WNiF Magazine - Spring 2017 Edition | Page 10

NEW IHRSA REPORT: By Kristen Walsh LATIN AMERICA’S ROBUST FITNESS INDUSTRY T he International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) recently released The IHRSA Latin American Report (Second Edition), sponsored by Hoist Fitness. This research publication, an update to its groundbreaking 2012 report, was produced in collaboration with Mercado Fitness (Argentina) and supported by Fitness Brasil. “Building upon the analysis provided in the first report, the second edition of The IHRSA Latin American Report contains the most comprehensive examination of key Latin American health club markets available anywhere,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “Credit goes to Mercado Fitness, Fitness Brasil, IHRSA’s According to the report, the health club industry in Latin America is robust. The 18 Latin American markets analysed in the report generate US$6 billion (AU$7.5billion) in revenue from more than 65,000 clubs. Nearly 20 million Latin Americans are members of a health club. Brazil, alone, accounts for more than half of the health clubs in Latin America with 34,509 facilities. Argentina has the highest penetration rate among all Latin American markets as 6.8% of Argentineans belong to a health club. “The health club landscape in Latin America is dynamic and has undergone significant developments since 2012,” said Guillermo Velez, editor and director of Mercado Fitness. “In addition to the growth of the low-cost segment, other developments, including economic indicators, increasingly savvy consumers, technology, the boutique phenomenon, and professionalisation have all impacted and shaped the industry in Latin America.” While club operators and industry experts have observed growth amidst market developments in the region, opportunities abound in Latin America. The report shows the average penetration rate of 2.15%, signifying potential for growth. Along with Argentina, Brazil and Mexico have member penetration rates exceeding 3%, at 4.6% and 3.2%, respectively.     Key Highlights from the report: • 10 (23.5%). Obesity is a global pandemic: a person with obesity lives 10 years less than someone with healthy weight. Specialists agree that the origin of obesity is in lifestyle: diets high in saturated fats and lack of regular exercise. World Bank reports indicate that if this tendency continues, by 2030 the number of people in Latin America with obesity will reach 30% of the population. many strategic partners throughout Latin America, and, of course, the innovative club leaders who were interviewed, for providing an in-depth understanding of the region.” In Latin America, 130 million people are affected by obesity. These figures could reach 191 million by 2030. The countries with highest rates of obesity are Mexico (32.8%), Venezuela (30.8%), Argentina (29.4%), Chile (29.1%) and Uruguay • World Health Organization data points out that in Latin America 60% of the population is sedentary. This same agency indicates that in this region physical inactivity causes 1 out of every 10 deaths — nearly the same impact smoking has on the population according to scientists. • When the last regional IHRSA report was published in 2012, there were only two low cost chains in two countries in Latin America. Today, less than five years later, there are at least 23 different brands which gather 448 gyms (340 belong to SmartFit) in 12 countries throughout the region. Undeniably, this phenomenon has only just begun. • In competitive scenarios, with consumers eager for enhancing their experience, the fitness industry is undergoing a substantial diversification process. While premium health clubs and low cost gyms consolidate opposite poles within the market, boutique fitness studios, also known as Micro Gyms, thrive in Latin America as well as globally. “The IHRSA Latin American Report is an indispensable tool for club operators, investors, and market analysts,” said Jacqueline Antunes, IHRSA’s senior manager of Latin America. “Club operators can use the report to identify trends and areas for growth, while investors can use this valuable reference WHAT’S NEW IN FITNESS - SPRING 2017