Today at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) held its third annual Wellness Symposium, presenting the latest research and trends for the Middle East-North Africa wellness tourism markets. In terms of recent growth percentages, no wellness tourism market is growing faster than MENA’s: 13.4 percent annually (from 2015–2017) to reach $10.7 billion. MENA’s spa industry is also seeing explosive 15.4 percent yearly growth and is now valued at $2.8 billion. And its thermal/mineral springs market also has the #1 recent growth rate worldwide at 30 percent a year.

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This year’s symposium put the focus on “Medical Tourism and Wellness Tourism: Understanding the Opportunities,” and featured experts from both tourism sectors exploring the key trends for MENA: from the Gulf’s growing opportunities in medical tourism to a unique “medical-wellness” model unfolding in that region to the rise of far more comprehensive wellness resorts to Ayurveda being sought by so many more wellness travelers.