Health and wellness tourism trips to Asia to reach 128.3 million by 2022, says GlobalData

The health and wellness tourism trips to Asia are forecast to reach 128.3 million by 2022 that will help Asia to become the world’s fastest tourism market, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

International arrivals to Asia-Pacific (APAC) are set to reach 850 million in 2022, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% between 2019 and 2022. A rapid increase in health and wellness trips has emerged as a key driver of this growth in arrivals.

Amber Barnes, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The APAC is also, by far, the fastest-growing wellness tourism market; health and wellness trips increased 33% between 2017 and 2019 to reach a 109.4 million. This is because Asia’s wellness traditions have practically defined the world market, but a ‘new Asia’ is also transforming modern health and wellness tourism.”

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Key Trends in Health and Wellness Tourism: Analysis of traveller types, key market trends, key destinations, challenges and opportunities’, reveals that Thailand is a key destination within Asia for health and wellness tourism. GlobalData forecasts health and wellness tourism numbers in Thailand to increase to 27.7 million by 2022 representing a CAGR of 5.6% from 2019.

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Barnes continues: “The largest segment of health and wellness tourism in Thailand is spa tourism with US$794.7m being spent in 2019; medical tourism followed with US$663m. Expenditure on health and wellness tourism is set to increase at an even higher rate in Thailand between 2019 and 2022 with a positive CAGR of 9% to US$2.5bn.

“However, Asia may experience an economic slowdown in 2020 due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Thai authorities have announced the Coronavirus outbreak will have a huge impact on the country’s tourism industry and wider economy due to China being the largest source market. It is estimated there will be two million fewer Chinese travellers this year.”

China accounted for 49% of international arrivals to Thailand in 2019. This suggests that even with a reduction in tourism numbers, China will continue to be the dominant source market.

In GlobalData’s Q3 2019 global consumer survey, 15% of respondents highlighted they take wellness/ medical holidays. This is an increase of 2% from 2018, emphasizing the increasing demand for health and wellness tourism.

Barnes concludes: “With continued increasing transport connectivity and expansion of the health and wellness industry, Asia should now focus on promoting other destinations that have health and wellness opportunities such as Vietnam and the Philippines to disperse tourism and grow visitor numbers.” 

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