Adriatic Health and Vitality Network
Date du début: 28 févr. 2011,
Date de fin: 27 févr. 2014
Medical (health) tourism is an important economic niche, which can contribute to the growth of sustainable tourism in the Adriatic region. The region all the way from Slovenia to Montenegro can offer trusted European standards of healthcare, with sophisticated European flavor, rich historical and cultural heritage, as well as high quality, healthful options for gastronomy and comfortable accommodations. Adriatic medical tourism will encompass conventional healthcare, spa tourism, retirement communities, alternative health services, healthy lifestyle tourism with outdoor nature-based activities, cultural activities, and gastronomy. Specific medical tourism services were already assessed in selected Adriatic regions (e.g. dental tourism in B-H, general medical check-ups in Slovenia). However, some key challenges remain. Medical tourism providers are lacking strategic focus, in general the level of marketing and management skills is low, they are not well networked in domestic and international market, and they do not offer a range of service packages necessary to attract tourists. Though the quality and price of medical/health services are competitive, it is necessary for them to collaborate in networks and thus integrate their offer into attractive, high quality “health and vitality tourist experience”. Other challenges are: short, highly concentrated tourist season, concentration of tourism in seaside areas, poor tourism infrastructure in inland areas, lack of diversity, creativity and quality in package offerings, low level of co-operative marketing, generally low level of service sensitivity, lack of connectivity between tourism operators and academic institutions. The AHVN project integrates beneficiaries from private sector (Hotel Marita), major faculties in the field of tourism and medical education (School of Economics and Business Sarajevo, School of Dentistry), municipalities (City of Buzet), NGO-s (Green Home, Assoc. Healthy Entrepreneur). As agreed by the six initial AHVN partners from Obalno Kraška Region (SLO), Istra (CRO), Sarajevo Economic Region (B-H), Podgorica (MNE) the overall objective of the AHVN is to stimulate sustainable health tourism within and between the partner regions, increasing high-value tourist visits within the market niches of medical, alternative health tourism, spa and active lifestyles tourism. By strengthening networks and supporting entrepreneurs and institutions, the AHVN's specific objectives are: -to encourage high quality tourism products integrated with local and regional cultural and natural heritage offerings. This network aims to merge healthy food, good accommodation, recreational activities, medical & wellness services, and authentic culture into unique tourist experience networked throughout the Adriatic region; - to enhance inland tourism and expand the tourist season, thus relieving some of the pressure from the current focus on high season seaside tourism; - to train and network local health tourism service providers for high-quality tourism service delivery.The AHVN expected outputs are: (1) at least 50 tourist service providers identified and integrated into the Network, (2) two joint AHVN conferences implemented (participation of over 100 people), (3) joint trademark/brand and 5 specific health tourism service standard criteria identified and applied, (4) the AHVN web-site and promotional materials created individually presenting each of the 4 regions, (5) The AHVN Marketing Strategy and Action Plan for each local network developed, (6) within the direct support to the local networks for capacity building at least 10 initiatives implemented with altogether over 100 tourism service providers trained. Each beneficiary will be responsible for at least one local health network and will participate with staffing and financing. The cross-border partnership is formed in a way which will enable financial and institutional sustainability.
Radosava Burića, Podgorica, Montenegro
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