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Title: Website effectiveness in wellness promotion by portuguese spas
Authors: Joukes, Veronique Nelly Paul Marie
Gerry, Christopher
Keywords: mineral springs spas
website effectiveness
internet promotion
health and wellness tourism
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Until 2004, Portuguese spas were traditionally thought of as establishments in which noninvasive therapies based on naturally occurring sources of mineral water are provided under professional supervision. With the publication of the Decree-Law No. 142/2004, Portuguese legislation regulating spas changed quite dramati- cally: from that moment on, spa-owners, numbering some 40 establishments countrywide, were allowed to open up what had hitherto been a strictly health-orientated sector. Since then much has changed in the Portuguese mineral springs spa market: one of the main innovations has been the introduction of a large variety of services that may be termed ‘wellness treatments’ — therapies not strictly related to pre-existing health conditions. These are now being offered as a product range in their own right, along with traditional medical treatments, thus diversifying the services provided, with all based on the same highly therapeutic naturally occurring mineral water. Thus spa services are no longer just a health product but have also become a tourist attraction, thereby legally formalising something that, to a limited extent, had always been the case. With the change in the services offered, the typical customer profile has also modified significantly: users of today’s spa facilities are younger (between 25 and 45 years of age) than in the past, from the middle- to middle-upper socioeconomic stratum, live in large urban centres, have a reasonably high level of education, and could be either male or female. Such clients often prefer making various short trips over the year to test out different destinations, and choose registered hotels with three or more stars for their stays. The changing client profile has forced firms to adapt the means they employ to establish a growing and loyal client base. Indeed, over the past five years, a large majority of Portuguese spa service providers have significantly upgraded not only their services and infrastructures, but also their use of internet sites. With these changes in mind, the study reported on here aimed to analyse the way such firms currently communicate with prospective clients using the web. The results of this study may offer both Portuguese spas and those in other locations the opportunity to further improve their dialogue with current and potential spa-goers.
Peer Reviewed: yes
Document Type: Article
Appears in Collections:CETRAD - Artigo publicado em Revista Científica Indexada

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