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Health tourism enterprises and adaptation for sustainable development

Szromek, Adam R., Puciato, Daniel, Markiewicz-Patkowska, Julita Izabela and Colmekcioglu, Nazan 2023. Health tourism enterprises and adaptation for sustainable development. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 35 (1) , pp. 1-25. 10.1108/IJCHM-01-2022-0060

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Purpose The purpose of this study is to assess the level of adjustment of the activities of health tourism and hospitality enterprises to the sustainable development criteria developed by the global sustainable tourism council. Design/methodology/approach The main research method used in this study was a diagnostic survey – an in-depth interview. This research was conducted among managers of 18 of the largest enterprises that conduct tourism and wellness activities in Polish health resorts. Findings The analysis of the research results indicated that only every other surveyed health resort entity implemented a sustainable development system or program. Most health resort entities undertook initiatives to support the local community in the field of education, health, sanitary safety and mitigating the negative effects of climate change. The respondents also unequivocally stated that they used good practices in promoting cultural heritage among health resort guests. Almost all of the analyzed enterprises applied solutions aimed at saving natural resources, i.e. reducing unnecessary purchases and saving electricity and water. Participation in programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and means of transport usage was very rarely declared. Practical implications It is recommended to include environmental issues in the business models of health tourism entities, e.g. by including them in the strategy, including mission, communicating pro-environmental goals and actions to stakeholders, and applying environmental management systems and concepts. Originality/value The research problem is a strong point of the work, as the issue of sustainable development of tourist organizations has rarely been discussed so far. Health resorts were also not considered the subject of research in this area. In this research, the authors assessed the degree of compliance of health tourism enterprises with the requirements of sustainable development, which is a contribution to the science system.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0959-6119
Date of Acceptance: 22 July 2022
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2023 12:22

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