New report predicts a bright future for wellness tourism

By Sarah Todd


By Sarah Todd

24 February 2021

Wellness travel and wellness service sales are forecast to experience rapid growth between now and 2030, according to a new study by Health Tourism Worldwide in cooperation with the Wellness Tourism Association.

The Wellness Tourism 2030 report is based on information gained in spring 2020 from in-depth interviews with 131 industry representatives from 25 countries along with 59 academics from 24 countries.

The aim of the study was to predict what the main global and regional trends in wellness-motivated travel will be from 2025-2030.

While there was a lot of agreement between the two respondent groups, the greatest difference was in the assessment of motivation triggers for wellness travel. Industry representatives believed that de-stressing, recharging and relaxation will lead the demand for wellness trips, while academics stressed the importance of self-healing, fitness and also personal reward.

Wellness Tourism 2030 Report: Key Takeaways

  • • Resort, eco-spas and wellness centres represent great growth potential whereas workplace wellness trips should not expect significant development
  • • Spiritual practices and treatments based on local, natural resources represent the highest growth potential
  • • Sport and fitness and medical wellness propositions show potential through to 2030
  • • Alternative therapies and New Age approaches may not represent significant opportunities

Industry respondents forecast that solo female travelers would remain a dominant market segment for the wellness travel product in the US, while academics highlighted same-sex couples as another important segment.

In Europe, the study results suggest a more balanced segment mix, comprised of couples, groups of friends, families and guests looking for healthy options.

The study was completed during the Covid-19 pandemic, so participants considered how travel would be once the pandemic controls begin to loosen.

New Age therapies are predicted to have limited business impact

The report confirms that the popularity of wellness services and facility types can vary by market segment as well as geographical areas. Although wellness as a concept enjoys global interest, the ways in which it is used in hospitality, healthcare and destination development can greatly depend on the local circumstances.

Industry representatives anticipated a significant growth in wellness travel while academics were more focused on the growth in wellness spend, but both said that wellness represents great opportunities for tourism, however, more short-term travel decisions should be expected, as well as shorter travel distances.

The report is a continuation of initial research first published in 2012 as ‘4WR Wellness Tourism 2020’.

Read the full report

To read the Wellness Tourism 2030 report in full, click here

Be inspired...

Health Tourism Worldwide looks at leisure, lifestyle and travel from a wellbeing perspective. Find out more

Be informed...

The WTA launched in 2018 and was designed to support and serve the growing wellness tourism industry. Find out more

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