Health, Wellness, and Happiness: A Demand Analysis


  • Joana Quintela Portucalense University – Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, REMIT – Research on Economics, Management and Information Technologies, Portugal
  • Carlos Costa University of Aveiro, Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, GOVCOPP – Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, Portugal
  • Anabela Correia Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal – School of Business Sciences, GOVCOPP – Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, Portugal



Health, Wellness, Tourism, Happiness, Demand, Portugal


Wellness Tourism is one of the most promising niche markets within the tourism field worldwide, assuming a recognized role in the global tourist scenario. In socio-demographic terms, it is related to some of the major contemporary international trends and is intrinsically related to population ageing and the increase in life expectancy. That has a set of consequences to tourist phenomena, based on the demand for unique and true experiences and products, that include health services, mainly in tourist destinations with more accessible costs, with infrastructure and natural conditions conducive to well-being. This paper analyses the contribution of Health and Wellness Tourism in the improvement of Happiness levels of the ones who experience these kinds of services. In this research, the analysis is focused on the demand side, considering health and wellness users and tourists in Portugal, providing a sociodemographic characterization, observing their travel behaviour, assessing their satisfaction with the health and wellness experience, and the levels of happiness obtained. The results demonstrate the potential of health and wellness tourism on the contribution to the happiness of users, according to their different profiles. It also evidences the impact of the frequency of use of this type of service on the improvement of happiness levels. Theoretical and practical implications for the development of health and wellness tourism from a marketing perspective are provided, complemented with a set of proposals for future research.