Wednesday, 8 January 2014

International WelDest Focus Group in Austria

Just before the beginninf of the new year,the Austrian team organized a focus group to discuss the current research results in the WelDest project. Industry and associated partners accepted the invitiation. Prof. Kai Illing presented the main esearch results and the partners discussed its meaning.

To give you an impression of the meeting we produced a short video presentation.

The partners commented on the research results. Here you'll find extracts from some of the comments.

 Petra Gangl is not surprised about the results. As a tourism manager, she knows that it is very difficult to manage and develop infrastructure and resources without hotels which are willing to offer health-related services. 
 Kai Illing commented that there is „XUNDHEITSWELT“ in Austria, which is one of the best practice examples of a H&WB destination in Austria. This area has only one wellness-related hotel and the rest are clinics and a thermal bath.
 Petra Gangl pointed out that a regional tourism board can help provide a good basis for wellness-related hotels.

 Helmut Simi stated that it is absolutely essential that service chains are not disconnected, and that there has to be a balance between the quality of services offered and quality issues. „Does the offer on the paper correspond with the offer in reality?“ - This is one of the major questions in his work, and he can also see it in the research.

 Frank Amort stated that cross-sector cooperation of all partners in a region is essential for regional development and also keeping health promoting projects alive. „Tourism needs politics and vice versa!“ Another point in the research results which he found very interesting was that the consumers did not mention medical infrastructure as much as the stakeholders did.

 Karin Gebhardt did not find a conflict between quality and price level. For her there exists a great chance for all participants of the market do the best job to guarantee best quality for affordable prices. It is her experience that guests want to have cognitive stimulation during their stay, from things like cultural offerings or sports activities. Petra Gangl commented that the guest in Attergau also wants to have this cognitive stimulation but only if they stay for a longer period of time; more than one week.

 Christian Husak emphasized the importance of regional creation of added value. For him networking is one of the central topics. Becoming a H&WB destination can lead to an USP if it is done right.

After the session, the Austrian team with Kai Illing and Daniel Binder presented the WelDest framework model, which lead to some interesting discussion about its aims and topics.

The strengths of the current model are that it is very sophisticaed, and has a great chance to become an instrument for developing Health and Well-being destination. But we should also consider more health-related aspects and use easier and better understandable language.

Best regards from Austria,
Daniel Binder