Travel TrendsThe segment's projected annual growth of 20.9% by 2025 outpaces that of the overall global wellness economy, according to Global Wellness Institute.

Wellness tourism takes the spotlight for 2022 travel demand

The market size for wellness tourism is expected to grow to US$816.5 billion in 2022, according to Global Wellness Institute.
The market size for wellness tourism is expected to grow to US$816.5 billion in 2022, according to Global Wellness Institute. Photo Credit: gettyimages/Marina_Poushkina

Wellness tourism is expected to bring in more than US$1.1 billion by 2025, according to a December 2021 report by Global Wellness Institute. Titled “The Global Wellness Economy: Looking beyond Covid, the report indicates a growth of 20.9% annually through 2025.

This positive outlook just for wellness tourism itself outstrips the projection for the global wellness economy, which is expected to grow 9.9% annually over the same period.

Wellness tourism reached a market size of US$720.4 billion in 2019, but dropped to US$435.7 billion in 2020 due to Covid-19. Looking forward, the US$652.8 billion market size achieved in 2021 will grow to US$816.5 billion this year.

The report also highlighted that wellness travel comprised 6.5% of all tourism trips in 2020 but represented 16.2% of travel expenditure as this segment typically spend more per trip as compared to the average traveller.

Other reports from industry players on 2022 travel trends reflect similar findings regarding wellness. Closer to home, Expedia’s travel trends report indicated 41% of Singapore travellers seek health and wellness experiences, with 22% craving digital detox holidays.

In Singapore Tourism Board’s report on travel personas of the future, the “Slow Pacer” was identified to represent a segment of travellers who focus on physical, emotional and mental well-being. 

Neighbouring cities such as Macau pivoted sharply last year to emphasise travel opportunities in wellness tourism, with highlights that appeal to families and those looking for “slow travel” experiences.

The institute concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic has “accelerated the ascendance of wellness as a dominant consumer value all around the world”. Consumer impact is significant as they are “increasingly aware that all aspects of their lives — where they live; how they work; what they eat; and how they exercise, socialise and travel — impact their health outcomes, mental resilience and overall sense of well-being”.

Global Wellness Summit will be publishing its annual wellness trends report next month, and it is expected to reinforce current sentiments and reports that 2022 is the year of wellness travel.

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