A new report on leisure spending indicates that wellness tourism is growing more quickly than most other sectors in the hospitality industry. For PR professionals, the potential for cashing in is significant, particularly in the Asia-Pacific.
More income, more trips
A focus on wellness now accounts for about 6.5 percent of all holidays. This represents a growth rate of 15 percent since 2015, or a raw total of about 830 million trips worldwide. Significant growth in particular is being experienced in Asia. As money becomes more available and the region’s share of the global pie grows, lifestyle upgrades are becoming more affordable and the quest for downtime grows. This is led by the great economic expansion in China over the last 20 years. Yoga, Ayurveda, medical tourism, tai chi, temple-stays, swimming pools, cultural tours and massages are all part of the trend, in addition to entire venues exclusively dedicated to making one feel more balanced and in better physical and mental health.
Tourists from China are expected to add up to almost a third of the global travel market within 10 years. Chinese are already the planet’s largest group of spenders, infusing some $258 billion each year to the global economy. On the receiving end, China is also anticipated to the top destination country for travelers within a few years. China’s dominant “9-9-6” work culture, in which employees are expected to work from 9am – 9pm, six days straight, fuels the need for vacations that are relaxing and then return you to work in tip-top condition.
Girl power, magnified
Women are leading the demands for more relaxation. This includes time away from the annoyances and pressures of men on female-only vacations, which have grown in popularity by 200% in recent years. Women are wealthier, less likely to marry and have kids, and thus more likely to pamper themselves than ever before, as socio-economic shifts lead to more lifestyle-friendly travels. This ties into traditional market forces (think 500 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets) appealing to women in spa settings and amplified retail therapy, with wellness products and services in increasing demand.
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