The thermal/mineral springs industry shows healthy growth
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The thermal/mineral springs industry shows healthy growth

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The thermal/mineral springs industry is positioned for rising investment and growth, as consumers seek out the healing and relaxing properties of water and nature.

According to data from the latest Global wellness economy Monitor, in a report published in the latest issue of Spa Business, the thermal/mineral springs industry grew by 10.4 per cent annually from 2013-2015 and the prediction is that industry revenues will grow at 4.8 per cent annually from 2015-2020.

In 2015, there were an estimated 27,507 establishments built around thermal/mineral springs for wellness, recreational and therapeutic properties. These facilities are located in 109 countries and earned US$51.0bn ($46.1bn, £33.4bn) in revenues in 2015.

The world’s thermal/mineral springs establishments include a mix of rustic, traditional bathing facilities; hot springs resorts; hotels with thermal water bathing; thermal waterparks; and thermal/mineral water-based sanatoria/health resorts.

Unsurprisingly, establishments that offer spa services such as massage, facials and hydrotherapy, earn much higher revenues than those that offer bathing only. Springs that offer such services (about a quarter) tend to be more developed and higher-end, and they account for nearly two-thirds of the industry’s revenues.

Most of the world’s thermal/mineral springs industry is concentrated in Asia-Pacific and Europe (94 per cent of establishments and 96 per cent of industry revenues).

Japan alone, with its estimated 17,328 onsen, is home to nearly two-thirds of all establishments. But, because of their modest size, they earn less revenues than China’s 2000-plus hot springs resorts.

Other top markets include many European countries with long-standing traditions of using thermal/mineral waters for therapeutic purposes.

Research indicates that there is also increasing investor and government interest in springs-based activities, with most establishments experiencing solid growth in both attendance and revenues; the decline in government subsidies for bathing as cure is driving many businesses to invest in better facilities.

Countries including Greece, Turkey, China, Japan, Chile and Uruguay are also including thermal/mineral springs as a major pillar in their wellness tourism marketing and development strategies.

At least three dozen new international-scale projects and major refurbishments are slated to open over the next few years in markets including Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Latvia, Morocco, Brazil and USA.

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The thermal/mineral springs industry is positioned for rising investment and growth, as consumers seek out the healing and relaxing properties of water and nature.
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