World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Wellness tourism

Article Id: WHEBN0040964026
Reproduction Date:

Title: Wellness tourism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tourism, Medical tourism, Business travel, Homestay, Bibliography of tourism
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Wellness tourism

Wellness tourism is travel for the purpose of promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities.[1] While wellness tourism is often correlated with medical tourism because health interests motivate the traveler, wellness tourists are proactive in seeking to improve or maintain health and quality of life, often focusing on prevention, while medical tourists generally travel reactively to receive treatment for a diagnosed disease or condition.

Market

Within the US $3.4 trillion spa and wellness economy, wellness tourism is estimated to total US$494 billion or 14.6 percent of all 2013 domestic and international tourism expenditures.[2] Driven by growth in Asia, the Middle East/North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and developing countries, wellness tourism is expected to grow 50 percent faster than the overall tourism industry over the next five years.[3][4] Market is expected to grow through 2014.[5][6]

Wellness tourists are generally high-yield tourists, spending, on average, 130 percent more than the average tourist.[7] In 2013, International wellness tourists spend approximately 59 percent more per trip than the average international tourist; domestic wellness tourists spend about 159 percent more than the average domestic tourist.[8] Domestic wellness tourism is significantly larger than its international equivalent, representing 84 percent of wellness travel and 68 percent of expenditures (or $299 billion). International wellness tourism represents 16 percent of wellness travel and 32 percent of expenditures ($139 billion market).[9]

The wellness tourism market includes primary and secondary wellness tourists. Primary wellness tourists travel entirely for wellness purposes while secondary wellness tourists engage in wellness-related activities as part of a trip. Secondary wellness tourists constitute the significant majority (87 percent) of total wellness tourism trips and expenditures (85 percent).[10]

Types

Wellness travelers pursue diverse services, including physical fitness and sports; beauty treatments; healthy diet and weight management; relaxation and stress relief; meditation; yoga; and health-related education. Wellness travelers may seek procedures or treatments using conventional, alternative, complementary, herbal, or homeopathic medicine.

Hotels and hospitality

Almost 17 million (40 percent)[11] of US hotel guests seek to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling. Global hotel groups, including Intercontinental Hotels Group[12] (IHG), Kimpton Hotels,[13] MGM Grand Hotel,[14] Trump Wellness Hotels,[15] and Westin,[16] have developed and promoted programs to attract these health-conscious guests.[17] Programs include healthy menu options, relaxation programs, spa services, and fitness facilities and classes.[7] As of 2012, over 80 percent of US hotels and over 90 percent of upscale US hotels offered fitness facilities.[18] Internationally, 45 percent of hotel guests indicated that the existence of a hotel spa was an important factor in their booking decision.[19]

Hospitals and medical centers

Hospitals are a significant provider of destination wellness programs. Typical programs emphasize lifestyle improvement, prevention, or health screening. Hospital and hotel partnerships often support these programs.

There is debate over whether wellness tourism can, by definition, involve a visit to a hospital, clinic, or physician's office. Some promoters of wellness tourism define all wellness travel services as delivered outside medical facilities in spas, health promotion or wellness centers, resorts, or hotels.[20]

Resorts and retreats

Wellness resorts and retreats offer short-term, residential programs to address specific health concerns, reduce stress, or support lifestyle improvement.[21][22]

Destinations

Wellness tourism is now an identifiable niche market in at least 30 countries.[23] Twenty countries accounted for 85 percent of global wellness tourism expenditures in 2012. The top five countries alone (United States, Germany, Japan, France, Austria) account for more than half the market (59 percent of expenditures).[2]

North America

As of 2014, the US is the largest wellness tourism market, with $180.7 billion in annual, combined international and domestic expenditures. The US is the top destination for inbound international wellness tourism, with 7.1 million international, inbound trips. Europe and high-income Asian countries are primary sources of wellness tourists traveling to the US.[24]

Domestic tourism accounts for the majority (94 percent) of wellness trips in North America. Americans and Canadians receive—and take—few vacation days compared to workers in other countries making domestic, weekend trips the most popular wellness travel option.[25]

Europe

Europe is the second largest wellness tourism market, with $158.4 billion in annual, combined international and domestic expenditures; the region ranks highest in number of wellness trips with 216.2 million, compared to North America's 171.7 in 2013.[2] Europeans have long believed in health benefits derived from mineral baths, saunas, thalassotherapy, and other natural and water-based treatments. Thermal resorts and hotels in Turkey and Hungary cater to wellness tourists, many of whom are subsidized by host countries such as Norway and Denmark seeking to mitigate costs of medical procedures for patients with chronic conditions requiring expensive surgeries.[26]

Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region ranks as the third largest with $6.4 billion in annual, combined international and domestic expenditures.[2] Wellness traditions date back thousands of years in this region, and some of those wellness practices (e.g., Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), yoga, Thai massage) incorporate preventive, curative, and therapeutic aspects that lie in the cross-over area between wellness and medical tourism.

Latin America-Caribbean

Latin America-Caribbean is the fourth largest region for wellness tourism in terms of number of trips and expenditures. Domestic tourism accounts for about 71 percent of wellness tourism trips, and 54 percent of wellness tourism expenditures.

Middle East and Africa

The Middle East and Africa are currently the smallest regions for wellness tourism, where international tourists account for the majority of wellness trips and wellness expenditures. The Middle East has a long tradition of bathing associated with Turkish baths, and some older facilities are being modernized to serve spa-bound tourists. Tourism in general is on the rise in the region, and governments and private developers have been investing heavily in facilities and amenities, especially those oriented to the wealthy traveler.

In Africa, wellness tourism is concentrated in a few regions and is dominated by international tourists. South Africa reports significant domestic wellness tourism. Tunisia and Morocco have a well-developed resort spa sector primarily serving leisure vacationers from Europe.

Criticism

Wellness tourism advocates suggest that vacations improve physical well-being, happiness, and productivity, citing that health-oriented trips give travelers a fresh perspective and positively affect creativity, resilience, problem solving, and capacity for coping with stress.[27][28] Yet the health benefits of wellness vacations expected and reported by vacationers have proved difficult to quantify.[29]

See also

References

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.