Ireland Portugal Business Network to assist Algarve bid to become ‘Mecca’ for booming €600 billion wellness travel industry

Press Release date: September 4th 2019

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 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 Global Wellness Institute predicts wellness tourism trips to grow by 8% annually reaching 1.2billion by 2022.

The news comes ahead of the 2019 Algarve Tourism Conference running from 9am-5pm at the Hilton Vilamoura Resort (pictured below) on Friday September 27th.

This is one of Portugal’s leading tourism events and is being delivered by ILM Real Estate Group in Association with the Ireland Portugal Business Network and Faro’s Dengun Digital Agency.

The event will be attended by Algarve Region 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 Saude, Longevity, Vale do Lobo, ASPA and Pine Cliffs Resort/UIP.

Mr 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.”

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.

For more information on the conference visit

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

For more information please contact:

Niamh Waters