The Economic Impact of Health Tourism Programmes

  • Celeste Eusébio
  • Maria João Carneiro
  • Elisabeth Kastenholz
  • Helena Alvelos


The increasing awareness of the benefits that tourism brings to visitors and to destinations, and of the existence of groups with constraints to participate in tourism, has contributed to a rise of social tourism programmes worldwide. Since long, health is one of main issues of social concern. Additionally, the increase of life expectancy and population ageing is a marking feature of modern societies. Taking into consideration that seniors tend to suffer several constraints to participate in tourism, some related to health problems, the development of social health tourism programmes for this segment is crucial. The development of this kind of programmes also results in important economic benefits to tourism destinations. This chapter presents a methodology to quantify the total economic benefits – direct, indirect and induced – of a social tourism programme. This methodology was used to quantify the total economic benefits of a Portuguese social tourism programme focused on health tourism for the senior market in 2007. The empirical study shows that this social tourism programme has high multiplier effects, and originates considerable economic impacts for the national economy in terms of output, employment, household income and value added. The results provide useful inputs for the development of social tourism programmes aiming at maximizing the economic benefits of these programmes.


Multiplier Effect Package Tour Output Multiplier Senior Population Portuguese Economy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celeste Eusébio
    • 1
  • Maria João Carneiro
    • 1
  • Elisabeth Kastenholz
    • 1
  • Helena Alvelos
    • 1
  1. 1.DEGEIUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal

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