Europe drives wellness tourism growth

Europe is a leading force in the global wellness tourism sector growth, accounting for more wellness trips annually than any other region, according to figures from the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS). 

A breakout report from the Global Wellness Tourism Economy analysis, carried out by research firm SRI International on behalf of the GSWS, reveals that Europe represents 203 million, 39%, of the 524 million domestic and international wellness tourism trips taken each year. 

The report, presented by GSWS chairman and chief executive Susie Ellis at ITB Berlin’s Experts Forum on Wellness yesterday, also shows that Europe ranks second for wellness tourism spending, behind the US. 

The global wellness tourism market is currently worth US$439 billion (£262 billion). US$158.4 billion (£94.6 billion) or 36% of that spending is generated by Europe, while North America accounts for 41% of the market. 

Six of the top 10 wellness tourism destinations worldwide are in Europe, with the continent’s leading three wellness tourism generators being Germany, France and Austria. The three countries collectively account for US$80 billion (£48 billion) of global wellnes tourism spending; US$42.2 billion (£25.2 billion) from Germany, US$24.1 billion (£14.4 billion) from France and US$14.10 billion (£8.4 billion) from Austria. 

Europe is set for a strong 7.3% wellness tourism growth over the next three years, with the market predicted to be worth US$225 billion (£134 billion) in 2017. Much of this growth is expected to be driven by nations in Eastern Europe, including Poland and Russia.