A Critical Analysis of How Central European Spas Create Health Tourism Experiencescapes

Diana Dryglas 

Melanie Kay Smith


This research examines the ways in which Central European spas create health tourism experiencescapes. A two-round Delphi study was undertaken in the so-called Visegrád countries: Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia using a questionnaire which was sent to 28 carefully chosen experts. Empirical results showed that five main components within health tourism experiencescapes need to be addressed: (1) infrastructural improvements and quality services for new, often self-paying or international guests, (2) creating physical health restoration and wellness treatments which are growing in popularity, especially among younger and foreign guests, (3) the importance of recognizing the needs of different user groups, separating spaces and targeting specific segments, (4) constant monitoring of customer experience quality, (5) creating a hygienic environment for guests (especially during and post-COVID). The findings help to provide recommendations for therapeutic health facilities and balneology spas that are shifting from state-subsidized health tourism to wellness experience development for paying guests.


To cite this article:

Diana Dryglas & Melanie Kay Smith (2023) A Critical Analysis of How Central European Spas Create Health Tourism Experiencescapes, Tourism Planning & Development, DOI: 10.1080/21568316.2023.2259357

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