The GWI has released an interview with Sue Harmsworth, a pioneer in the spa, wellness and beauty industries for five decades and founder of the megabrand ESPA. Always insightful, she discusses why the term “wellness” is reaching meaninglessness—and how we need new distinctions. She argues that integrative wellness resorts—which marry “serious” and “light” wellness—are the future and also discusses how the pandemic is fueling consumer desire for wellness real estate—and how more affordable communities are coming.
By Thierry Malleret, economist
Since the pandemic started, global consumers (mostly from wealthy households in wealthy countries) have amassed $5.4 trillion in excess savings—or 6% of global GDP. This spending power will be unleashed, and while the demand for travel will surge, the market will change. Most high-income and some emerging markets are now scrutinizing the mass tourism model. For instance, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy are using EU Recovery Fund money to transition from mass to high-end and wellness-focused tourism. The direction of travel is clear: It will be more sustainable but also more unequal.
By Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung, GWI senior research fellows
Physical activity is a vast $828 billion market; health club revenues grew over 50% in the last decade; and new fitness concepts have entranced consumers and the media in recent years. And yet, physical inactivity, obesity and chronic disease all keep rising globally, right alongside the explosion of the fitness industry. In Move to be Well: The Global Economy of Physical Activity, GWI explores the parallel trends of the spending boom in fitness and the growing crisis of physical inactivity.
A new review of studies in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that “spiritual fitness,” a new concept in medicine interweaving psychological and spiritual wellbeing, reduces multiple risk factors for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Finds that individuals with high scores on a "purpose in life" (PIL) were 2.4 times more likely to remain free of AD than individuals with low PIL—and that Kirtan Kriya, a 12-minute meditative practice, has great potential in reducing AD risk factors.
The GWI has launched an initiative to identify and support promising companies that sit at the intersection of wellness, innovation and technology. It takes a regional approach: Each year, it will focus on innovation in the region of that year’s Global Wellness Summit and will sponsor a regional competition, the Call for Wellness Innovation. With the conference headed to Tel Aviv this November, the 2021 focus is scouting the most game-changing wellness companies across the Middle East. The competition opens on July 1.
The GWI’s Women in Leadership Initiative is running an important survey of women in wellness leadership roles. If you identify as a female wellness leader, we want to hear from you via this anonymous 15-minute survey. The results will be used to help create resources and programming that address the needs of women in the wellness industry. It closes on May 24.
TAKE THE SURVEY