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Peak performance

Fresh figures show the global wellness market is growing at a rapid pace and will maintain momentum

Published in Spa Business 2023 issue 4
GWI chair Susie Ellis (in yellow) with report researchers Ophelia Yeung, Tonia Callender and Katherine Johnston / photo: GWS
GWI chair Susie Ellis (in yellow) with report researchers Ophelia Yeung, Tonia Callender and Katherine Johnston/ photo: GWS

The global wellness economy has exceeded US$5.6 trillion and will reach US$8.5 trillion by 2027, according to the 2023 Global Wellness Economy Monitor report.

The figures, just released by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), represent a major turnaround after COVID-19 which saw the market shrink from US$4.9 trillion to US$4.4 trillion (-9.5 per cent) between 2019 and 2020.

It’s since grown 26 per cent between 2020 and 2022 and seven of the 11 wellness sectors now exceed their 2019, pre-pandemic values (see Diagram 1).

Spa-related sectors
The report shows that the traditional and complementary medicine sector grew by 15 per cent from 2020 to 2022 and is now worth US$518.6 billion.

The global spa market is valued at US$104.5 billion and thermal/mineral springs at US$46.3 billion. While these sectors increased by 50 per cent and 16 per cent respectively from 2020 to 2022, they’re still behind their 2019 values of US$113.8 billion and US$65.7 billion.

Yet, GWI predicts that a full recovery for these markets will be swift, increasing by 8.3 per cent and 14.3 per cent a year respectively, given pent-up demand. By 2027 it estimates that the spa industry will be worth US$156.1 billion and thermal/mineral springs will generate US$90.5 billion (see Diagram 2).

Regional analysis
Wellness markets in all global regions have fully recovered from the pandemic, but North America (now at 123 per cent of its 2019/pre-pandemic level), Middle East-North Africa (up 119 per cent) and Europe (now at 114 per cent) have shown the most powerful growth rates since 2019.

In 2022, the North American market (US$1.9 trillion) surpassed Asia-Pacific (US$1.7 trillion) as the largest regional wellness economy. These two regions, along with Europe (US$1.5 trillion), now make up 90 per cent of the entire wellness market.

The report also states that per capita spending on wellness is highest in North America (US$5,108) and Europe (US$1,596).

Presenting the findings at the Global Wellness Summit in November (see p88), report co-author Ophelia Yeung said: “We’re very bullish about the wellness economy. Wellness has become a dominant consumer value and interest in it is only going to grow.

“But we also have a lot of unknown factors including widening wealth gaps, uncertain economic conditions and rapidly changing geopolitics that will affect the flow of people, capital, technology and ideas.

“How the wellness economy will do will depend on the interplay of all of these factors.”

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