“In Search For New Urban Tourism Niche. Could European Cities Be Destinations For Urban Wellness Providing Food for Body, Mind and Spirit?”

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According to the United Nations Population Fund (2020), half of the world’s population live in cities, and the number is estimated to rise to 75% by 2050. Although urbanization is seen as a major challenge from a health point of view, the development of urban wellness tourism offering would ideally benefit both tourists and locals. The growth rate of wellness tourism during the years 2015–2017 was almost twice as fast as global economic growth. Holistic wellness refers to the balanced elements of body, mind and spirit. This study argues that many European city destinations could provide the holistic wellness elements to their visitors.

Tourism destinations continue competing with each other in a globalised marketplace, even more post-Covid-19. As a result, cities will invest considerable resources in their marketing activities and place branding. By recognizing and highlighting wellness tourism offering in their marketing, some urban Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) could stand out in this growing competition and get their share of wellness tourism growth.

This study examines, which elements contributing to holistic wellness are currently being displayed on the visit.com websites of selected urban DMOs (N = 32) in the European Union. This is done using qualitative content analysis methodology. The findings indicate that there are several European cities that already display elements of urban wellness in their marketing. The practical implication for the DMOs in question could be to actively start developing their place brands towards urban wellness tourism niche by highlighting the supply of urban wellness they already have, for example, at their visit.com sites.
Translated title of the contribution"Uutta kaupunkimatkailun markkinarakoa etsimässä. Voisivatko eurooppalaiset kaupungit olla urbaanin hyvinvoinnin kohteita, jotka tarjoavat ravintoa keholle, mielelle ja hengelle?".
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2022
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Destination Management Organisations, urban tourism, wellness tourism, digital marketing, place branding
  • urban tourism
  • wellness tourism
  • digital marketing
  • place branding
  • Destination Management Organisations

Field of science

  • Tourism research


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