Algarve bids to become wellness ‘Mecca’

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The Algarve could be transformed into a ‘Mecca’ for health and wellness travel, benefitting from major investment linked to the booming €600Bn global health tourism industry.

This will be one of the key messages from the 2019 Algarve Tourism Conference which will be held at the Hilton Vilamoura Resort on Friday, September 27.
Tourist development consultant Andrew Coutts said worldwide ‘wellness tourism’ spend is rising rapidly and expected to pass €900Bn by 2022, representing 18% of the global tourism market while the Global Wellness Institute predicts wellness tourism trips to grow by 8% annually reaching €1.2Bn by 2022.
One of Portugal’s leading tourism events, it will be attended by Algarve Region Tourism Board (RTA) President João Fernandes and Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR) President Francisco Serra.
Other high-profile participants include GSI Health & Wellness Exchange, Revive Clinic Algarve, Grupo HPA Saude, Longevity, Vale do Lobo, ASPA and Pine Cliffs Resort/UIP.
The event is being organised by the ILM Real Estate Group in association with the Ireland Portugal Business Network (IPBN) and Faro’s Dengun Digital Agency.
“The Algarve is on the cusp of a transformation linked to the fast expanding ‘health and wellness’ tourism industry”, he said.
“Europe is currently topping the polls as the most popular destination for health and wellness travel, which is terrific news for the Algarve. Our region is in a prime position and already benefits from a bounty of natural assets with strong supply chains and potential support services in areas including technology, sustainable and innovation.
“It has all the ingredients to become a ‘Mecca’ for health and wellness travellers worldwide. However, the onus is now on the local market to work together to harness the opportunity by creating a robust plan for the years to come,” said Coutts.
Andrew Coutts said that the surge in ‘health and wellness’ is being influenced by a series of factors including an expanding global middle class and growing consumer demand for wellness lifestyles but warned that a “current disconnect within the Algarve business community risks limiting the pace of progress.”