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Abstract

Wellness tourism is estimated to be a US (dollar) 439 billion market and projected to grow to US (dollar) 678.5 billion by 2017 (Global Wellness Institute, 2014). Given the growth of wellness tourism destinations and facilities, it was determined that student perceptions on the importance and priority of key factors related to wellness tourism and associated the economic and social cultural aspects would contribute to better understanding future demand of wellness tourism. A survey conducted in spring 2013 showed that to support the development of wellness tourism the following four items are both important and should be treated as top priority. The four items are: “to inspire self-empowerment to pursue a healthier lifestyle”; “to increase affordable wellness offers”; “to promote prevention as a solution to reduce healthcare costs”; and “to create jobs in the local community”. The implications and related research ideas are discussed. Future research should be focused on the links between wellness and long term reduction in health care costs.

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