Britons are taking more than 17 million spa and wellness trips a year, spending more than US$12m to do so.
Researched released by the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC) found 14.2 million of the trips were taken domestically, while 3.6m were taken overseas.
The UK is the fourth largest wellness tourism market in Europe and seventh globally, with the entire European region said to be driving growth in the sector.
Europeans take 39% of the 524m wellness trips taken each year and spends 36% of global expenditures in the sector.
Tourists from countries like Russia, Turkey, Poland and Switzerland are now seeing the largest increases in spend and number of trips taken.
“Europeans are the most sophisticated, experienced wellness- and prevention-focused focused travellers on the planet,” said Susie Ellis, chairman & CEO of the GWTC. “They not only take frequent trips within their own countries and across Europe, they’re also pegged as the largest source market for international wellness travel. And with so many European tourism boards – from Austria to Slovenia – now smartly promoting their unique offerings, the region will only continue to attract more health-minded travellers from all over the world.”
Ellis said more people are also turning to Europe to take wellness trips, as “Europe has known the very best, and the very longest, the true value of healthy travel experience that restore and rejuvenate.”
Wellness tourism is thought to be responsible for 2.4 million direct jobs in Europe and generate EUR328.4 billion to the region’s economy.