The Global Wellness Industry Is Now Worth US$4.2 Trillion

Global Wellness Summit 2018: The Global Wellness Industry Is Now Worth US$4.2 trillion

The global wellness industry is now worth US$4.2 trillion, reports the Global Wellness Economy Monitor. Announced this weekend at the Global Wellness Summit in Cesena, Italy (October 6-8), the new report indicates that the global wellness industry grew by 12.8% between 2015 and 2017, with new data on the ten markets that contribute to the global wellness economy, which remains one of the fastest growing industries of 2018.

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Image courtesy of James Donaldson / Unsplash

Fast Growing Market

Over the last two years, the wellness economy grew nearly twice as fast global economic growth (3.6%), increasing 6.4% annually. Now valued at US$4.2 trillion, wellness expenditures is now more than half of total global health expenditure (US$7.3 trillion), with the wellness industry representing 5.3% of global economic output. Katherine Johnston, senior research fellow at the Global Wellness Institute, attributes part of the industry growth to our shifting relationship with wellness: “A wellness mindset is starting to permeate the global consumer consciousness, affecting people’s daily decision-making… Wellness for more people is evolving from rarely to daily, from episodic to essential, from a luxury to a dominant lifestyle value. And that profound shift is driving powerful growth.” Johnston also touches upon “a focus on mental wellness and reducing stress”, which was highlighted as a priority among wellness travellers in the Compare Retreats’ September 2018 survey, “What Wellness Travellers Want”.

Key Wellness Markets

The global wellness tourism market is now the third biggest contributor to the global wellness economy, worth over US$639 billion worldwide: within that, the European market alone accounts for US$211 billion.

The wellness real estate market—counted as properties that include intentional wellness elements into the design, materials, buildings, amenities, and programming—is fast growing along with the rest of the wellness industry, and is now worth over US$134 billion worldwide.

Still growing but relatively small compared to the other markets and its huge potential is workplace wellness: valued at US$47.5 billion, workplace wellness programmes still have much to do to compete with the other industries, which was also indicated in the Compare Retreats’ September 2018 survey, “What Wellness Travellers Want,” with less than 1% of wellness travellers interested in corporate retreats with colleagues.

The full report with the current values of the ten markets that contribute to the global wellness economy was unveiled at the Global Wellness Summit 2018, with the following figures:

  • Personal Care, Beauty and Anti-Aging: US$1,083 billion
  • Healthy Eating, Nutrition and Weight Loss: US$702 billion
  • Wellness Tourism: US$639 billion
  • Fitness and Mind-Body: US$595 billion
  • Preventative and Personalise Medicine and Public Health: US$575 billion
  • Traditional and Complementary Medicine: US$360 billion
  • Wellness Real Estate: US$134 billion
  • Spa Economy: US$119 billion
  • Thermal and Mineral Springs: US$56 billion
  • Workplace Wellness: US$48 billion

Get the latest information and updates on the Global Wellness Summit live from Italy on Instagram @compareretreats


Quotes from Katherine Johnson from

Compare Retreats is the luxury wellness travel booking portal for the world’s leading retreats.

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