Welcome / Research output / Articles / Articles published in other peer-review journals / Assessment of Wellness Tourism Development in Hokkaido: A Multicriteria and Strategic Choice Analysis

Assessment of Wellness Tourism Development in Hokkaido: A Multicriteria and Strategic Choice Analysis

Romão, J., K. Machino, P. Nijkamp (2017), "Assessment of Wellness Tourism Development in Hokkaido: A Multicriteria and Strategic Choice Analysis", Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, 1(1), 265-290.
Abstract:

New lifestyles in contemporary mobile and leisure societies are changing the way people deal with their health, inter alia by attaching an increasing importance to wellbeing and preventive behavior, along with growing concerns on environmental sustainability and with an interest in unique and authentic place-based experiences. This dynamics has far reaching implications for tourism, with wellness products and services showing a significant growth over the past decades, on top of the general growth in tourism services. With a long historical tradition and abundant natural resources potentially related to health and wellness services, the region of Hokkaido (Japan) offers a variety of relevant services in this field. Nevertheless, perhaps new complementary products and services related to health and wellness may be added to the current supply, enlarging the value chain of this sector, with potentially high positive economic and social impacts on the region. Based on interviews and surveys among experts and relevant stakeholders in this field, this paper analyses the potential development and foreseeable impact of wellness services in Hokkaido, by combining different decision-making techniques (multicriteria and strategic choice analysis), with a view to policy recommendations for an integrative diversification of products and services, assuming the onsen (traditional Japanese bath) experience as the core element of tourism supply. In this context, a strategic orientation to external markets seems to be more effective.