October 16, 2018—Following the success of previous ChinaFit/IHRSA China Management Forums, ChinaFit and the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) are presenting this year's China Management Forum in Shanghai.

Organised annually for the Chinese fitness market by ChinaFit and IHRSA, the Forum has the purpose of sharing fitness communication between China and the international fitness industry.

With a range of inspirational speakers and successful leaders from the Chinese and international fitness industry, the four-day event reviews the global and Asia-Pacific fitness markets, shares cutting-edge management concepts and explore future fitness industry development trends.

The eighth edition of the ChinaFit/IHRSA China Management Forum follows the release of data in the 2018 IHRSA Health Club Report, as first reported by Australasian Leisure Management in June, that shows the Asia-Pacific region serves 22 million fitness club members at more than 25,000 facilities.

In total, this market generates annual revenues of US$16.8 billion, excluding the Middle East, with IHRSA describing the industry in the Asia-Pacific as being “robust, with significant potential for continued growth.”

IHRSA reports that only two markets in the region are considered mature: Australia and New Zealand, which have the highest penetration rates at 15.3% and 13.6%, respectively.

While the fitness market shows signs of rapid growth and professionalisation in Hong Kong (5.85%), Singapore (5.8%) and Japan (3.3%), opportunities for growth remain in the Philippines (0.53%), Thailand (0.5%), Indonesia (0.18%) and India (0.15%).

IHRSA adds, “Driven by the momentum of economic growth, the fitness market in the Asia-Pacific region has shown steady growth with a positive outlook going forward. Overall market penetration is on an upward trajectory, reflecting an increasing awareness of health club memberships.”

However, IHRSA suggests that the region’s fitness market remains stratified due to varying stages of development, which it categorises into three tiers:

  • Tier 1: Australia (15.3%) and New Zealand (13.6%) are relatively established markets, with higher penetration rates than their neighbours. However, the mature and professionalised markets in these countries indicate limited growth potential; with staff and real estate costs constraining growth.
  • Tier 2: Hong Kong (5.85%), Singapore (5.8%), Japan (3.3%) and Taiwan (3.0%) belong to the fast-expanding and maturing second-tier markets. This segment features gradually professionalising services, expanding consumer bases, and high concentration of leading players. With room for growth, already fierce competition is expected to continue in the future.
  • Tier 3: The remaining Asia-Pacific markets are still in a comparatively early stage, as a result of slower economic development and low awareness of personal health. Malaysia (1.04%), China’s top 10 cities (0.97%), Philippines (0.53%), Thailand (0.5%), Vietnam (0.5%), Indonesia (0.18%) and India (0.15%) comprise the emerging markets. The fitness industry in these countries is typically concentrated in the capital and first-tier cities, where markets are mainly led by commercial fitness club chains.

The ChinaFit/IHRSA China Management Forum is being held at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai China.