Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Tourism Recreation Research

For a Special Issue on

Health-Oriented Tourism: Emerging Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Abstract deadline
30 April 2024

Manuscript deadline
31 August 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Catheryn Khoo, Torrens University Australia
[email protected]

Ranjana Tiwari, Jain (Deemed to be University), India
[email protected]

Melanie Kay Smith, Budapest Business University, Budapest
[email protected]

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Health-Oriented Tourism: Emerging Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Health-oriented tourism has gained a lot of attention lately and has given a lot to people from all sections of society (Lee et al., 2020). Health-oriented tourism is a broad concept that covers various dimensions of spa tourism (Schmude et al., 2021), wellness and well-being tourism (Karn & Swain, 2017), medical tourism (Osadchuk et al., 2020) and the significance of Ayurveda (Khayamali & Kayamali, 2021) related to health-oriented tourism at all levels of prevention.

Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) 1 (End poverty in  all its forms everywhere), health-oriented tourism has been seen as a  tool to alleviate poverty, boost the local economy by developing new businesses, employment opportunities, and improve the quality of life for the residents (Aman, 2022; Beladi et al., 2019). Wellbeing and wellness, an important part of Health-oriented tourism has been a particularly strong driver of growth, with more and more people seeking travel experiences prioritizing health, fitness, relaxation, and rejuvenation. This trend has been driven by a range of factors, including increasing awareness of the importance of self-care, rising interest in alternative and holistic health practices, and a desire for more meaningful and transformative travel experiences (Sivanandamoorthy, 2021). As a result, the health-oriented industry has been expanding rapidly, with new wellness and wellbeing-focused hotels, resorts, restaurants and spas opening up worldwide.

Further, health-oriented tourism can contribute to the goal of ending hunger by supporting local communities economically. The growing number of wellness travelers prioritizing locally grown food over fast-food chains continues to proliferate globally (Tiwari & Hashmi, 2022). This has led to developing new lifestyles and a holistic food-based approach. This can help local farmers provide their families with nutritious food and earn a living from selling their produce (SDG 2). Furthermore, the development of the health-oriented tourism industry can also contribute to establishing public health structures designed to accommodate the needs of tourists. It can also provide various activities that promote the tourists' or community's mental and physical health (SDG 3; SDG 9; SDG 11). The industry can help develop local infrastructure projects, which can be more sustainable and resource-efficient and reduce the industry's carbon footprint (Dwyer, 2022). Health-oriented tourists prefer a skilled wellness workforce who perform local well-being practices (Tiwari & Hashmi, 2022), evidenced by the numerous employment opportunities it provides for women, minorities, and youth.

Although there has been much research on the various dimensions health- oriented tourism such as health-oriented tourism (Schlemmer et al., 2019), health-oriented tourists (Lee et al., 2020), health tourism (Wong et al., 2020), medical tourism (De la Hoz-Correa et al., 2018) the conceptual models of well-being and wellness tourism (Anggraeni et al., 2020; Jamin et al., 2020; Kemppainen et al., 2021), wellness tourism (Aleksijevits, 2019; Árpási, 2018; Kessler et al., 2020; Tuzunkan, 2018), wellness destination image (Anggraeni et al., 2020; Dini & Pencarelli, 2021; Global et al., 2022; Kemppainen et al., 2021; Thal & Hudson, 2019), and wellness tourism models (Shafhruddin & Madhavan, 2020; He et al, 2022), studies on holistic health-oriented tourism remains fragmented.

Further, sustainability has become an increasingly important consideration for both investors and customers in the health-oriented travel industry. With the rising awareness of human activity's impact on the environment and a growing interest in personal well-being, many people seek wellness businesses aligning with their values and priorities. Investors recognize the potential for sustainable wellness and health-oriented tourism businesses to meet consumers' needs and impact the environment and local communities positively. As a result, there has been a growing interest in sustainable investing and funding for health-oriented tourism businesses that prioritize sustainability practices. These include using eco-friendly materials and products, implementing energy-efficient systems, reducing waste and carbon emissions, and supporting local communities.

Given the significant potential of health-oriented tourism to contribute to the UNSDGS, but the equally potent issues of sustainable production and consumption of health-oriented products; management of water and sanitation at wellness resorts/ destinations; inclusive, safe, and sustainable wellness practices; sustainable health-oriented infrastructure; gender equality & women empowerment, this special issue aims to explore the role of health-oriented tourism in achieving Sustainable Development Goals 2030; and uncover the emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities. This special issue aims to generate awareness about health-oriented tourism, its principles, products, and practices that directly or indirectly aim toward SDGs by inviting full-length theoretical, empirical, and case-based research papers.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Conceptualizations and theoretical perspectives on health-oriented, well-being, and wellness tourism
  • Real-life application of emerging frameworks to advance health-oriented tourism
  • Customer perspectives of health-oriented tourism, including wellbeing, wellness, and medical tourism
  • Organizational perspectives of health-oriented tourism
  • Market opportunities and challenges for health-oriented tourism
  • Destination marketing and management for health-oriented tourism
  • The role of health-oriented tourism in social sustainability
  • The role of health-oriented tourism in cultural sustainability
  • The role of wellbeing and wellness in individual transformative tourism
  • Entrepreneurship opportunities and practices in health-oriented tourism
  • Service delivery of health-oriented, wellness and well-being tourism
  • Workforce issues and their impact for health-oriented tourism in social sustainability
  • Education, training and skills for health-oriented tourism
  • Innovation and technology in health-oriented tourism

Submission Instructions

General author guidelines of Tourism Recreation Research to be followed


  • Call for Papers is issued: February 28, 2024
  • Submission of abstracts: April 30, 2024
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: May 31, 2024
  • Submission of full papers: August 31, 2024
  • Peer review reports: October 30, 2025
  • Authors to revise and resubmit based on peer review reports: December 15 , 2024

A 300-word abstract with 3 -5 keywords to be emailed to [email protected]



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