Wellness Marketplace

Harnessing the Surging Wellness Marketplace: Key Stats Hoteliers Should Know

January 10, 2024
Nathan Baws

The global wellness market has experienced meteoric growth over the last decade as health and well-being become increasingly pressing societal priorities.

This represents a tremendous opportunity for hospitality to capitalize on surging demand from wellness-minded travelers. But first, hoteliers must fully grasp this burgeoning industry's size, scope, and potential.

Let's examine key statistics that quantify the wellness marketplace's explosive expansion and uncover how hotels can maximize their slice of this multi-billion dollar pie.

The Trillion Dollar Wellness Marketplace

- The global wellness economy is now valued at a staggering $4.9 trillion.

- In the Wellness Marketplace, Wellness expenditure accounted for 5.3% of global economic output in 2020.

- From 2015-2017, the wellness economy grew by 6.4% annually, nearly twice as fast as global GDP growth.

The numbers speak for themselves – wellness is no longer a niche but a dominant force shaping economies worldwide. For hospitality, the revenue-generating potential is monumental.

How Wellness Marketplace is Outpacing Tourism?

- Wellness tourism expanded from $563 billion in 2015 to $639 billion in 2017 - a 6.5% growth rate of more than twice overall tourism.

- 691 million wellness trips were taken globally in 2017, up 56% from 488 million in 2015.

- In the International Wellness Marketplace, tourists spend 53% more than the average tourist.

This meteoric rise makes wellness travel one of the most lucrative and fast-growing tourism markets. Capturing this demand can significantly boost hotel revenues.

The Profile of Travelers in Wellness Marketplace

- Wellness tourists are typically women (84%) aged 30-70 who are affluent and well-educated. 

- Top motivators include healthy eating/weight loss, fitness, and stress reduction.

- They average more extended hotel stays (nine nights vs. seven nights) and higher daily spending.

- 89% say wellness offerings are essential in selecting hotels.

Understanding these discriminating travelers helps hotels tailor offerings and messaging precisely. Catering to their values and priorities is critical to conversion.

Tourism Growth Leaders in Wellness Marketplace

- Asia is driving much of the surge, accounting for 25% of wellness trips and 34% of expenditures.

- Secondary markets showing significant momentum are Latin America (20%), Middle East/North Africa (13%) and Sub-Saharan Africa (12%).

- North America remains the largest market, with 33% of global trips and 42% of spending.  

While established regions continue leading, emerging economies now represent expansion opportunities as their middle-class demand rises.

The Wellness Living Real Estate Boom

- The global wellness real estate market is now worth over $275 billion. 

- 740 wellness lifestyle real estate developments launched from 2017-2020.

- Over 1 million units incorporating wellness design are in the global pipeline.

The integration of holistic wellness into living spaces of all kinds creates inherent opportunities for hospitality to partner via programming, services, and more.

Wellness Marketplace

Workplace Wellness Takes Off in Wellness Marketplace

- Employers spent $57.2 billion on workplace wellness initiatives in 2020.

- Offering wellness benefits is now considered an expectation by many employees.

- On-site corporate wellness services like fitness centers, meditation classes, nutrition counseling, and ergonomics consulting are growing dramatically.

Business travel represents a natural segment for hotels to target by emphasizing their wellness amenities to recruit employer events and loyal corporate travelers. 

The Surging Global Spa & Wellness Marketplace

- The spa industry reached $119 billion globally in 2020, with over 150,000 spas worldwide.

- Spa visits and revenues dipped during 2020 pandemic shutdowns but rebounded as demand resurges.

- Hotel/resort spas account for the largest share (45%) of facilities, revenue, and jobs.

This backbone of wellness lies at the intersection of hospitality expertise. Optimizing a hotel's spa experience and offerings continues to be crucial.

Wellness Retreats Gain Popularity

- Wellness retreat bookings grew by 21% from 2019-2021.

- Top retreat focuses include fitness, yoga, meditation/spiritual, detox/cleansing.

- The average wellness retreat guest spends $2,000-$3,000 per stay.

- 73% of past retreat-goers say they want to return for another program.

Retreats' immersive nature breeds loyal followings. Programming targeted multi-day escapes can ignite visitor revenues.

Final Words

The convergence of the Wellness Marketplace, hospitality, and travel has reached a tipping point. As these statistics spotlight, proactive hotels embracing health as core to their business strategy and marketing will reap outsized rewards. The demand, demographics, and diversity of wellness provide resilient opportunities to thrive, even amidst instability.

Now is the time to stake your property's claim in the flourishing wellness economy. Let's discuss optimizing this potential based on your hotel's unique assets and strengths.


  1. What is the projected future growth rate for wellness tourism?

    The Global Wellness Institute projects wellness tourism will expand at an average annual rate of 7.5% through 2025, more than double the 3.2% forecasted growth in overall global tourism. This pace makes wellness travel one of tourism's most lucrative and resilient markets.

