People concerned about preventive health continue to drive trends. The latest? Healthy vacations.

“For decades, the very concept of a vacation has been associated with excess: too much eating, drinking and too little sleep—leaving too many travelers less healthy when they check out than when they checked in,” said Ophelia Yeung, lead author of a new study on wellness-focused travel and co-director of the Center for Science, Technology & Economic Development at SRI International. “[M]ore people are now choosing destinations that help them keep or get healthy while traveling, while a smaller-and also growing-segment are also now taking trips with the specific, sole purpose of improving their personal well-being.”

The new study was presented at the inaugural Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) found wellness tourism is a near half-trillion dollar market, representing 14 percent of total global tourism revenues ($3.2 trillion ) overall.

According to The Global Wellness Tourism Economy report, the category is projected to grow on average 9.9 percent annually over the next five years, nearly twice the rate of global tourism overall, reaching $678.5 billion by 2017, or 16 percent of total tourism revenues.

The study was conducted by SRI International, in conjunction with the Global Spa & Wellness Summit, an education and research organization, which presented the GWTC in New Delhi, India. The study is the first to benchmark and analyze this fast-emerging tourism segment and, according to SRI, is expected to be eye-opening for governments and tourism industry stakeholders worldwide.

Read the executive summary here.

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