Health and Wellness Tourism: An Overview of Thermal Tourism in Portugal
Over the last decades there has been a growing concern about health, mainly from the population of more developed countries. Health and wellness tourism are growing exponentially and show a great potential worldwide, having also become a strategic product in Portuguese tourism. This study carries out a general approach to health and wellness tourism, its evolution and segmentation worldwide, with special attention to the case of thermal tourism in Portugal. The study object is the potentiality of Portugal as a thermal tourism destination, through the characterisation of its history, supply and demand and aims to evaluate the thermal resources present in the intervention area. The methodology adopted was based on an exploratory and mixed methods approach that integrates qualitative elements and quantitative research, specifically based on a bibliographical review and a case study based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of secondary data concerning the subject. The findings allow an in-depth understanding of the evolution and current state of thermal tourism, providing a comprehensive basis for the development of strategies adapted to the present demand of thermal spas in Portugal.