Just chillax: MENA wellness tourism growth at the top of the table

Published June 1st, 2015 - 04:28 GMT
MENA spending accounts for 14 percent of global wellness tourism spending. (Shutterstock)
MENA spending accounts for 14 percent of global wellness tourism spending. (Shutterstock)

The Middle East and North and Sub-Saharan Africa have topped the world for wellness tourism growth, a report said, adding that the regions registered 39 per cent and 57 per cent growths respectively from 2012 to 2013.

The Middle East and North and Sub-Saharan Africa have topped the world for wellness tourism growth, according to the 2015 Spafinder Wellness 365 report.

The regions registered 39 per cent and 57 per cent growths respectively from 2012 to 2013.

According to the latest report from the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness tourism economy is worth $439 billion, accounting for 14 per cent of all tourism spending worldwide in 2013. This figure is projected to increase by 9.1 per cent annually until 2017, totalling a growth rate that is nearly 50 per cent higher than that of overall global tourism.

A trend set to impact tourism on an international scale, wellness has indubitably started to influence property markets around the world, with health and wellbeing related facilities becoming key features in many homes.

With many wellness travellers now choosing a destination for cultural experiences, as well as its ability to optimise their health, Turkey is a becoming a favourite location due to its modern-day dedication to wellbeing, said Monica Anca, director of Universal21, the leading property agency in Istanbul.

A recent study by Euromonitor International indicates that this touristic trend is now developing within Turkey's domestic population, with their findings suggesting that as income and education levels rise, so does the consciousness of Turkish consumers when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

Anca further explained how this change is being implemented, with features of wellness tourism entering the home.

"The World Health Organisation defines 'wellness' as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life,” said Anca.

“There has been a definite shift in the tourism market towards wellbeing and the demand to provide services that do not only maintain a level of health, but also encourage and enrich such a lifestyle. Inevitably this trend is beginning to appear within the property market, with owners looking to benefit from similar features on a more day to day basis in their homes.

"We have certainly noticed an increase in health and wellbeing related enquiries especially within the Middle Eastern market, as investors look to ensure that properties are able to meet this growing demand. Constantly striving to guarantee client satisfaction, we take all the needs and demands of potential buyers into account when choosing new projects and hope to continue leading the market with original and contemporary real estate facilities.

"We are certainly surprised at how many people are using Istanbul for health reasons including such treatments as hair transplants, eye laser treatment and a whole host of operations and treatments. It is certainly a booming market especially when you consider that the city of Istanbul provides medical services with fifty-five public hospitals, five University hospitals and one hundred and six private hospitals from which twenty-one are in the process of being accredited. It's the city with most accredited private hospitals by JCI,” she added.

“Universal21's latest development, Diamond Residence, is one such example of a development where we have organised an array of health and wellbeing amenities that are often more associated with luxury resorts and spas, the innovative design of this modern property allows for exclusive features, including a vitamin bar, fitness centre, indoor swimming pool, massage room and a Turkish bath,” Anca said.

Diamond Residence is located in a quiet, relaxed area of Old Beylikdüzü, a district of Istanbul renowned for its green open spaces. Similar to many European cities in relation to high amount of green space per person, Beylikdüzü houses an abundance of nature, with trees lining roads and walkways in addition to a stunning botanical park, said Anca.

Research published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology 2014, demonstrates that living near parks and green spaces in towns and cities boosts your mental well-being, making Beylikdüzüa perfect setting to enhance a lifestyle of proactive health and wellbeing, Anca highlighted


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