Welcome Guest [create an account] or log-in:

Chapter 9 The Future of Health and Wellness Tourism

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635222-4758

ISBN: 9781911635222

Published: October 2020

Component type: chapter

Published in: International Tourism Futures

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635222-4383



Wellness tourism is currently one of the fastest growing tourism niche markets having experienced exponential growth over the past two decades (Global Wellness Institute, 2018). The attributed reasons for the exponential growth is wellness being an essential factor in shaping people’s lives, as well as being increasingly influential in patterns of consumption and production. The wellness industry plays a crucial role as an important driver for future business growth and major innovations (Voigt and Pforr, 2013; Pyke et al., 2016). This chapter defines the relative terms of health, wellness, spa and medical tourism, identifies the current trends in the health and wellness sector, details the various wellness providers and considers the future direction of health and wellness in connection with tourism and destination development. The chapter concludes with a case study discussing the success factors of wellness spa tourism in Thailand.

Sample content

Click here to download PDF


For the source title:

Cite as

Lade, Strickland, Frew, Willard, Osorio, Nagpal & Vitartas, 2020

Lade, C., Strickland, P., Frew, E., Willard, P., Osorio, S.C., Nagpal, S. & Vitartas, P. (2020) "Chapter 9 The Future of Health and Wellness Tourism" In: Lade, C., Strickland, P., Frew, E., Willard, P., Osorio, S.C., Nagpal, S. & Vitartas, P. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635222-4758


Ardell, D. (1985) The history and future of wellness, Health Values, 9 (6), 37-56.

Atienza, K. L. T., Evangelista, C. A., Kvangelista, L. I. and Ibre, R. T. (2014) Impacts of tourism industry of massage spa therapy in Batangas City, Philippines, Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 2 (5), 87-93.

Bitner, M. J., Booms, B. H. and Mohr, L. A. (1994) Critical service encounters: The employees' viewpoint, Journal of Marketing, 58 (4), 95-106.


Brady, M. and Cronin, J. (2001) Some new thoughts on conceptualizing perceived service quality: A hierarchical approach, Journal of Marketing, 65 (3), 34-49.


Cheng, Z. H. (2015) Asian Americans and European Americans' stigma levels in response to biological and social explanations of depression, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50 (5), 767-776.


Chi, C. G.-Q. and Qu, H. (2008) Examining the structural relationships of destination image, tourist satisfaction and destination loyalty: An integrated approach, Tourism Management, 29 (4), 624-636.


Connell, J. (2006a) Medical tourism: Sea, sun, sand and... surgery, Tourism Management, 27 (6), 1093-1100.


Connell, J. (2006b) Medical tourism: The newest of riches, Tourism Recreation Research, 31 (1), 99-102.


Croatia Traveller (2019) Thermal Spa Resorts in Croatia, Croatia Traveller, n.d., viewed 22/12/2019, https://www.croatiatraveller.com/SpecialInterests/spas.html

Csirmaz, E. and Peto, K. (2015) International trends in recreational and wellness tourism, Procedia Economics and Finance, 32, 755-762.


Cusack, C.M. (2013) History, authenticity, and tourism: Encountering the medieval while walking Saint Cuthbert's way, in A. Norman (ed.), Journeys and Destinations: Studies in travel, identity, and meaning, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 1-22.

Desseau, R. and Brennan, M.W. (2008) Spa feasibility: Steps and processes, in M. Cohen and G. Bodeker (eds), Understanding the Global Spa Industry: Spa Management, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, pp. 110-129.


Duntley, M. (2014) Spiritual tourism and frontier esotericism at Mount Shasta, California, International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 5 (2), 123-150.


Fink, R. (2018) Health tourism in the EU: Facts and figures', Regiondo Blog, 4 April, viewed 7/09/2019, https://pro.regiondo.com/health-tourism-eu/

Forest Therapy Melbourne (2019) viewed 19/07/2019, https://www.foresttherapymelbourne.com/

Fratantoni, M. (2019) Wellness tourist zones may be the health trend of the future, New Daily, 15 March, viewed 15/07/2019, https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2019/03/15/wellness-tourism-trend/

Gately, P.J., Cooke, C.B., Butterly, R.J., Mackreth, P. and Carroll, S. (2000) The effects of a children's summer camp programme on weight loss, with a 10 month follow-up, International Journal of Obesity, 24 (11), 1444-1453.


Global Wellness Institute (2018) Global Wellness Tourism Economy 2018, Global Wellness Institute, viewed 25/01/2020, https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GWI_GlobalWellnessTourismEconomyReport.pdf

Good Therapy (2020) Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), viewed 14/07/2020, https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/complementary-alternative-medicine?

Guiding Wellness (2020) What is holistic health?, Guiding Wellness, n.d., viewed 1/05/2020, http://guidingwellness.com/wellness-and-holism/what-is-holistic-health?/

Han, H., Kiatkawsin K., Jung, H. and Kim, W. (2018) The role of wellness spa tourism performance in building destination loyalty: The case of Thailand, Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 35 (5), 595-610.


Hansen, K. V. (2014) Development of SERVQUAL and DINESERV for measuring meal experiences in eating establishments, Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 14 (2), 116-134.


Hashemi, S. M., Jusoh, J., Kiumarsi, J. J. and Mohammadi, S. (2015) Influence factors of spa and wellness tourism on revisit intention: The mediating role of international tourist motivation and tourist satisfaction, International Journal of Research - Granthaalayah, 3 (7), 1-11.


