Health tourism in the Mediterranean
This chapter focuses on those Mediterranean countries which are also commonly considered to be part of the Balkan region, namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Slovenia and Turkey. The Balkan region has a long history of health tourism, in many cases going back to Roman times. Almost all of the Balkan countries have thermal and mineral waters which have been used for healing in the past and are often still used as the basis for health tourism. However, in some of the countries, a very small percentage of the available waters are actually used for health tourism, and many facilities that do are in need of urgent regeneration. This chapter uses case studies and Delphi panel research to analyze the sustainability of the health tourism sector in these countries, emphasizing the need for future product development and quality enhancement. In addition to spa development and thermal water use, it is argued that the Balkan region has considerable potential in landscape and nature-based activities, gastronomy and, in some cases, medical tourism.