are now nearly half as large as total global health expenditures ($7.6 trillion**).

Among the 10 wellness markets analyzed, the fastest growing from 2013-2015 were:

  1. Preventative/Personalized Medicine & Public Health (+23.5%)
  2. Fitness & Mind-Body (+21.4%)
  3. Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate (+18.6%)
  4. Wellness Tourism (+14%)
  5. Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss (+12.8%).

“Recent years have been marked by global economic contraction and disruptive geopolitical events, but a ‘wellness economy’ just keeps rising, with an upward trajectory that seems unstoppable,” said Ophelia Yeung, Senior Research Fellow, GWI. “And we predict that consumers, governments and employers will continue to spend big on wellness because of these megatrends: an emerging global middle class, a rapidly aging world population, a chronic disease and stress epidemic, the failure of the ‘sick-care’ medical model (resulting in uncontrollable healthcare costs), and a growing subset of (more affluent, educated) consumers seeking experiences rooted in meaning, purpose, authenticity and nature.”

From 2013-2015, wellness tourism revenues grew 14%, more than twice as fast as overall tourism expenditures (6.9%). World travelers made 691 million wellness trips in 2015, 104.4 million more than in 2013. Wellness tourism now accounts for 15.6% of total tourism revenues – nearing 1 in 6 of total “tourist dollars” spent. That’s, in part, because wellness travelers spend much more per trip: international wellness tourists spend 61% more ($1,613/trip) than the average international tourist, and the premium for domestic wellness travelers is even higher: $654 per trip, 164% higher than the typical domestic tourist. Wellness tourism is responsible for 17.9 million jobs worldwide.

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