Research Outline

Live Ticketed Entertainment Market in the US (Wellness)


The current objective is to identify how people have changed their spending habits based on the desire for getting the most out of life to create the wellness category; this is a larger thesis seeking to compare the rise in immersive theater to the rise of the wellness industry. Items to review in wellness include its history, trends, growth, and future growth projections.

Early Findings


  • Some historians note that “wellness” as a modern concept began to gain steam in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and was largely a US-based concept (in its modern form); however, it definitely has ancient roots elsewhere.
  • An illustrative timeline, “The Evolution of Wellness” can be viewed here. The timeline includes that wellness “went global” in 2010 and, in 2012, the UN published the first “World Happiness Report.” Legislation to curb obesity and diabetes globally was also noted as a major feature of the wellness industry.
  • The World Happiness Report continues to be updated and the 2019 report is available here.
  • Various tipping points for wellness include a 2010 New York Times article exploring the word itself, rising healthcare costs (shifting focus to preventable diseases), and by 2014 the global wellness industry was 3.4 times larger than the global pharmaceutical industry.
  • This article from the University of Szeged on the history of wellness might be useful in that it notes that wellness is supported by a change in lifestyle that includes techniques for relaxation and alternative movement therapies, and includes tasks like “creation of wellbeing.”


  • Mindfulness, which was noted to be “an ancient tradition turned healthy-living buzzword”, may have been a gateway drug of sorts to the wellness industry considering its effectiveness observed in some studies and its popularity.
  • Note that some critics say wellness is a hodgepodge of “first-world problems”: Art Markman, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Texas and author of "Brain Briefs: Answers to the Most (and Least) Pressing Questions About Your Mind", says "You have to be pretty privileged already to have taken care of food, clothing, and shelter so that now you’re just trying to play with motivation at the margins. You’ve dealt with all the stuff that would actively kill you today, so now you get to play this game of, how am I going to frame the rest of my life?"
  • Ten trends that were said to have propelled the wellness industry into what it is today includes personal care and beauty, healthy eating/nutrition/weight loss, wellness tourism, fitness/mind-body, preventative medicine, and public health, traditional and complementary medicine, wellness real estate, spa economy, thermal and mineral springs, and workplace wellness.


  • The global wellness economy was a $4.5 trillion market in 2018, experiencing a 6.4% yearly growth from 2015 to 2017 (twice as fast as global economic growth).
  • Two senior researchers from the Global Wellness Institute, in 2017, noted that “The growth trajectory of the wellness industry appears unstoppable.” They also noted that the United States was the world’s top wellness nation because Americans spent the most in 4 out of 5 wellness market segments (i.e., spas, workplace wellness, wellness tourism, and wellness real estate).
  • Please note that the Global Wellness Institute outlines additional and detailed data about each of the wellness segments here.
  • The wellness industry's growth was attributed to consumers increasing interest in improving health due to aging, health epidemics (chronic disease and stress), and the negative impacts of environmental degradations. It was also driven by a disappointment in the medical model (its focus on sick-care had not improved quality of life).