WORLDTourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC) have launched a new report on health tourism.
Dubbed “Exploring Health Tourism” the report is seeking among other things to set a coherent conceptualization of health tourism and define the motivations behind travellers looking for health-related services.
Health, wellness and medical tourism have grown exponentially in recent years to become increasingly relevant in many destinations and Health tourism is an emerging, global, complex and rapidly changing segment that needs to be better understood by destinations willing to leverage opportunities and better address challenges.
According to UNWTO, ‘Exploring Health Tourism’ proposes a comprehensive taxonomy with a consistent terminology to define and describe the intricate system of travelling for health purposes and provides a practical toolkit for National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) and Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) wanting to develop health tourism.
As defined in the report, health tourism covers those types of tourism which have as a primary motivation the contribution to physical, mental and/or spiritual health through medical and wellness-based activities.
The report sheds light on the factors shaping health tourism such as technological developments, personal health, data protection and urbanization. It also explores the market, the demand and the supply of health tourism and provides examples of marketing management.
Finally, the study proposes a set of recommendations ranging from improved data collection and more accurate measurement to more accessible and sustainable health tourism calling for further partnerships.