Latin American wellness tourism sector set to reach US$42billion by 2017

Above: Lapinha Spa, Brazil

The Latin American wellness tourism market is set for a 13.4% annual growth over the next three years and is set to total US$42billion by 2017. The figure is significantly higher than the 9.9% global growth for the sector as a whole. 

The wellness tourism market in Latin America is currently valued at US$22.4bn, representing around 5% of the global US$439bn market. The top five national markets are Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. 

Mexico, generating US$8.9bn in wellness tourism revenue, has a significant lead on the second biggest market in the region, Brazil, where the sector is valued at US$2.2bn. 

The figures were released by the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) yesterday and represent the second set of regional data extracted from the Global Wellness Tourism Economy report.

The report, compiled by research firm SRI International, was presented at the 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit. Susie Ellis, chairman and chief executive of the GWTC, said: “This is an exiting wellness travel growth story to watch.” 

A total of 31.7million inbound and domestic wellness-oriented trips are taken throughout Latin America every year, accounting for 6% of the 524m trips taken around the world.

The fastest-growing markets in the region for the 2012-2017 period are forecast to be Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The sector has created 900,000 jobs across Latin America.