GWI paper on growing a wellness industry

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has released the second white paper in its Understanding Wellness series. “Opportunities and Impacts of the Wellness Economy for Regional Development,” outlining the ways a wellness industry can develop and grow in countries, regions and communities.

Co-author Ophelia Yeung and Katherine Johnston say, “The wellness economy is now a massive global industry, yet the growth has been largely a private sector phenomenon and off the radar of most government leaders, policymakers and economic developers. It is time governments started paying more attention to this crucial sector, because it enables economic development, competitiveness and growth, and has massive implications in health, urban planning, environmental and cultural sustainability, workforce equity and diversity, social and cultural affairs, and much more.”

The report states that investing in a wellness industry should be considered important for the following reasons:

Wellness is an economic growth driver.

  • Employment creation and small business development.
  • Promotion of locally sourced, produced and branded products.
  • Women’s empowerment and benefits to families.

Wellness improves public health.

  • Mitigating rising healthcare costs.
  • Improving health equity by engaging wellness workers in the community.
  • Addressing the growing mental health epidemic.
  • Harnessing indigenous wellness knowledge and traditions.

Wellness supports the protection of natural and cultural assets.

  • Environmental protection.
  • Preserve and celebrate local culture and heritage.
  • Mitigate tourism-related challenges.
  • Wellness supports workforce development and worker welfare.
  • Developing new models and solutions for businesses and workers.