Health and Wellness Tourism Market Trends and Analysis of Traveller Types, Key Destinations, Challenges and Opportunities, 2023 Update

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Health and Wellness Tourism Market Report Overview

The health and wellness tourism market is on its path to recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic. The global inbound spending in the health and wellness sector is also growing significantly which could be due to the influence of social media marketing, which promotes certain products to be viewed as necessary for individuals to fully experience a holiday focused on health and wellness.

As wellness evolves and expands, additional markets, from food and drink to hospitality, are starting to provide products that reflect the values of health-conscious consumers. For example, major companies broadly focused on the wellness lifestyle, like fitness chain Equinox, indoor cycling chain SoulCycle, and sports clothing retailer Lululemon, are experimenting with and providing health and wellness tourism by offering multi-day excursions for members with health and fitness at their core.

In 2022, there has been a steady rise in the total number of inbound arrivals and spending on both spa tourism and medical tourism. Travelers in the health and wellness industries could be drawn to certain destinations because of their proximity to their home countries, their reputation among friends, or their affordability. Medical treatments and their costs can depend on the destination, where some nations are known for specializing in a certain type of medical procedure or advice and where some are notoriously more expensive than others, each with their own competitive advantage. This also attracts different tourists depending on their wants and needs.

The health and wellness tourism market research report looks at the performance of health and wellness as a sector within the tourism industry. The report also covers global inbound spending and arrivals, the key trends, destinations, opportunities, and challenges the industry might face.

Key Health and Wellness Tourists Primary Wellness Travellers and Secondary Wellness Travellers
Key Health and Wellness Trends Rising Popularity of Wellness Staycations and Importance of Personalization
Key Destinations (Medical Tourism) Turkey, Mexico, Malaysia, Poland, and Thailand
Key Destination (Spa Destination) Italy, Spain, and France
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Health and Wellness Tourism Market – Key Projects

Some of the key health and wellness tourism companies are engaging in strategic alliances to launch different projects and hotels to promote market growth. Furthermore, companies are interested in acquiring investment-worthy start-ups to strengthen their market position. For instance, Grupo Alojica has completed the acquisition of the Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta hotel from companies affiliated with Marriott Vacations Worldwide. The planned transformation of the property includes a comprehensive reform of the rooms and public areas of the hotel, improvements in swimming pools, spa, gym and other hotel amenities and the redesign of all the restaurant areas.

Likewise, Jayasom Wellness, which is expected to have 153 keys overall and 24 branded residences, will include 7,000 square meters of therapeutic space devoted to spa, holistic health, exercise, physiotherapy, nutrition, and aesthetic beauty. It will also include branded residences for sale that will give access to a wellness community and the resort’s comprehensive wellness amenities, as well as an adults-only area and a family wellness area.

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Health and Wellness Tourism Market - Travelers

The key types of health and wellness tourists are primary wellness traveler and secondary wellness traveler. Wellness holidays are considered as a luxury. The demographic for health and wellness holidays is usually luxury and premium travelers. Wellness tourism is characterized by high expenditure, with tourists traveling for a wellness purpose spending more on average per trip compared to tourists traveling for other reasons, such as city breaks. This leaves a great opportunity for wellness tourism offerings to attract high-spending, wealthy tourists, as they are likely to invest heavily in their personal and physical well-being.

Hungary has emerged as the hub of health and wellness tourism, with one in three guest nights being spent at a health and wellness hotel. There is a strong potential for health and wellness tourism, and the product is already well established in Hungary, making health and wellness tourism development a priority to further develop Hungary’s inbound tourism. Furthermore, India and Italy are the next countries most likely to take this type of holiday as both countries are well known for their wellness travel industries, with mindfulness and relaxation being key focuses. This may also encourage domestic travel for health and wellness in India and Italy.

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Health and Wellness Tourism Market Trends

The growing importance of personalization, the rising popularity of wellness staycations, and surging awareness of improved gut health and immune-boosting treatments are some of the key trends influencing the health and wellness tourism market. Furthermore, travelers that seek wellness holidays as a primary purpose often come from countries that offer wellness retreats.

Rising popularity of wellness staycations: More people are becoming aware of the importance of wellness retreats and the positive impact it has on their mental and physical wellbeing. Therefore, wellness staycations are also becoming more popular. Wellness staycations can attract a variety of travelers; some could be looking for a spa day trip or travelers on extended trips that want to incorporate more wellness into their trip. Wellness destinations and hotels with spa, gym, and meditation facilities should look to attract domestic visitors over international visitors in the first stages of tourism recovery now that restrictions have been eased. By advertising on domestic travel platforms and social media, destinations can build awareness and attract travelers who may not have previously visited.

Importance of personalization: Personalization is a significant trend in health and wellness. Due to the nature of the industry, recognizing that individuals have unique needs and different preferences when it comes to their wellbeing is important. By tailoring wellness programs to suit individual needs, wellness destinations can offer more targeted and effective solutions to their visitors. This could then increase the return rate of travelers, and research also shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that offer personalized experiences.

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Health and Wellness Tourism Market - Destinations

Top Medical Tourism Destination: The top medical tourism destinations are Turkey, Mexico, Malaysia, Poland, and Thailand. In 2022, Turkey emerged as the world’s most popular destination for medical tourism. Evidently, Turkey’s medical tourist visitors in 2022 increased by 43% from 2021, reaching a total of 366 thousand visitors. Factors such as competitive cost for medical treatment, high-quality procedures, and unique medical tourism packages are driving the growth of this country in the health and wellness tourism market.

Top Spa Tourism Destination: The key spa tourism destination locations are Italy, Spain, and France. Although Italy may not be associated with being the most popular wellness destination, it welcomed the highest number of inbound visitors, reaching a total of 4.2 million in 2022 compared to 2 million visitors in the previous year. Factors such as geographical advantages, rich spa and wellness traditions, and competitive wellness offerings are responsible for the growth of spa tourism in the health and wellness tourism market.

Top Medical Tourism Destinations, 2022 (%)

Top Medical Tourism Destinations, 2022 (%)

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This case study looks at the perfomance of health and wellness as a sector within the tourism industry. Covering global inbound spending and arrivals, also the key trends, destinations and the opportunities and challenegs the industry might face.

Reasons to Buy

  • Gain an understanding of health & wellness tourism
  • Gain an insight into the Health & Wellness Travelers
  • Understand the impact of Covid-19 on health & wellness travel
  • See which are the key destinations
  • Learn about the key trends in health & wellness travel

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Table of Contents


Projects, mergers and acquisitions

Insight into the Health & Wellness Traveler

Impact of Covid-19 on Health & Wellness

Key Trends in Health & Wellness

Key Destinations

Opportunities and Challenges


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