Although the Covid-19 pandemic has been critical and has caused millions of deaths around the world, if it were not for it, there would not have been awareness about the importance of taking care of both physical and mental health. In just the first year of the pandemic, diseases such as anxiety and depression increased 25%, reveals the World Health Organization.
This situation also made it possible to revalue the options available to address well-being in general, which triggered the growth of the wellness industry, with 10% annual growth, mentioned Alberto Cortina, director of GrupoVitali.
“We are increasingly aware of the importance of being well, not only in terms of physical conditioning, but also of mental and spiritual well-being, in work spaces, and how we should support the home office. That translates into exponential growth in the industry in all sectors,” he stated.
He explained that this postcovid stage is one of the best to start wellness businesses, since the offer is wide and you can participate in different categories such as the physical, mental, spas, hot springs, relaxation centers, nutrition and weight control, beauty and personal care, tourism and real estate. Although some were seriously affected during the pandemic, a sustainable recovery is estimated.
Likewise, he indicated, many of these sectors that were aggravated by the pandemic, such as spas and gyms that had a 37% contraction, have innovated in their models by leveraging hybrid, thus achieving an increase of 29% with an expected growth of 10% the next five years. To do this, tailored plans must be made.
For example, if the idea is to start with a spa or you already had one and want to renew, you have to approach the business from a concept that is not based only on the physical or recreational part, but rather a healthy one, from food, well-being. mental, mindfulness or meditation.
Making it part of the lifestyle
“The proposal is not to stay in something recreational, but to make it part of the lifestyle where we provide spaces so that you can achieve a state of deep relaxation and a connection with yourself, and make that space something yours, something that societies need with very accelerated rhythms.”
Another category in high demand is: beauty and personal care, which in 2017 generated a billion dollars in market value, a figure that increased to 1.2 billion in 2019. Although there was also a contraction due to the pandemic, it maintains a growth of 1.4 billion by 2025. “This is an example of an already large market where there are many players but which continues to grow.”Meditation and mindfulness will also continue to grow by 25%, approximately by 2025.
Costa Rica, leader in tourism
One of the areas where Costa Rica has great opportunities for entrepreneurs is wellness tourism, as the country leads this category in Latin America and ranks seventh worldwide. Its projected growth is 21% annually by 2030, a spill of 10 billion dollars.
“Costa Rica has a lot of potential in terms of pre-Hispanic traditions, herbalism, traditional medicine, ancestral connection with the land, among others. We have all the elements to capitalize on this potential. Furthermore, geographically we have it all: jungle, forest, mountains, and we have an advantage in proximity to the United States.”Likewise, a lot of work must be done on sustainability because it is one of the pillars that wellness tourism will most demand.
How to start
Although some sectors stand out, there are opportunities for growth in any of them. Cortina stressed that we must learn to capitalize on the offer. For example, in tourism, doing business with spiritual or yoga retreats, Costa Rican ceremonies, herbal knowledge or niche tours.
The strategy must be a tailored suit, with an ethical framework that impacts the well-being of people and the environment, sustainable, innovating what exists and adding technology to create better experiences, depending on the sector sought. Investments will depend on what you want, since starting a tour project can be more economical than a spa or gym business.“The formula is not universal, it is personal and depends on the sector. The key is creativity, strategy and whether you have alliances,” he concluded.