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Consumers` satisfaction and attitudes to health tourism in the Varna region

Mihaela Stefanova, Kremena Georgieva, Nikolina Toteva-Kircheva, Galina Petrova

Abstract

Introduction: Modern lifestyle and the increasing number of chronic diseases prompt people to look for new ways for recovery. One of them is health tourism. It helps people to maintain, stabilize and re­store their physical and mental condition. The aim of the research is to study the attitudes of consum­ers towards the health tourism opportunities in the Varna region.

Materials and methods: The research is based on a quantitative sociological survey, using a semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire consists of 19 questions arranged into two sections, ex­ploring rehabilitation procedures on one hand and opportunities for health tourism on another. The survey was carried out among 119 tourists in the Varna region between 1st and 14th December 2017.

Results: Consumers of recreation and rehabilitation health services assess the health tourism services in the Varna region positively in general (`excellent` - 7.6%, `very good` - 28% and `good` - 33.9%). Among the strengths of the Varna region as a health tourism destination, the respondents point out the favourable location (44.8%), high quality and complexity of the tourist products, including an op­portunity to combine health services with other forms of alternative tourism, such as cultural, eco­logical, rural (42.2%). Among the weak points of Varna as a destination are the polluted environment (39%), the outdated facilities (36%), and the lack of modern medical equipment (28%). Users find spe­cific information about the destination mainly on the Internet (75%) and get advice from friends and acquaintances (49.1%).

Conclusions: Although the Varna region possesses all required prerequisites to become a preferred destination for health tourism, there is a need to streamline the users` sources of information and to improve the image of the region as a destination for health tourism, together with an improvement of the environment and providers` infrastructure.


Keywords

consumers; satisfaction; attitudes; health tourism; Varna; region




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/ssvs.v2i0.4682

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