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Health tourism enterprises and adaptation for sustainable development

Adam R. Szromek (Department of Organization and Management, Institute of Economy and Informatics, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland)
Daniel Puciato (Department of Tourism Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, University of Health and Sport Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland)
Julita Izabela Markiewicz-Patkowska (Faculty of Finance and Management, WSB University in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland)
Nazan Colmekcioglu (Department of Marketing and Strategy, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 15 August 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

225

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Citation

Szromek, A.R., Puciato, D., Markiewicz-Patkowska, J.I. and Colmekcioglu, N. (2023), "Health tourism enterprises and adaptation for sustainable development", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-01-2022-0060

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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