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Philippines Department of Tourism Partners with the Global Wellness Institute to Explore Country’s Thriving $41B Wellness Economy

Partnership showcases country’s health and wellness portfolio, promotes the Philippines as one of the world’s preferred wellness destinations

Miami, FL – February 27, 2024 – The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the leading nonprofit dedicated to research and education in the global wellness industry, today announced the addition of the Philippines to its expanding Geography of Wellness platform through a strategic collaboration with the Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT). This partnership aims to explore the unique wellness landscape of the growing wellness economy in the Philippines.

The new GWI data reveals a thriving wellness economy in the Philippines, valued at $41 billion in 2022. The country ranks number eight out of 45 countries in the Asia Pacific Region, and number 22 out of 218 countries globally, indicating tremendous potential for development in the wellness tourism sector. This sector has experienced a remarkable annual growth rate of 80% between 2020 and 2022, reaching a value of $2.44 billion in 2022. However, it has yet to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, when it boasted a value of $3.17 billion in 2019.

We define wellness tourism as travel associated with maintaining or enhancing one’s wellbeing.

“GWI’s Geography of Wellness platform paints a vivid picture of a country’s wellness landscape, highlighting the unique economic footprint of 11 key wellness economy sectors,” said Susie Ellis, GWI chair and CEO. “This welcomed collaboration with the Philippines Department of Tourism underscores the power of promoting wellness to enhance the nation’s overall economic vitality.”

Mr. Paulo Tugbang, the DOT’s director of product and market development said, “The Philippines wellness economy has recovered impressively following the challenges posed by pandemic-related travel restrictions.”

“This partnership showcases the DOT’s dedication to enhancing the country’s health and wellness portfolio to promote the Philippines as one of the world’s most preferred wellness destinations,” said Tugbang. “The partnership’s primary objective is establishing the Philippines as a top-notch wellness destination in Asia, focusing on the Filipino wellness experience centered around the ‘hilot’ massage.” This traditional practice uses natural, local elements like banana leaves and coconut oil, believed to have medicinal properties, to encourage relaxation and harmony.

Moreover, Director Tugbang said the Philippines’ diverse landscapes offer ideal settings for nature-based wellness activities. The country, blessed with natural wonders, is a perfect destination for wellness and relaxation, with resorts like The Farm at San Benito, Nurture Wellness Village, Ilaya Retreat Spa, Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La, Tranquila at Las Caidas Wellness Resort, and Amuma Spa at Bluewater Resort. Practitioners across the country uphold the value of “pakikipagkapwa”—fostering a deep connection with others. Whether seeking personalized retreats, integrative medicine, mental health support, nature-based or technology-enhanced wellness, visitors to the Philippines can expect holistic healing experiences from dedicated practitioners.

The Philippines is also a growing destination for medical tourism for a range of services from cosmetic and surgical procedures to dental care, thanks to cost-effective treatments combined with a high standard of care, English-speaking medical staff, and plenty of beautiful wellness retreats for recovery.

In addition, wellness real estate is also a growing sector in the country, attracting expat retirees, particularly in areas like Tagaytay, Batangas, Cebu, Palawan, Metro Manila, and beach areas like Boracay and Siargao.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has recognized the potential of wellness tourism as a growing trend. The country’s natural beauty and diverse landscapes have the potential to serve as a holistic destination. Over the past few years, the department has initiated various activities, such as consultative meetings and a wellness tourism manual, to promote and develop the Filipino brand of wellness.

For more detailed analysis, download the new dedicated Global Wellness Economy: The Philippines report.

About the Global Wellness Institute

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a nonprofit 501(c)(3), 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 to chart the future. GWI positively impacts global health and wellness by educating public institutions, businesses and individuals on how they can work to prevent disease, reduce stress and enhance overall quality of life. Its mission is to empower wellness worldwide.

The Philippines Department of Tourism
The Philippines Department of Tourism has embraced the growing trend of wellness tourism, recognizing the potential for the country’s natural beauty and diverse landscapes to serve as a holistic destination. With a focus on promoting health and wellbeing, the department has strategically positioned the Philippines as an ideal location for rejuvenation and relaxation. From pristine beaches to lush mountains, the country offers a variety of settings for wellness activities such as spa retreats, yoga and eco-friendly adventures. Visit