Modelling health tourism in Poland


A Business Model in Spa Tourism Enterprises is a new published case study from Poland by Adam Szromek and Mateusz Naramski of the Department of Organization and Management, Institute of Economy and Informatics, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, in Poland.

It expands on knowledge about modelling tourism business. The basic scientific problem for the conducted research was the need to modernise the way of doing business in spa tourism enterprises by popularising the business model and to provide an indication of the elements of the business model that should be grounded in the principles of sustainable spa development. 

The research paper presents the results of research carried out in Polish spa enterprises in 2018. 

The research has shown that spa enterprises in Poland very rarely and only within the scope limited to some elements of their activity, use a business model, and are not always aware of the wide range of its applications.   The study suggest that spa managers need help to transform and promote their business to what modern customers want.

The study also makes the following observations:

  • Spa tourism can limit the negative effects of pollution by engaging in tourism in natural areas and meet the demanding needs of the aging society to maintain good health for as long as possible.
  • The social role of spas in health care and health prevention is undergoing significant changes.
  • There is a discrepancy between the potential of Polish health resort enterprises and use, as well as between the needs reported by the market and the offers of most tourist and healing establishments. 
  • Creating value for the consumer with the use of augmented reality could increase tourism attractiveness, revenue and competitiveness. 

The study included a survey of existing and potential spa tourists, to determine their expectations of Polish health resorts. Clients who visited a spa in the last 10 years were asked about their experiences and needs, while the potential clients explained why they have not visited a spa so far and what their expectations are. Of the 753 respondents 63.5% (478 people) were patients of Polish health resorts and the rest have never been to Polish health resorts.

The survey found that the top five attributes that make a successful spa stay were:

  • the quality of medical care and treatment
  • the quality of accommodation 
  • a wide range of treatment 
  • the quality of gastronomy 
  • beautiful views

The study suggested that the top 10 items that would improve the value proposition for a spa enterprise would be:

  • Increasing the standards of accommodation and sustenance
  • Increasing the standard of medical care and rehabilitation care
  • Increasing the standard of spa treatment
  • Treating the visitor like a special guest and not like a patient
  • Introducing single and marital rooms into the offer
  • Developing cultural activities (cinema, library, concerts)
  • Abolishing extra fees for treatment cancelation caused by feeling unwell
  • Introducing a transport service for the spa visitors from home to spa and back (door to door)
  • Introducing psychological care in spas
  • Organising childcare for small children so that a mother can take part in a treatment



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