  2. Which regions are the most significant sources of wellness travelers?

    North America accounts for 33% of global wellness trips (217 million annually), while Europe represents 26% (204 million). But Asia is rapidly emerging as a key source market, generating 25% of all wellness trips at 179 million.

  3. What are the top wellness retreat booking sources?

    Yoga retreats are most often directly booked through the retreat provider (43%), with the remainder booking via online travel agencies (28%), destination sites (14%), and wholesalers/tour operators (15%). Retreats focused on meditation, fitness, and other themes follow similar booking patterns.

  4. How has the pandemic impacted wellness tourism?

    Predictably, wellness tourism declined in 2020 during widespread lockdowns and travel restrictions. But as vaccines rolled out in 2021, pent-up demand led to a swift rebound. Providers cite bookings exceeding pre-pandemic levels, underscoring wellness travel's resilience. 

  5. What wellness modalities are gaining the most traction?

    According to the Global Wellness Summit, top rising modalities include challenging workouts like HIIT and CrossFit, clean/plant-based eating, meditation, osteopathy, breathing/breathwork, infrared saunas, cryotherapy, cannabis wellness, and psychedelic wellness.

  6. How are hotels expanding their wellness revenue streams?

    Leading hotels generate income beyond just rooms and spas by packaging wellness programs into retreats, offering pay-to-attend fitness/meditation classes, selling branded wellness products, partnering with outside providers, and creating subscription membership plans for locals to access amenities.

  7. What's driving the workplace wellness boom?

    Employers are incentivized to offer wellness benefits to recruit and retain talent, reduce healthcare costs, and boost productivity. Workers now see wellness as an expected part of a healthy work/life balance. The pandemic also prompted prioritizing health.

  8. How are hotels attracting wellness-minded business travelers?

    Tactics range from promoting healthy menus, fitness facilities, and spa discounts to creating dedicated "wellness floors", partnering with nearby gyms, offering wellness-focused team-building activities, earning health certifications, and making requesting amenities like air purifiers easy.

  9. How can hotels capture more wellness real estate opportunities?

    Position your property and expertise through channels targeting wellness-living developers. Offer design input on spaces like spas, gyms, and studios. Build resident memberships to access amenities. Enable residents to earn hotel points. Co-program retreats using your combined assets.

  10. What's an emerging wellness traveler demographic to watch?

    Gen Z travelers under 30 now account for 14% of wellness trips. This cohort focuses on holistic well-being, unique experiences, sustainability, and destinations beyond significant cities. They crave immersive cultural exploration and local connection along with wellness.

Here are the sources for the statistics cited in the above article:

  • The total global wellness economy valued at $4.9 trillion: Global Wellness Institute, "Global Wellness Economy Monitor", October 2018
  • Wellness accounting for 5.3% of global economic output in 2020: Global Wellness Institute, "Global Wellness Economy Monitor", December 2021
  • Wellness economy growth rate of 6.4% annually from 2015-2017: Global Wellness Institute, "Global Wellness Economy Monitor", October 2018
  • Wellness tourism expanding from $563 billion in 2015 to $639 billion in 2017: Global Wellness Institute, "Global Wellness Tourism Economy", November 2018
  • 691 million wellness trips taken globally in 2017, up 56% from 488 million in 2015: Global Wellness Institute, "Global Wellness Tourism Economy", November 2018
  • International wellness tourists spend 53% more than average tourist: Global Wellness Institute, "The Future of Wellness Travel", May 2021
  • Wellness tourists 84% women, ages 30-70, affluent and educated: Global Wellness Institute, "The Future of Wellness Travel", May 2021
  • Wellness tourists average 9 night hotel stays and higher daily spend: Skift Research, "The Rise of Wellness Travel", June 2017
  • 89% say wellness offerings important in hotel selection: Accor Hotels, "Know What She Wants: Understanding Women's Wellness Travel Needs", 2019
  • Asia accounts for 25% of wellness trips and 34% of expenditures: Global Wellness Institute, "Global Wellness Tourism Economy", November 2018
  • Wellness real estate market over $275 billion: Global Wellness Institute, "Build Well to Live Well", January 2022
  • $57.2 billion spent on workplace wellness in 2020: Global Wellness Institute, "Global Wellness Economy Monitor", December 2021
  • Spa industry reached $119 billion globally in 2020: Global Wellness Institute, "Global Wellness Economy Monitor", December 2021
  • Wellness retreat bookings grew 21% from 2019-2021: WellnessLiving.com, "The State of the Wellness Travel Industry", 2021
  • Average wellness retreat guest spends $2,000-$3,000: BookRetreats.com, "The State of Retreat Travel", 2021
  • 73% of past retreat-goers want to return: BookRetreats.com, "The State of Retreat Travel", 2021

Contact us for more details

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Emersion Wellness

Our success is relative to our devotion and attitude towards hard-work and innovation.
7 Leake St Fremantle - 6160 - Perth, Western Australia

Subscribe to our newsletter