Singapore targets wellness tourism

Riding on the ‘living-with-Covid’ strategy, Singapore Tourism Board eyes the lucrative global wellness industry to add value to business and leisure travel

SINGAPORE Tourism Board has joined forces with the Global Wellness Institute to produce a study detailing what role the country can play in the U4.4 trillion global wellness industry.

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI)’s link with Singapore makes the city state the non-profit organisation’s first country partner and the report – in the form of a GWI microsite – studies the wellness economy and provides a platform for assets in this field to be showcased.

“Every destination has something unique to offer when it comes to wellness – both for locals and tourists alike – and forward-looking countries and regions are realising that there is no better time than now to start planting the seeds to grow the positive impact wellness will have on its citizens, community and economy in the years to come,” said Susie Ellis, GWI chair and CEO.

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GWI’s 2021 research report, The Global Wellness Economy: Looking Beyond Covid, forecasts that the wellness economy is on track to expand to US$7 trillion by 2025.

“Wellness is on a huge upwards trajectory and GWI’s rich country and regional data is a key tool for helping investors, business leaders and government agencies crystalise the significant wellness market opportunities ahead,” said Ellis. “We’re grateful to the Singapore Tourism Board for recognising this and for making Singapore GWI’s first country partner in our new ‘Geography of Wellness’ platform.”

Singapore will launch its inaugural Wellness Festival Singapore, June 3-12, the country’s first nationwide effort to promote holistic wellbeing. The event features a 10-day line-up of over 130 offerings to showcase quality wellness experiences.

GWI reports that  a “diverse and holistic wellness ecosystem” covering mental and emotional wellbeing, fitness classes and unique lifestyle experiences was prevalent in Singapore, which promises leisure and business travellers high-quality, safe, and accessible wellness experiences.

According to GWI’s research, Singapore’s wellness economy is ranked #14 among Asia-Pacific’s 45 countries, a region that was also one of the fastest-growing wellness markets (+8.1%) between the 2017 to 2019 pre-pandemic years and shrank the least during 2020 (-6.4%).

Backgrounder… Keeping health in mind

GWI’s Geography of Wellness also highlights Singapore’s standings in the 11 wellness sectors that GWI tracks within the wellness economy. In 2020, Singapore ranked among the top 30 countries in several categories, including No.19 for Wellness Real Estate, 29th for Public Health, Prevention, & Personalised Medicine, and 30th for Traditional & Complementary, among the 218 countries where GWI collects data.

Ong Ling Lee, executive director of sports and wellness for Singapore Tourism Board, said: “The wellness economy data that GWI provides is important as it will help us identify opportunities to grow Singapore’s appeal in the wellness tourism space.

“As a city in nature where rest and rejuvenation are just a heartbeat away, we believe Singapore is well positioned to be a leading urban wellness haven. Our accessible and innovative wellness offerings set us apart from other destinations. We welcome new ideas, partnerships and solutions to further develop our wellness offerings and ensure they appeal to visitors of different interests and passions, to enjoy quality respite in Singapore.”

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