Algarve bids to become ‘Mecca’ for wellness travel industry

Algarve bids to become ‘Mecca’ for wellness travel industry

The Algarve could be transformed into a ‘Mecca’ for health and wellness travel, benefiting from major investment linked to the booming €600 billion global industry, according to the organisers of the 2019 Algarve Tourism Conference.

Tourist development consultant Andrew Coutts said worldwide ‘wellness tourism’ spend is rising rapidly and expected to surpass €900 billion by 2022, representing 18% of the global tourism market. Meanwhile, the GWI (Global Wellness Institute) predicts wellness tourism trips to grow by 8% annually reaching 1.2 billion by 2022.

The news comes ahead of the 2019 Algarve Tourism Conference to be held on Friday, September 27, at the Hilton Vilamoura Resort, from 9am to 5pm.

One of Portugal’s leading tourism events, it will be attended by Algarve 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 Saúde, Longevity, Vale do Lobo, ASPA and Pine Cliffs Resort/UIP.

The event is being delivered by ILM Real Estate Group, in association with the Ireland Portugal Business Network (IPBN) and Faro’s Dengun Digital Agency.

Andrew Coutts, CEO of the ILM Tourism & Hospitality Real Estate Group Portugal, is urging the region to join forces now and create a sustainable development plan to harness the full potential of the global wellness movement.

“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 prime position and already benefits from a bounty of natural assets with strong supply chains and potential support services in areas including technology, sustainability 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 and harness the opportunity by creating a robust plan for the years to come.

“The Algarve has perfect conditions for health, wellness and active travel as one of the sunniest destinations in Europe with easy access to beaches, oceans and countryside. This opens up opportunities for virtually all outdoor activities, from water sports like surfing and kayaking to trail-running, hiking and restorative activities such as Pilates and yoga. We are also witnessing a surge in professional sports related to tourism with world-class athletes and clubs increasingly looking to stage training camps in the Algarve.”

New opportunities being created by the health and wellness travel movement will form the central theme at the 2019 Algarve Tourism Conference, bringing together business leaders, decision makers, opinion-formers and experts from across the international tourism community. More than 25 speakers will share in-depth knowledge and help broaden understanding.

The full-day conference will specifically address demand-side aspects of emerging tourism markets including current trends, case studies, potential source markets and ‘new consumer’ behaviour. A revolving panel of leading tourism and travel players, marketeers, technology experts, tourist lodging operators, real estate operators, hotel, resort and residential developers will further review business-related, supply-side opportunities in the Algarve.

For more information on the conference, visit

For information on tickets, sponsorship and exhibition space, email or call +351 969 196 055.