[Image: Susie Ellis, courtesy of World Travel Market]

The World Travel Market portfolio of events and the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) have agreed upon a strategic partnership, which will start at Arabian Travel Market (April 24-27) in Dubai.

The agreement will launch with the Global Wellness Institute, the leading global research and educational resource for the wellness industry, organizing a Wellness Symposium at Arabian Travel Market.

The Symposium will put the spotlight on the growing wellness travel industry in the Middle East/North Africa, which is now worth $8.3 billion with 8.5 million trips (inbound and domestic combined) taking place in 2015. The United Arab Emirates is by far the largest Middle Eastern market with 1.7 million wellness trips worth $2.7 billion annually. It will also analyze MENA’s thriving domestic (4 million trips) and inbound (4.5 million trips) wellness tourism markets – as well as trends in outbound wellness travel from the Middle East.

RELATED: GWI Data Shows Continued Growth in Wellness Sector

In 2016, ATM launched a dedicated Wellness and Spa Lounge, connecting Middle East wellness and spa buyers with international suppliers. The Lounge helped ATM 2016 generate more than $2.5 billion in deals for the region’s travel and tourism industry.

Exhibitors in this year’s Wellness and Spa Lounge include:

 Swiss Diamond Hotel, Lugano

Hôtel Barrière Le Royal La Baule

Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara

L’ Albereta, Lake Iseo, Brescia

O.K.A.H. Hungary KFT, Budapest

Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso, Cannes

Sparkling Hill Wellness Resort and Spa, Veron, Canada

The Travel Collection

Velaa Private Island Maldives

Atmantan Wellness Resort, Maharashtra, India

RELATED: Global Wellness Institute Releases Global Wellness Economy Monitor

The partnership will continue at World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry (November 6-8) – with a focus on the global wellness industry, which has grown to $3.72 trillion. And wellness tourism is one of its fastest-growing sectors, with 691 billion wellness trips worth $563.2 billion taking place in 2015. The global wellness travel market is expected to grow another 7.5% each year (to reach $808 billion) by 2020.

 WTM London will also host a dedicated Wellness Lounge facilitating deals in the wellness travel and tourism sector. WTM London is responsible for £2.8 billion in agreed industry deals.

World Travel Market London and Arabian Travel Market Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce a strategic partnership with the Global Wellness Institute. The wellness tourism sector is one of the fastest growing and most important in the travel industry and the symposiums at both Arabian Travel Market and World Travel Market London will give delegates the vital information they need to take advantage of the popularity of wellness tourism and grow their businesses.”

“The Global Wellness Institute is honored to partner with the WTM and ATM, two powerful travel industry events that attract more global travel professionals than any other,” said Susie Ellis, chairman and CEO of the GWI. “Wellness travel is not only growing twice as fast as tourism overall, it’s evolving in bold new directions, both globally and across the Middle East. Our mission will be to bring together the top experts and latest research and trends in this travel space to these events’ tens of thousands of attendees.”

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