Why The US Wellness Industry Ranks No.1 Globally

MIAMI, United States — According to a new report by the Global Wellness Institute, the United States ranks number one on the 2016 ‘global wellness economy monitor’.

Generating the highest amount of revenue across four wellness markets in 2016; wellness tourism, the spa industry, workplace wellness and wellness real estate, America’s dominance in one of the world’s fastest-growing, most resilient markets shows no sign of slowing.

Speaking about the report, which contains a wealth of data on regional markets from the top 20 national markets for wellness travel, spa and workplace wellness, senior researchers at the Global Wellness Institute, Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung argued that: “The growth trajectory of the wellness industry appears unstoppable.”

Presenting the research at an event held in New York last week, the Global Wellness Institute hailed the US a ‘wellness travel powerhouse’, generating 36%, or $202.2 billion, of the annual $563.2 billion global market. A figure that is three times more than the second-largest market, Germany, at $60.2 billion. In addition, wellness trips in the US skyrocketed from 141.4 million in 2013 to 161.2 million in 2015, with revenues growing by 5.8% each year.

When it comes to the global spa industry, which generates $77.6 billion annually, the research revealed that the US is twice as big a spa market as its next closest competitor, China. In 2015 the US boasted 24,421 spa locations racking up $18.7 billion in revenue.

The largest workplace wellness market by far, according to the Global Wellness Institute, employers in the US are also spending big on wellness. Splashing out $14.4 billion annually on their workforce, the US market is four times more than the next largest markets, Japan ($3.4 billion) and Germany (3.1 billion).

And, in terms of wellness real estate, the US market has witnessed growth of 19% from 2013-2015 (from $100 billion to $119 billion).

With the wellness industry’s growth proving resilient, even through periods of economic and “human wellbeing” downturns, the Global Wellness Institute argues that in the future more Americans will turn to alternative, preventative health approaches, boosting the industry further.

“The UN’s ‘2016 World Happiness Report’ finds that the U.S. ranks a depressing 85th among nations when it comes to equality in wellbeing among its citizens. And now more than ever the country needs more mental wellness solutions and more wellness offerings for the ‘other 99%,’” noted GWI’s Chairman and CEO, Susie Ellis.

Because the US wellness market is so vast, consumer-driven and innovative, the industry will respond to these new needs and opportunities, she added. In the meantime, the rest of the world will carry on playing catch-up.

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