A Wellness Symposium, which will throw the spotlight on the $8.3 billion industry in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA), will be launched at Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which takes place in Dubai from 24-27 April 2017.
A partnership between the World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio of events and the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the symposium has been organized as part of a schedule of events in ATM’s Wellness Lounge. It will also analyse MENA’s thriving domestic (4 million trips) and inbound (4.5 million trips) wellness tourism markets – as well as trends in outbound wellness tourism from the Middle East. “Wellness travel is not only growing twice as fast as
tourism overall, it’s evolving in bold new directions, both globally and across the Middle East. Our ongoing mission will be to bring together the top experts and latest research and trends in this travel space to ATM and WTM’s tens of thousands of attendees,” said Susie Ellis, chairman and CEO of the GWI.
The UAE leads the Middle Eastern wellness tourism market. With an average of 1.7 million wellness trips generating $2.7 billion annually, it accounts for 14 per cent of the MENA spa market, according to research from Colliers Experiential Travel Series.
“The UAE is followed by Morocco (1.66 million trips), Tunisia (0.76 million trips) and Jordan (0.62 million
trips). However, the growth in wellness tourism in MENA compared with overall tourism over the past five years is truly remarkable.
“ F o r e x a m p l e , wellness trips in the UAE have grown by 17.9 per cent during t h i s p e r i o d , w h i l e overall tourism has grown 8.1 per cent. It’s a similar story with M o r o c c o ( 1 4 . 7 p c versus 6.6pc), Tunisia (9.4pc versus 4.5pc) and Jordan (12.8pc versus 5.9pc).”
H a v i n g a l r e a d y identified the demand f o r w e l l n e s s , AT M launched a dedicated Wellness and Spa Lounge in 2016, connecting Middle East wellness and spa buyers with international suppliers. Designed as a hub for wellness and spa professionals, the lounge returns to this year’s event and will host two days of up to 35 pre-scheduled appointments with high calibre Middle Easter n buyers and up to 35 international wellness suppliers. After ATM, the partnership continues at WTM London – the leading global event for the travel industry (6-8 November 2017) – with a focus on the global wellness industry, which has grown to $3.72 trillion. WTM London, which was responsible for £2.8 billion in agreed industry deals last year, will also host a dedicated Wellness Lounge facilitating deals in the
wellness travel and tourism sector.