Keywords: trends, health tourism, medical tourism,
Abstract: Although consumer and tourism trends vary destination by destination, some mainstream development focusing on technology, sustainability, health consciousness – and recently shared economy – forms the environment for tourism receiving areas. Big data and mobile technology influences mostly tourism which results personalisation. However, the main ‘essence’ of travel experience remains something similar, namely feeling happier, better rested, closer to the family, less stressed and more relaxed (Euromonitor 2015). Population ageing, lifestyle changes, tourism alternatives, and particularities of healthcare systems are supporting health tourism development already for some decades (García-Altés, 2005). All these trends influence the Off to Spas project’s success in a positive way, because the health tourism destinations involved offer a non-conventional, innovative way of travel experience, outside of the tourism hot points. The health tourism product is to be developed also in line with mainstream trend by providing a contribution to an increased health status, and quality of life. The Off to Spas project has a clear remit and the terms of reference make our task clear, as we address the health tourism experience of senior citizens (50+) within the European Union. However what becomes clear is that closer scrutiny reveals that there is greater complexity involved in the remit than would be at first appear. As will become obvious, the environment we are operating within lacks definitional and operational certainty. Therefore this article attempts to set out some health tourism trends.