Wellness Tourism: Using Tourists' Preferences To Evaluate The Wellness Tourism Market In Jamaica
AbstractThis study sought to evaluate the general wellness preferences of tourists in Jamaica as there is little information to support the body of knowledge on these tourists' wellness preferences to Jamaica and to successfully facilitate segmentation in the wellness tourism market. Therefore, a framework is needed to align the push factors of tourists’ wellness expectations with the pull factors of tourism's offerings.The research examined the tourists' socio - demographic profile, their travel characteristics and the importance of wellness to them. Additionally, it investigated preferred amenities and services, the natural resources associated with particular accommodations, the type of accommodations preferred for a wellness vacation and the locations' attractive attributes. The quantitative results showed that wellness was important however, young people, retirees and higher income earners were not well represented. Strong preferences exists for natural remedies, wellness competencies and mind therapies. Low preferences exist for culinary tours, mineral baths, community involvement and nature experiences. Despite the location's reported physical attractiveness , hotels were preferred for a wellness vacation and many natural and historic features were unexplored.The findings suggest that tourists have aligned themselves with the existing tourism offerings and that the preferences identified can facilitate ‘new forms’ of tourism. There may be an alignment with the vocational training system, tourism marketing efforts and international standards. Infrastructural development may also be facilitated around naturally occurring springs, heritage sites, historical buildings and unexplored natural highlights. Local businesses and communities may also benefit from the unique wellness preferences. This emphasis will subsequently support workplace wellness and primary health care.
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