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The US races ahead as #1 wellness nation in new data

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Revealing data on the regional and national wellness markets was released today in the Global Wellness Institute’s Global Wellness Economy Monitor.

The Global Wellness Economy Monitor is the only research that measures and analyses the ten markets that comprise the global wellness industry; data revealed that the industry grew by 10.6 per cent to US$3.72 trillion from 2013-2015. This makes it one of the world’s fastest-growing, most resilient markets.

Global spa facilities now generate US$77.6 billion annually, with the US twice as big a spa market (reporting annual revenues of US$18.7 billion), as its closest competitor, China, with annual revenues of US$7 billion. In third place was Germany, with annual revenues of US$5.95 billion.

The report also revealed that China drove the biggest recent gains in wellness tourism revenues, while Sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest-growing spa market with a 40 per cent spike in revenues.

New data for the US market indicated that it is the dominant national wellness industry ranking #1 in wellness tourism, the spa industry, workplace wellness and wellness real estate.

A proven wellness travel powerhouse, the US also drives nearly 4 in 10 Wellness Travel Dollars spent, generating 36% or US$202.2 billion, of the annual US$563.2 billion global market.

US wellness trips also jumped from 141.4 million in 2013 to 161.2 million in 2015, and revenues grew 5.8 per cent each year.

The US gained 1,569 spas from 2013-2015, while revenues grew 7.2 per cent each year. The US now accounts for roughly one-quarter of all global spa revenues (34 per cent).

Unsurprisingly, the US represents one-third of the workplace wellness spend and is a clear leader, growing at a 6.7 per cent annual rate. In America, healthcare is often provided by employers whose incentives are to slash their costs and boost productivity amongst staff, and employers are spending US$14.4 billion annually, four times more than the next largest market, Japan (US$3.4 billion) and Germany (US$3.1 billion).

The US is also first in wellness real estate - homes and communities designed for residents’ physical, mental, social and environmental health. This is the third-fastest growing wellness market, expanding 19% from 2013-2015. According to GWI research, North America ranks #1 (US$48 billion), just ahead of Asia (US$41 billion).

“The growth trajectory of the wellness industry appears unstoppable,” said GWI’s senior researchers, Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung. “And the report released today contains a wealth of data on regional markets: from the top 20 national markets for wellness travel, spa and workplace wellness to how fast key markets will grow through 2020, to the first regional data on the emerging wellness real estate category.”

GWI chairman and CEO, Susie Ellis, forecasts five trends that will further energise the US wellness market in the coming years:

1. A surge in mental wellness programming at hotels, wellness resorts, spas, fitness studios, workplaces and schools: From meditation and sleep health, to wellness centres with resident psychotherapists and neuroscientists, and apps that track mental wellness and stress.

2. Wellness beyond the Well-thy: Affordable wellness products will come to the masses - lower price points, affordable healthy grocery stores, healthy fast-food chains, budget spa brands and low-priced wellness hotels. Plus “sliding-scale” wellness based on income.

3. Silence/Turn it Off!: Silence and total disconnection will be the approach taken by more businesses and wellness destinations. Including new “silent spas”, “wellness monasteries” and hotels/resorts with “quiet room labels”, “Quiet Zone” floors and “digital kill switches”. This could transcend to silent restaurants, gyms, hair salons, stores and airports.

4. Wellness IS Home and Wellness AT Home: 2017 trend forecasters are seeing Americans becoming obsessed with their homes as their wellness nest or sanctuary. This obsession will unfold, with everything from DIY wellness makeovers to wellness architecture that tackles everything from indoor pollution to adopting “well building standards”.

5. US Wellness Markets will Grow in Years Ahead: More Americans will turn to alternative, preventative health approaches; wellness, from yoga to meditation and exercise, will become the antidote to an increasingly chaotic world.

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the global wellness industry, and is known for introducing major industry initiatives and regional events that bring together leaders and visionaries.

The Global Wellness Economy Monitor was underwritten with support from Spafinder Wellness, Biologique Recherche, Universal Companies, Elemis, HydraFacial, Miraval, Performance Health, The BodyHoliday, Treatwell and Two Bunch Palms.

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Revealing data on the regional and national wellness markets was released today in the Global Wellness Institute’s Global Wellness Economy Monitor.
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