The USA is the world’s top wellness economy according to the Global Wellness Institute
At $1.2 trillion, the USA represents over a quarter of the global wellness sector estimated to generate $4.4 billion
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) is the world’s largest research and educational resource for the global wellness industry. Among the many information and research involving the spa and wellness industry, the GWI launched last year the Geography of Wellness microsite.
The platform provides key stakeholders in the 218 countries featured in GWI’s “The Global Wellness Economy: Country Rankings” a unique opportunity to take a deep dive into their country’s position in the various sectors and sub sectors of a spa and wellness industry which generates US $4.4 trillion into the global economy.
“GWI’s dedicated country reports enable participating countries the ability to better identify emerging growth opportunities within all eleven of the wellness sectors our researchers measure, giving a clear picture of how wellness business and activities are impacting their overall economies,” said Susie Ellis, GWI chair and CEO.
According to GWI data, the USA’s wellness economy remains the largest in the world although it contracted from US $1.4 trillion in 2019 to US $1.2 trillion in 2020. The Physical Activity segment experienced an 18% contraction in 2020, yet remains number 1 in the world at $215 billion. The GWI believes however that this huge number is poised to grow again as the world emerged from the pandemic crisis in 2022.
In “The Global Wellness Economy: United States,” the report highlights that the USA is by far the world’s top wellness economy, boasting the largest markets in 9 out of 11 wellness sectors—spanning physical activity, healthy eating, mental wellness, beauty and personal care, wellness tourism, and more.
In 2020, wellness tourism in the USA generated 114.8 million trips injecting some US $162.1 billion into the economy. The USA’s 26,700 spas (day, medical, destination and hotel/resort spas) had an economic impact of US $15.1 billion. Over 300 thermal and mineral springs had a smaller impact on the economy, reaching US $0.62 million in 2020.
US wellness diversity
Wellness products are easily available in the USA according to the GWI, with its sophisticated wellness markets, world class cities, natural resources, recreational infrastructure, and diverse cultures and heritage spreading in varied geography and topography.
Nature and majestic landscapes—from the deserts and canyons of Arizona, to the snowy mountains of Colorado, to the coastal beaches and the lakes of Michigan—provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and the opportunity to engage in sports.
There is also an abundance of urban wellness activities available—from city hotels that prioritise wellness, offering not only gyms and spas, but also having special amenities for a good sleep, for healthy menus and nutritious food, and find social connections and a sense of community.
Many US cities have prioritised wellness by creating public art installations, recreational space, urban trails such as the Highline in New York City, and green paths and trails for citizens and visitors to enjoy walking, running, and cycling in proximity to nature.
“We’re thrilled to play a role in making all the data behind the incredible growth of the US wellness industry available to anyone it can benefit, be it researchers, policy makers, start-ups, established businesses, etc,” said Steve Myers, Product Manager at the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
“For NASM, the data GWI captures in this report validates our decision to leverage our 35 years as the leading provider of fitness education to launch our Certified Wellness Coaching programme. Supporting GWI in this way aligns with NASM’s mission to leverage evidence-based knowledge and tools to transform lives by focusing on the intersection of movement, nutrition, wellbeing and recovery.”