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Global Wellness Institute reports Asia-Pacific having largest economic growth in fitness, sport and recreation sectors

Global Wellness Institute reports Asia-Pacific having largest economic growth in fitness, sport and recreation sectors
October 8, 2020

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), in their major research report for 2019 Move To Be Well: The Global Economy of Physical Activity estimate that the sport, fitness and recreation sectors will surpass US$1.1 trillion by 2023 with Asia-Pacific overtaking North America as the largest market, accounting for 40% of all global growth through 2023.

GWI's "physical activity economy" reflects their broadening of the fitness/mind-body segment to include the sports and active recreation, fitness, and mindful movement core segments—along with the supporting markets of equipment and supplies, apparel and footwear, and technology, the GWI now values the entire “physical activity economy,” at US$828.2 billion globally.

China and India together will drive nearly one-third of all growth. Mindful movement will be the leading growth sector (12% annually from 2018–2023), jumping from a US$29 billion market to US$52 billion. Technology will be the second-fastest-growing market (8.6% annually), expanding from US$26.3 billion in 2018 to US$39.8 billion by 2023.

GWI's latest research shows the wellness market jumping to a US$4.5 trillion global market.

This is the most data-packed study for GWI to date: The 180-page report goes in-depth on the consumer spend within all six markets (at global, regional and national levels); participation rates for 150 nations; the big emerging trends across countries; and market growth projections.

The GWI estimate of recreational physical activities generating US$828.2 billion includes 44% or $367.7 billion representing direct consumer expenditures on activity participation (fitness, sports and active recreation, and mindful movement). The remaining 56% or US$465.9 billion represents the enabling sectors (apparel and footwear; fitness equipment, sporting goods, and related supplies; and fitness- and exercise-related technologies).

The report shows that Asia-Pacific has one of the largest and most diverse and dynamic physical activity markets in the world valued at US$240.4 billion.

Buoyed by economic growth, the rising purchasing power of the middle-class, and a growing interest in healthy and active lifestyles, Asia’s physical activity economy is fast-growing and increasingly competitive. Consumers in higher-income countries keenly follow the latest fitness and recreational trends and offerings – from Europe’s running craze to North America’s passion for yoga and Pilates, and from spinning and HIIT to martial arts and dance.

Meanwhile, Asia’s vibrant private sector innovates, imports, improvises, and adapts to meet rising demand with a wide range of business models, including comprehensive luxury gyms, boutique studios, discount gyms, mobile gyms, 24-hour establishments, group exercise, personalised training, aggregators, apps, technology, etc. The growing range of options provides consumers with diverse offerings that include the newest classes, equipment, and technology-enabled services, at every price point. Yoga, Pilates, and other mindful modalities are in high demand, as are sports and recreational activities.

The GWI report shows that the Asia-Pacific region is led by China and Japan, which rank second and third globally for the overall size of their physical activity markets. Across the region, physical activity participation varies widely; Australia and New Zealand boast some of the highest participation rates in the world, while South and South eastern Asian countries lag far behind. As noted earlier, the value of the market is determined by the number of participants and their spending. Importantly, many people in Asia conduct their leisure-time physical activity in public places with little or no spending.

Click here to access GWI's report Move To Be Well: The Global Economy of Physical Activity.

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