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Abstract

Health tourism represents a promising niche still insufficiently exploited in Europe and Switzerland. Hiking has been a popular tourist activity for years and staying healthy is an important motivation for hiking. However, physical and psychological limitations in potential hik- ers often represent an unsurmountable barrier to complete a particular path. This mismatch between trail and user results in a poor visitor ex- perience, affecting negatively both the user and the touristic destination. This paper presents SanTour, a novel concept in health tourism centered on the needs of visitors by considering their physical capacities and lim- its, as well as their expectations. SanTour exploits two main knowledge bases: one centered on the user, including a health profile, and another centered on the hiking trails. In a pilot phase, the concept has been prototyped and tested on a limited scale, with support from a tourist of- fice in Switzerland. We plan to further develop this application that will provide an innovative service to hikers by cross-referencing their physical abilities and the characteristics of the hiking trails.

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