Termatalia, International Fair of Thermal Tourism, Health and Wellness has collaborated one more year in the International Wellness, Spa & Travel Monitor (IWSTM), International Study on the wellness, spa and health travel sectors, which is now in its fifth edition and has become an international reference for health tourism professionals as it provides useful industry information for investors, operators, planners, policy makers and analysts.
It is a survey carried out by the Observatory of Health and Wellness Tourism (TOHWS) in cooperation with the European consultancy Resources for Leisure Assets (RLA), which has had the support of its strategic partners from several countries, including Termatalia for the Spanish-speaking market. Established in 2012, the Observatory of Health, Wellness and Spa Tourism (TOHWS) analyzes the whole of health tourism in its entirety, whether for medical purposes or for wellness, holistic, spiritual, spa or medical wellness. This holistic approach to health makes TOHWS the only global initiative that analyzes all aspects of the spectrum. The authors state that “it is very important to understand the distribution of market segments and how they contribute to the performance of wellness, spa or hospitality facilities. Our findings suggest that market and performance evaluations should consider domestic, national and international demand separately.
Foreign traveler growth
The report’s findings suggest that natural and cultural resources continue to represent the greatest growth potential for development. Any investment in wellness, spa or hospitality must take into account local resources, whether natural or cultural, before resorting to international brands. It also predicts a bright future for wellness and spa services. Most markets in all parameters reported remarkable growth by 2018. The greatest growth is forecast for international travelers. It is especially important to bear in mind that the number of first-time customers is expected to grow at a significant rate. Marketing specialists and operators know very well how important first experience is to create loyalty and interest in wellness and spa services as well as destinations.
This 5th survey was aimed at more than 2,000 wellness and spa centers, hospitality facilities with wellness and spa services, and evaluates and presents regional data (North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe), country level pilot data (Italy, Poland, Colombia and Costa Rica), as well as thematic data (thermal/thermal water market), identifying the key market, Trends in Demand Distribution, Guest Expenses, Growth Potentials, Travel Motivations. The report makes recommendations for development directions and specializations, as well as market opportunities.
Markets analyzed in detail
The markets analyzed in more detail in this study (Colombia, Costa Rica and Poland) face different challenges. For example, in Costa Rica, industry representatives could not estimate changes in the incoming market for 2018. Wellness operators, spas and developers should have more data on visitor preferences. Thermal resources along with predicted growth options for thermal facilities and services are expected to experience rapid growth in 2018, especially in Europe. In contrast, North American industry partners reported moderate growth by 2018, with the exception of first-time visitors.