This book aims to contribute to the literature and aid in developing a theoretical and practical framework in the area of health and wellness tourism. With contributions and research from different countries using a practical approach, this book is an essential source for students, researchers and managers in the health and wellness tourism industry.
Recently, there has been an increased interest in health and wellness due to greater life expectancy, aging populations, increasing levels of stress among others. In this context, the concepts of health, wellness, beauty, relaxation, and tourism can be combined to satisfy the needs of people seeking better quality-of-life. This has given rise to health and wellness tourism, a new market segment that contributes to employment and economic growth in the new economy.
Health and wellness tourism involves two aspects: therapeutics, which seeks to cure certain diseases; and relaxation and leisure. As an alternative to traditional tourism, health and wellness tourism provides a new means of achieving regional and local development from a demographic, social, environmental and economic point-of-view. It contributes to tourist destinations’ economic growth, acting as a pillar to support other complementary activities. In short, health and wellness tourism contributes to employment growth and regional wealth, contributes to tourism seasonality, promotes quality in tourism destinations, helps create new tourist services with high value, promotes establishment of international cooperation networks, and yields a number of additional benefits. Featuring a variety of programs and initiatives from different regions, with an emphasis on thermal and thalassotherapy establishments, this volume sheds light on this emerging market segment and its implications for economic and policy development.