Design and development of touristic products Main author: Gábor Michalkó Szilvia Boros, János Csapó, Éva Happ, Pál Horváth, Anikó Husz, Mónika Jónás-Beri, Katalin Lőrinc, Andrea Máté, Gábor Michalkó, Erzsébet Printz-Markó, Krisztina Priszinger, Tamara



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Type of establishment

Number of results

Bath

243

Experience bath

78

Thermal bath

90

Cure bath

75

Aquapark

13

Medical cave

4

Source: own composition based on http://wellness.itthon.hu, 2010

The website http://itthon.hu/gyogy-wellness introduces the supply based on the following categorization:

Table 2: Establishments of the Hungarian health tourism supply


Search based on the type of establishment

Number of results

Aquapark

13

Day spa

no result

Experience- and wellness bath

78

Medical cave

4

Medical bath

75

Medical hospital

10

Bech

215

Thermal hospital

90

Natural carbon-dioxide bath (mofetta)

1

Swimming hall

142

Search based on the type of water

Search based on the cure indications

Source: own construction based on http://itthon.hu/gyogy-wellness, 2010

2.3. Suprastructure of health tourism

The suprastructure of health tourism consists of the following elements:

-          medical and wellness hotels

-          restaurants

Based on the categorization above and the websites http://wellness.itthon.hu and http://itthon.hu/gyogy-wellness monitored by the Hungarian Tourism Inc., the domestic supply is as follows:

Table 3: Elements of the Hungarian health tourism supply


Type of establishment

Number of results

Wellness hotel

123

Medical hotel

37

Source: by the author, based on http://itthon.hu/gyogy-wellness, 2010

It is important to mention that the Hungarian Central Statistical Office registered 62 operating medical hotels and 105 wellness hotels on 30 June 2010. The capacity of medical hotels was 14,808 persons, while wellness hotels could accommodate 17,631 persons.

3. Characteristics of supply

The system of Hungarian health tourism can work effectively only if supply and demand match. To investigate the demand of health tourism, it is important to know the target groups of these tourism products and services (active youth, youth seeking for entertainments, health conscious youth, middle-aged family persons, middle-aged health preservers, health conscious elderly people, people in need of post-surgery rehabilitation and elderly people wishing to recover). (Turizmus Bulletin Vol. VI. No. 1.: Marketing a fürdőfejlesztésben, Dr. Budai Zoltán http://itthon.hu/site/upload/mtrt/Turizmus_Bulletin/02_01/SZ3.HTM)

In the following paragraphs we deal with the main characteristics of the demand of health tourism related to sub-products. The motivation of medical tourists by visiting health tourism service providers is the improvement of their health condition, respectively resolution of pain resulting from different diseases. In the background of wellness tourists’ travellers we find (in ideal case) the protection of their health condition and prevention of illnesses, i.e. prevention (http://www.oib.gov.hu/docs/egeszsegturizmus_strategia.pdf). Research results on domestic wellness tourism show, however, that following trends and fashion play a much higher role than health consciousness (Priszinger-Mayer-Formádi, 2010). In the case of medical tourism, the motivation is the meting of the motivations of medical and wellness tourism. Based on this, medical wellness guests search for (wellness) therapy treatments that are in line with their health condition, according to medical suggestion based on a physical condition test.

By investigating the need for leisure time, it is observable that medical tourists spend – according to the duration of treatments and cures – 7 to 10 days, and often 2–3 weeks in the visited area. On the contrary, in case of wellness tourism it is a much shorter period of time, ranging from a long weekend to a maximum of one week.

Health tourism is obviously a product assuming high willingness to pay, since people are ready to sacrifice a lot for their health and to dissolve pain. So in the case of medical tourism, just as in that of wellness tourism, visitors are characterised by a discretionary income that equals or often exceeds the average (see the following price lists: http://bukfurdo.hu/hu/arak_nyitvatartas/gyogy_es_strandfurdo/nyomtatas/ and http://www.aquaticum.hu/). In Hungary, services of medical tourism are often used by medical orders or referrals. At the same time, we have to mention that also in the case of Hungarian health tourism, financing partially or fully by private insurance companies, health funds is becoming more and more common. This is also typical for foreign tourists (mainly German speaking countries). (http://www.oib.gov.hu/docs/egeszsegturizmus_strategia.pdf)

Health tourists usually use the services and opportunities provided by the baths and hotels of the visited area. In the spare time between the treatments, they gladly visit natural and cultural attractions of the settlement and its narrow neighbourhood. Health tourists prefer higher ranked accommodations (3–5 stars based on the categorization before 1 January 2010).

As regards the seasonality of the products, there are no significant differences on the whole. At the same time, it has to be mentioned that a larger number of guests can be experienced during the spring and autumn period, while wellness tourism is more characterised by weekly seasons (weekend consumption is more typical).

 

By enlisting the most frequently visited Hungarian settlements (Napi Turizmus 2010/40, 2010.03.01.: Magyarország leglátogatottabb települései 2009-ben, http://.www.turizmusonline.hu/cikk.php?id=27530) based on the guests nights spent in commercial accommodations by domestic and foreign guests, the ranking contains locations that are popular on the health tourism market, such as Budapest, Hévíz, Hajdúszoboszló, Bük, Zalakaros and Sárvár. Concerning the need for health tourism, domestic tourism shows an improving tendency. The young, already working age group gladly visits domestic wellness hotels and uses the related services. Based on this, we can argue that the demand for similar services is ensured on the long-run. The main markets for health tourism oriented holidays in Hungary are the German-speaking and East-European countries. Hungary is an increasingly popular health tourism destination among Italians (Turizmus Panoráma Bulletin, 2010/30:2010.02.12.: Magyarország az egyik legnépszerűbb egészségturisztikai desztináció az olaszok körében) and Russians (Az oroszokat elsősorban Budapest gyógyfürdői és kultúrája vonzza). Over time, approximation of business tourism, mainly conference tourism and health tourism, became observable. For the approach of this touristic product to further tourism products, see Chapter 6.



Main indicators related to health tourism: travel motivations of domestic/foreign guests, respectively data of medical and wellness hotels (http://itthon.hu/szakmai-oldalak/statisztikai-adatok/statisztikai-adatok).

Table 4: Turnover of medical hotels in 2007, 2008, and 2009




 




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