Milena Peršić, PhD, Full Professor

University of Rijeka

Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management

Accounting Department

Primorska 42, P.O.Box 97, 51410 Opatija, Croatia

Phone: +385 51 294 698

E-mail: milena.persic@fthm.hr

Irena Peršić Živadinov, PhD

Director of Kvarner County Tourism Office

N. Tesle 2, 51 410 Opatija, Croatia

Phone: +385 51 272 988 . 272 665

E-mail: irena.persic.zivadinov@kvarner.hr

Dubravka Vlašić, PhD, Assistant Professor

University or Rijeka

Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management

Accounting Department

Primorska 42, P.O.Box 97, 51410 Opatija, Croatia

Phone: +385-51-294 881

E-mail: dubravka.vlasic@fthm.hr

Presentation title: IS THE KVARNER TOURISM DESTINATION FOLLOWING THE EU SCENARIOS FOR HEALTH TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this research is to evaluate the possibilities of Kvarner destination health tourism development, observed through the EU scenarios (the health-tourism growth scenario and the health-tourism vitality scenario).

Design – The paper is based on the results of a survey on attitudes of responsible management in the health tourism institutions in the Kvarner, which has been recognized in the national strategic documents, as a tourism destination with the highest potential for health-tourism development.

Methodology – This paper presents the research results based on data collected from responsible managers in the health spas, special hospitals, wellness/spa hotels, wellness centers at the destination, dental and medical clinics, tourism organizations et al., that create the representative sample of Kvarner tourism destination. The presented results are primarily based on quantitative research methods.

Approach – The main approach is in estimating whether and to what extent is it possible that health-tourism services in Kvarner tourism destination can follow EU scenarios for health-tourism development.

Findings – The research results indicate that the Kvarner tourism destination has the potential and the preconditions for health-tourism development in the way as it is defined in the EU scenarios. For that purpose, the Kvarner tourism destination needs to make additional efforts in ensuring synergies among all participants in the health-tourism product, through raising the quality of health-tourism services together with the harmonization of legal framework and an interdisciplinary approach in education and development.

Originality of the research – A model of research that includes relevant influential factors in field of medical, wellness and spa services at the tourism destination level has been defined. This model can also be successfully applied in related tourism destinations, if taken into account the destinations’ specifics, available resources, global trends and EU scenarios.