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Japan named world’s third biggest wellness economy, worth US$303 billion

By Megan Whitby    08 Sep 2023
Japan joins the US and China as one of the world's top three leading wellness economies / Shutterstock/lkunl
Thw GWI has announced Japan's wellness economy is worth more than US$303 billion (£242.6 billion, €283 billion)
The most lucrative sectors include Personal Care and Beauty, Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
Wellness real estate and wellness tourism have also been pitched for future growth
Japan's spa industry is reportedly worth US$4.2 billion (£3.4 billion, €3.9 billion)
Japan is an amazing example of a sustainable, strong wellness economy
– Susie Ellis
Credit: GWI

Japan has the third largest wellness economy globally – worth US$303 billion (£242.6 billion, €283 billion) – according to data from the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).

The new findings came to light after the GWI added Japan to its Geography of Wellness website. Launched last year, the platform is designed to offer more visibility into a country’s distinct wellness assets.

Findings show Japan ranks in the top five in all wellness sectors measured by the GWI;

• Personal Care and Beauty – US$105.9 billion (£84.7 billion, €98.8 billion).

• Healthy Eating – US$70.1 billion (£56.1 billion, €65.4 billion).• Physical Activity – US$41 billion (£32.8 billion, €38.2 billion).

• Wellness Tourism – US$19.1 billion (£15.3 billion, €17.8 billion).• Public Health, Prevention and Personalised Medicine – US$18.1 billion (£14.5 billion, €16.9 billion).

• Traditional and Complementary Medicine – US$16.7 billion (£13.3 billion, €15.5 billion).• Wellness Real Estate – US$11.5 billion (£9.2 billion, €10.7 billion).

• Thermal and Mineral Springs – US$9.2 billion (£7.4 billion, €8.5 billion).• Nutrition and Weight Loss – US$5.8 billion (£4.6 billion, €5.4 billion).

• Mental Wellness – US$5.8 billion (£4.6 billion, €5.4 billion). • Workplace Wellness – US$4.7 billion (£3.8 billion, €2.4 billion).

• Spas – US$4.2 billion (£3.4 billion, €3.9 billion).

Growth opportunities include wellness real estate, which grew from US$2.5 billion (£2 billion, €2.3 billion) in 2017 to US$11.5 billion (£9.2 billion, €10.7 billion) in 2020.

The country’s wellness tourism economy is also robust with a total of 33.8 million wellness trips recorded, both inbound and domestic, with Japan’s rich thermal and mineral springs playing a strong role.

“Japan is an amazing example of a sustainable, strong wellness economy,” said Susie Ellis, GWI chair and CEO.

“Wellness is deeply embedded in the country's DNA: from its culture of healthy eating to its focus on both public health investment and traditional and complementary medicine.”

GWI partnered with Conceptasia and Fukui Wellness Collaboration to unveil the data.

Ellis added: “Partnerships like this allow our researchers to dive deeper into a specific country’s wellness economy data.

“The Geography of Wellness paints a robust picture, on a country-by-country basis, of how wellness businesses and activities can impact the overall economy.”

The platform gives key stakeholders in the 218 countries featured in GWI’s The Global Wellness Economy: Country Rankings a deeper dive into their country’s position in the various sectors and subsectors of the US$4.4tn (£3.6bn, €4.1bn) global wellness economy.

The US scoops the top spot for the world's largest wellness economy, worth US$1.2 trillion (€1.1 trillion, £994.3 billion), while China comes in second with a US$683 billion (£546.3 billion, €637.4 billion) wellness economy.

Japan is the latest in a growing number of countries featured on the microsite. Other countries with data available include Brazil, Singapore, Thailand, the UK, the US and Indonesia.

To learn more about Japan’s wellness economy, visit its dedicated Geography of Wellness page on the GWI website.

Japan  Global Wellness Institute  GWI  Susie Ellis  Geography of Wellness  Conceptasia  Fukui Wellness Collaboration 
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