Health, wellbeing & travel

Every destination, project or business can have its very own contribution to guests’ wellbeing. To define this unique contribution, however, is not a straightforward task. Hotels and resorts, wellness centres, hospitals, retreats, etc. would need to find their very own understanding of wellbeing, says Laszlo Puczko, CEO & Co-founder, Health Tourism Worldwide.

Travelling for health is not a new or novel phenomenon. People have been seeking solutions, services or destinations that can provide services and benefits for curing certain illnesses or preventing others for centuries. At the same time health or more holistically, wellbeing has become a very important topic as well as a goal to more and more people. Apart from travelling for health purposes being either medical or wellness, consumers look for healthy alternatives during their leisure activities.

We are convinced that health tourism resources, services and brands will gain even stronger importance than ever before. We understand that both destinations and service providers can take part in health tourism in many ways and at various levels. As our pioneering report for UNWTO & ETC (2018) established, “Travel (and consequently tourism) is an activity that can contribute to the creation or the improvement of wellbeing such as feelings of contentment, satisfaction and happiness by supporting, facilitating and initiating the improvement of mental and emotional health, work-life balance, self-realisation, and the ability to connect with oneself and others.”

Every destination, project or business can have its very own contribution to guests’ wellbeing. To define this unique contribution, however, is not a straightforward task. Hotels and resorts, spas, wellness centres, hospitals, clinics, retreats, hot springs, etc. would need to find their very own understanding of wellbeing. Cities, regions and other destinations can also define their contribution, for example, three Alpine countries in Europe, creating the concept of Alpine Wellness.

We recognise that for a wellbeing-oriented project to be sustainable and profitable, as well as successful, it has to take both global trends and local characteristics seriously.

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