Wellness tourism is in good health
Spanish market occupies the sixth position in the European ranking of tourism wellness with 9.9 million annual trips, but descends to the twelfth in expenditure, with 5.5 billion euros in the last year. However stands among the ten countries of the old continent with the greatest potential.
Is that Europe exerts an undeniable role in an industry that has surprised friends and strangers for its rapid development in recent years. Only in 2013 grew 12% to 495,000 million dollars (415.300 million euros), with identical increase in the number of trips made with this motivation in the world, 586,5 million. In addition expenditure means stood at 1.639 dollars per trip (1,375 euros), 59% more than the traditional tourist, according to the results of the study by SRI International for Global Spa and Wellness Summit (GSWS).
Among the causes of this accelerated growth are, according to President and CEO of GSWS, Susie Ellis, the ageing of the population, the increase of diseases caused by the current style of life and the difficulties of traditional medicine to mitigate some of them, as well as the expansion of the economic prosperity and stressful life.
In fact, some reports are running that the wellness world economy can reach 3.4 billion dollars (2.9 billion euros), three times the income of the pharmaceutical industry.
In this buoyant market the continent exerts its leadership to generate 40% of travel for health, 234 million, with a projected increase of 7.3% annually between now and 2017; while in the ranking by tourist spending it ranks second, with 149.500 million euros, representing 36% of the total, behind only the United States, which holds a 41%.
In fact, six of the top ten countries for spending in this segment are European, where fully strengthened given the maturity of the market but also its great potential. They lead the ranking Germany, 30800 million euros, France (17,600) and Austria(10.200 millones).
By number of trips, both international and domestic, repeat the same countries with Germany in first position, with 49.2 billion, followed by France (27.3 million), the United Kingdom, which sneaks into third place with 17.8 million, Austria (11.3 million) and Switzerland(10,1 millones).
Forecasts to 2017
But the most interesting thing about this market, according to include experts, is the broad potential of development presenting since they expect to reach a turnover of 164,000 million in 2017, with an increase in average world annual 9.9%, led by countries such as Turkey, Poland and Russia, although this latter market is affected by the internal crisis in the country.
Spain is among the fastest growing in displacement, 6.2% per year with 3.5 million trips more than welfare, ahead of France ( 5.5%) and Germany ( 4.7%), but far away from Russia ( 13.1% predicted until the crisis intensifies), Turkey ( 12.6%) and Poland( 12,4%).
Economic and employment engine
Wellness Tourism generates an estimated impact of 328.400 million euros in the continent’s economy and 2.4 million direct jobs in Europe.
It is an unstoppable trend as Ellis concludes, “with the growing number of people travelling increasingly in search of wellness of body and mind, tourists from all the world are becoming Europeans following his example in learning to appreciate the experiences of health tourism”.
This article has been published in the February issue of the revista Hosteltur and is available in the attached pdf.
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