COASTAL CITIES AS HEALTH TOURISM DESTINATIONS: PROMOTING ACTIVITIES IN PRACTICE
Free (open access)
139 - 147
TIMO DERRIKS, HANA HAVRDOVA
The coast offers numerous health benefits, not only for its residents but also for its visitors. In terms of coastal city tourism, an offer of healthy activities allows visitors to not interrupt their daily healthy habits and instead enjoy the benefits of the destination while promoting a better health condition. Some people still share the view that when they travel, they simply want to relax and do not care that much about their health in terms of nutrition and exercising. Vlissingen, being a small coastal city by the sea within the Netherlands, especially attracts visitors with its long south-facing promenade and city beach. It is unknown to what extent health aspects are of importance to its visitors. For this reason, this study explores the city’s visitors on this issue as well as searching for ideas on how to promote health activities if showing potential and desires. The study addresses to what extent the visitors are interested in their health and if they are aware of the health benefits of the coast and possible coastal activities promoting their health. Destination management, policies and supply-side stakeholders are also investigated following earlier consumer-demand exploration findings. By interviews and desk research, potential improvements for the city to integrate health benefits into its existing tourism product are unravelled. The practice-based nature of this study emphasizes how health activities could be fostered in associated practices as visiting, branding, co-creation, and entrepreneurship in this Dutch city by the sea.
health tourism, city branding, coastal activities, practice-based studies