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SRI International gives an overview of what world regions are set to become wellness tourism hot spots in the years ahead and how businesses can tap into these markets
onsumer interest in wellness is a rising tide that will drive the growth of wellness tourism in 2014 and beyond, creating
opportunities for many businesses. Accord- ing to the Global Wellness Tourism Economy study, conducted by SRI International for the Global Spa and Wellness Summit in 2013, wellness tourism is a US$439bn (€319bn, £263bn) market, accounting for 14
per cent of global tourism expenditures. SRI projects that wellness tourism expenditures will grow at a 9 per cent rate through 2017, much faster than the overall forecast for global tourism at 6 per cent. Businesses and regions that want to take advantage of this trend must understand what wellness travel is, why it’s growing and how destinations can benefi t the most from this burgeoning travel segment.
WHAT IS WELLNESS TOURISM? SRI defi nes wellness tourism as “travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing”. This is not to be confused with medical travel, which is primarily undertaken by patients who are seeking treatment for a diagnosed disease and who are motivated by a lower cost of care or higher quality care than what is available at home.
Europe has a tradition of water-based treatments such as those at Therme Bad Aibling in Germany (this picture and opposite) 96 spa business handbook 2014 www.spahandbook.com