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Wellness Tourism Roundtable in Marrakech

September 10, 2014


The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) held its second roundtable discussion in Marrakech, Morocco on September 10, 2014, revealing that the global wellness market is now worth $3.4 trillion, making it nearly three times larger than the $1 trillion* worldwide pharmaceutical industry.

The topic of the roundtable was “Beyond Data” as thought leaders from all over the world gathered together to escalate the wellness tourism conversation by focusing on how the wellness industry can help drive the recognition of its importance both at global and national levels.

Some highlights included:

  • There is receptiveness and an awareness now that hasn’t existed so strongly previously –the reality of rising health costs;  both for the public sector and corporate businesses alike –prevention, self-initiated health and preventive medicine are all needs that can be met within wellness travel.
  • This status leads to a need and a priority to truly quantify the economic benefit to the bottom line of businesses when wellness within travel and equally, wellness as a daily pursuit is put into practice.
  • There remains a perception for some, that wellness tourism is something niche and high end only –making wellness and wellness tourism affordable and accessible to the mainstream consumer needs as much attention and as much messaging–hot springs and wellness camps were discussed as affordable family pursuits and what wellness travelers seek, do and visit needs wider dialogue.

Read the full report

The Global Wellness Institute released updated data from the original 2013 Global Wellness Tourism Economy (see Global Wellness Economy Monitor: 2013 & 2014 report) that showed that wellness tourism continues to be one of the fastest-growing travel categories: revenues expanded from $438 billion in 2012 to $494 billion in 2013 – and that 12.7 percent growth rate was 40 percent larger than originally forecast. And wellness tourism also grew 74 percent faster than global tourism overall in the last year (14.6 percent versus 7.3 percent).


Katia Carvalho, Executive Director, Madeira Promotion Bureau (MPB), Portugal
Jean-Claude Baumgarten, Chairman & CEO, CREWE Associates; Former President, World Travel and Tourism Council, France
Talal Bin Ali, Founder & President, Enaya Care International Co. Ltd., Saudi Arabia
Gerry Bodeker, PhD, Professor, University of Oxford Medical School, UK; Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, U.S. 
Elena Bogacheva, Founder & President, Spa & Wellness International Council (SWIC), Russia
Ku-Jeom Chung, PhD, Professor, Youngsan University, South Korea
Bistra Dimitrova, Professor, UN Ambassador, Bulgaria
Aldina Duarte-Ramos, Director, Global Well-Being Product, Accor, France
Victoria Fuller, Founder, PRCo, UK
Anni Hood, Founder & Director, Wellness Business Consultancy, UK
Lahcen Haddad, PhD, Minister of Tourism, Kingdom of Morocco
Franz Linser, PhD, CEO, Linser Hospitality GmbH, Austria
Miguel Torruco Marqués, Mexico City Minister of Tourism, Mexico City Ministry of Tourism, Mexico
Yolanda Perdomo, Director, UNWTO Affiliate Members Program, Spain
Susanna Saari, Senior Lecturer, Degree Programme in Hospitality Management, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Sushmita Sarangi, General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Jiva, Taj Group, India
Pataraporn Sithivanich, Executive Director of Tourism Product, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thailand
Terry Stevens, PhD, Managing Director, Stevens & Associates, UK
Josef Woodman, CEO, Patients Beyond Borders, U.S.  

*IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics estimate for 2014