Friday, 28 September 2012

Welcome to the official Blog of the ERASMUS project WelDest "Health & Well-being in Tourism Destination"

The aim of WelDest is to create a development framework to be used by public bodies, destination management organizations (DMOs) and private companies at tourism destinations willing to strengthen the elements influencing the well-being level of tourists and locals alike. The framework, supported by educational material, enables development of the tourism destination towards a more holistic and sustainable H&WB destination.
The main research question is: How can the destination be developed into a health and well-being destination?
The objectives, each based on the previous objective(s) :
  1. To outline, via research, the key service supply, resources, staff competencies and elements of H&WB at tourist destinations appreciated by both tourists and locals. Research will be conducted on: tourists, managers of local H&WB tourism companies, managers/ experts of e.g. destination development organizations, environmental administration, and health care administration and policy makers.
  2. To identify or strengthen the potential for business opportunities in tourism and leisure and to foster innovation around H&WB based services and destination development

  • To contribute to lifelong learning at various educational levels, between disciplines and related industries. The learning process is supported by the following outcomes :

    • An electronic handbook “Keys to developing a holistic health & well-being tourism destination” (working title), including a self-assessment and development tool, to be used by public and private bodies developing their businesses and destinations. For use in tertiary educational institutions with various types/levels of study, the handbook will be accompanied by course design, including educator instructions.
    • A blog providing industry, academia and citizens with new opportunities to improve and share their knowledge on H&WB and tourism related issues.
    After the completion of WelDest we foresee the following changes:

    Target groups, such as customers, Health and Well-Being and tourism service suppliers, DMOs, and policy makers, will have a better understanding of what constitutes a health and well-beign destination. There will exist a set of health and well-being tourism indicators, definitions and typologies, as well as a self-assessment and development tool for destinations. The target groups will have become familiar with these via dissemination activities in several languages. The indicators and definitions will serve especially the information needs in international tourism.
    The above supports the development and profiling of a destination. This will also facilitate the service suppliers at a destination in developing their offering and marketing. The more detailed recognition and definition of health and well-being elements, especially nature-based resources, can help to (re)vitalize development also in rural areas. A well-defined destination profile helps attract the desired tourist segments whose needs can be better met. This increases customer satisfaction and leads to a holistic destination experience. 
    As citizens’ knowledge about the importance and possibilities of preventative health activities grow, the amount and range of health and well-being services offered by the private sector will increase. This will create job opportunities, for which WelDest research will have also defined the key competencies and skills needed.
    All parties (teachers, researchers, students, industry representatives) involved in WelDest will have been exposed to a European project learning new skills and exchanging knowledge in many areas (e.g. gaining language, cultural, digital, research, subject-area, and project competencies).