Inbound/International Wellness Tourism: Europe Is a Dominator…

The Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) Global Spa & Wellness Economy Monitor found that domestic wellness tourism constitutes the lion’s share of this travel category’s trips (84 percent) and spending (two-thirds). That is consistent with the fact that more people in general travel domestically rather than internationally (especially those living in massive countries like the U.S., China, India or Russia). And domestic wellness trips are higher in volume because they can be taken more frequently, and are shorter in duration.

But international wellness tourists are the huge spenders: They spend, on average, $1,639 per trip—or roughly 60 percent more than the average country-hopping tourist.

So let’s take a look at which 12 nations drive the most inbound/international wellness trips a year:

As you can see, European nations—with their strong, established wellness tourism infrastructure (so many health resorts and wellness retreats) and which also benefit from all that quick, close intra-European travel—grab seven of the top 12 spots. When you consider just how small nations like Austria or Switzerland are, their rankings are nothing short of amazing.

Mexico is the clear inbound wellness tourism powerhouse of the Latin American world and “wellness-rich” Thailand dominates in Asia.

3 thoughts on “Top 12 Countries for Inbound Wellness Tourism”

  1. Sustainable tourism is taking many forms to create business and attract people to new and present tourist industries in many countries. The use of the surrounding resources and connecting the dots with digital marketing beside awareness is the key to raising and increasing number of tourists any where. Jordan as small as it is has big potential for Agro tourism. This will create self employment in the farms, and activate the market of genuine handcraft and packaged natural food products beside the real interaction between different cultures through the farming experiences and tours. Diversity in kinds of tourism is needed to attract all kinds of tourist and increase the country’s income.

  2. Hi Donald: According the the GWI’s most recent research (released 2013) on inbound/international wellness trips worldwide, India generated 1.03 million annually (so out of top 12). But given that India ranked #1 in the world for total wellness trips added (inbound & domestic combined) from 2012-2013 – adding 11.6 million year-over-year – I think it’s a good bet that India will rank in the top 12 for inbound wellness trips when that research is next calculated. The government’s smart, aggressive promotion of Ayurveda and yoga (and the many destinations that do it authentically) is certainly driving their amazing wellness tourism (and tourism overall) growth. Of course, they had some globally-publicized, serious problems with violence against women these last few years. But they are on a big inbound growth track – and their highlighting of wellness tourism is really helping. Thanks! Beth McGroarty, GWI Research Director

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