The Routledge Handbook of Health Tourism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Health Tourism

1st Edition

Edited by Melanie Kay Smith, László Puczkó


458 pages | 45 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138909830
pub: 2016-11-28
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The Routledge Handbook of Health Tourism provides a comprehensive and cutting-edge overview of the philosophical, conceptual and managerial issues in the field of health tourism with contributions from more than 30 expert academics and practitioners from around the world. Terms that are used frequently when defining health tourism, such as wellbeing, wellness, holistic, medical and spiritual, are analysed and explored, as is the role that health and health tourism play in quality-of-life enhancement, wellbeing, life satisfaction and happiness. An overview is provided of health tourism facilities such as thermal waters, spas, retreats and wellness hotels and the various challenges inherent in managing these profitably and sustainably. Typologies are given not only of subsectors of health tourism and related activities but also of destinations, such as natural landscapes, historic townscapes or individual resources or attractions around which whole infrastructures have been developed. Attention is paid to some of the lifestyle changes that are taking place in societies which influence consumer behaviour, motivations and demand for health tourism, including government policies, regulations and ethical considerations.

This significant volume offers the reader a comprehensive synthesis of this field, conveying the latest thinking and research. The text is international in focus, encouraging dialogue across disciplinary boundaries and areas of study and will be an invaluable resource for all those with an interest in health tourism.

Table of Contents


List of figures

List of tables



1. Introduction

Section One: History and Trends

2. History of Spa Tourism: Spirituality, Rejuvenation and Socialisation

Warwick Frost and Jennifer Laing

3. An Overview of Lifestyle Trends and their Impacts on Health Tourism

Melanie Kay Smith

4. Leading Taste: The Influence of Trendsetters on Health Tourism

Jennifer Laing and Warwick Frost

Section Two: Happiness, Wellbeing and Quality of Life

5. Between Tourists: Tourism and Happiness

Ondrej Mitas, Jeroen Nawijn and Barbara Jongsma

6. The Impact of Tourist Activities on Tourists' Subjective Wellbeing

Muzaffer Uysal, M. Joseph Sirgy, Eunju Woo and Hyelin (Lina) Kim

7. Finding Flow during a Vacation: Using Optimal Experiences to Improve Health

John K. Coffey and Mihály Csikszentmihályi

Section Three: Health, Tourism and Society

8. Healthy Tourism

Robyn Bushell

9. Social Tourism and Health

Scott McCabe and Anya Diekmann

10. A Life-Course Analysis of Older Tourists and their Changing Patterns of Holiday Behavior

Gareth Shaw, Isabelle Cloquet, Paul Cleave, Andrzej Tucki, Maria João F. Custódio, and Alessandra Theuma

Section Four: Holistic Wellbeing

11. The Psychology of Spa: the Science of ’Holistic’ Wellbeing

Jeremy McCarthy

12. Journeys of the Self: The Need to Retreat

Catherine Kelly and Melanie Kay Smith

13. Community as Holistic Healer on Health Holiday Retreats: The Case of Skyros

Dina Glouberman and Josée Cloutier

14. Yoga, Transformation and Tourism

Melanie Kay Smith and Ivett Sziva

Section Five: Medical Tourism: Ethics, Regulation and Policy

15. The Ethics of Medical Travel

David Reisman

16. The Environmental Externalities of Medical and Health Tourism: Implications for Global Public Health

Colin Michael Hall

17. Legal and Ethical Issues of Cross-Border Reproductive Care from an EU Perspective

Markus Frischhut

18. The Need to Professionalize Estheticians

Kathryn Gallagher and Marion Joppe

Section Six: Medical Tourism: Products and Services

19. Choosing the Good Hospital: Helping Medical Tourists Make Informed Decisions

Sharon Kleefield

20. Medical Hotels – an Approach to Sustainable Health in the Leisure Industry

Kai Illing

21. A Disney Strategic Approach to Patient/Guest Services in Hospitality Bridging Healthcare (H2H) and Medical Tourism and Wellness

Frederick J. DeMicco

22. Balneology and Health Tourism

Melanie Kay Smith and László Puczkó

Section Seven: Health Destination Development and Management

23. Enhancing the Competitiveness of a Wellness Tourism Destination by Coordinating the Multiple Actor Collaboration

Telle Tuominen, Susanna Saari and Daniel Binder

24. Cross-Border Health Tourism Collaborations: Opportunities and Challenges

Henna Konu and Melanie Smith

25. Destination and Product Development Rested on Evidence-based Health Tourism

Georg Christian Steckenbauer, Stephanie Tischler, Arnulf Hartl and Christina Pichler

26. Developing a Wellness Destination: A Case Study of the Peak District

Sarah Rawlinson and Peter Wiltshier

Section Eight: Therapeutic and Healing Landscapes

27. ’Places of Power’: Can individual ’sacred space’ help regain orientation in a confusing world

Harald A. Friedl

28. Rhythmic revitalisations: Attuning to nature for health and wellbeing

Edward H. Huijbens

29. Relationships between emotion regulation seeking, program satisfaction, attention restoration, and life satisfaction: Healing program participants

Timothy J. Lee and Jinok Susanna Kim

30. Health Tourism and Health Promotion at the Coast

Peter Kruizinga

Section Nine: Nature, Health and Tourism

31. Rural Wellbeing Tourism Destinations – Demand Side Viewpoint

Juho Pesonen and Anja Tuohino

32. Protected natural areas as innovative health tourism destinations

Sonia Ferrari and Monica Gilli

33. Understanding the Links Between Wellness and Indigenous Tourism in Western Canada: Critical Sites of Cultural Exchange

John Hull and Courtney Mason

34. Conclusion

About the Editors

Melanie Kay Smith is Associate Professor at Budapest Metropolitan University in the School of Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality. She is the co-author of the book Health, Tourism and Hospitality: Spas, Wellness and Medical Travel (Routledge, 2013) with Dr László Puczkó and has worked for over ten years on health tourism, including research, lecturing and the publication of several journal articles and book chapters. She has been an invited keynote speaker at many international conferences, and has undertaken health tourism consultancy work in a range of countries, including for the European Travel Commission and United Nations World Tourism Organization. She has most recently been working on Baltic health tourism and Balkan wellbeing concepts, as well as a European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) project on tourism, wellbeing and ecosystem services. Her most recent teaching and research focus on evidence-based healing resources and therapies.

László Puczkó is the Director of Industry Intelligence at Resources for Leisure Assets and the Head of Tourism and Leisure Knowledge Centre at the Budapest Metropolitan University (Hungary). He has been working as a travel and tourism expert in the health, wellness, medical services and spa arenas for over 20 years. He founded the Tourism Observatory for Health, Wellness and Spa in 2012. He has participated in more than a hundred projects in various fields: research, planning, product development, experience mapping and design, impact assessment and marketing. László is an internationally known and acknowledged expert; he lectures at various international professional and academic conferences and congresses. He is the (co-)author of numerous specialised books (e.g. Health, Tourism and Hospitality (Routledge, 2013), Impacts of Tourism (Häme Polytechnic, 2002)) and articles in professional journals.

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Hospitality, Travel & Tourism