Heads Together (2019) viewed 10/11/2019, https://www.headstogether.org.uk/about/

Health Management (2020) COVID-19 and its impact on health and wellbe- ing, viewed 8/8/2020, https://healthmanagement.org/c/hospital/news/covid-19-and-its-impact-on-health-and-wellbeing

Heung, V.C.S. and Kucukusta, D. (2013) Wellness tourism in China: Resources, devel- opment and marketing, International Journal of Tourism Research, 15(4), 346-359.


Jepson, D. (2015) The lure of the countryside: The spiritual dimension of rural spaces of leisure, in S. Gammon and S. Elkington (eds), Landscapes of Leisure, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 202-219.


Jonas-Berki, M., Csapo, J., Palfi, A. and Aubert, A. (2014) A market and spatial perspective of health tourism destinations: The Hungarian experience, International Journal of Tourism Research, 17 (6), 602-612.


Kiattipoom, K. and Han, H. (2017) An alternative interpretation of attitude and extension of the value-attitude-behaviour hierarchy: The destination attributes of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 22 (5), 481-500.


Krendl, A. and Pescoszolido, B.A. (2020) Countries and cultural differences in the stigma of mental illness - The East West divide, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 51 (2), 149-167.


Kucukusta, D. and Guillet, B. D. (2014) Measuring spa-goers' preferences: A conjoint analysis approach, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 41 (Aug), 115-124.


Laing, J. and Weiler, B., (2007) Mind, body and spirit: Health and wellness tourismin Asia, in J. Cochrane (ed), Asian Tourism: Growth and Change, Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 379 - 389.


Lo, A., Wu, C. and Tsai, H. (2015) The impact of service quality on positive consumption emotions in resort and hotel spa experiences, Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 24 (2), 155-179.


Mcleod, S. (2020) Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Simply Psychology, 20 March, viewed 10/05/2020, https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

Mair, H. (2005) Tourism, health and the pharmacy: Towards a critical understanding of health and wellness tourism, Tourism, 53 (4), 335-346.

Mirza, A., Birtel, M. D., Pyle, M. and Morrison, A. P. (2019) Cultural differences in psychosis: The role of causal beliefs and stigma in White British and South Asians, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 50 (3), 441-459.


Mueller H. and Kaufmann, E.L., (2001) Wellness tourism: Market analysis of a special health tourism segment and implications of the hotel industry, Journal of Vacation Marketing, 7 (1), 8-17.


Norman, A. (2011) Spiritual Tourism: Travel and religious practice in western society. London: Continuum.

Norman, A. and Pokorny, J.J. (2017) Meditation retreats: Spiritual tourism well-being interventions, Tourism Management Perspectives, 24 (Oct), 201-207.


Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A. and Berry, L. L. (1988) SERVQUAL: A multiple- item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality, Journal of Retailing, 64 (1), 12-40.

Pilzer P. Z. (2007) The New Wellness Revolution. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Puczko, L. and Bachvarov, M. (2006) Spa, bath, thermae: What is behind the labels? Tourism Recreation Research, 31 (1), 83-29.


Pyke, S., Hartwell, H., Blake, A. and Hemingway, A. (2016) Exploring well-being as a tourism product resource, Tourism Management, 55 (Aug), 94-105.


Sher, L. (2020) The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates, QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 1-6.


Smith, M. and Puczkó, L. (2009) Health and Wellness Tourism. London: Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann.


Smith, M. and Puczko, L. (2015) More than a special interest: defining and determining the demand for health tourism, Tourism Recreation Research, 40 (2), 205-219.


Snoj, B. and Mumel, D. (2002) The measurement of perceived differences in service quality - The case of health spas in Slovenia, Journal of Vacation Marketing, 8 (4), 362-379.


Tourism Authority of Thailand (2013) Wellness Spa Tourism in Thailand, ASEAN Tourism, 11 October viewed 28/06/2020, https://www.aseantourism.travel/countryarticle/detail/wellness-spa-tourism-in-thailand

United Nations (2010) World Population Ageing 2009, United Nations, 19 December, viewed 10/11/2019, https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/publications/world-population-ageing-2009.html

Voigt, C. (2013) Towards a conceptualisation of wellness tourism, in C Voigt and C. Pforr (eds), Wellness Tourism: A destination perspective, London: Routledge, pp. 21-44.


Voigt, C., Brown, G. and Howat, G. (2011) Wellness tourists: in search of transformation, Tourism Review, 66 (1/2), 16-30.


Voigt, C. and Pforr, C. (2013) Wellness tourism from a destination perspective - Why now?, in C Voigt and C. Pforr (eds), Wellness Tourism: A destination perspective, London: Routledge, pp. 3-18.


World Health Organization (2001) World Health Report: Mental disorders affect one in four people, viewed 8/8/2020, https://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/#:~:text=Geneva%2C%204%20October%E2%80%94%20One%20 in,ill%2Dhealth%20and%20disability%20worldwide.


Chapter 9 The Future of Health and Wellness Tourism [Details]Price: £5.99*Licences / Downloadable file

Published in International Tourism Futures

Chapter 9 The Future of Health and Wellness Tourism [Details]Price: £5.99*Licences / Downloadable file
Terms and conditions of purchase | Privacy policy