Health tourists visiting a highly volatile destination

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23 Scopus citations


The study of health tourism has gained considerable attention during the last decade. There were many attempts to explicitly define this particular segment, but to date, the unique characteristics of this emerging type of tourism and its distinct behavior patterns have not been awarded adequate research attention. The purpose of this study is threefold: first, to empirically define the international health tourist segment visiting Israel by comparing and contrasting it to two other segments: religion motivated and sightseeing tourists; second, to investigate health tourists' destination risk perception vis-a-vis the two other segments; and third, to decipher the paradox of health seekers in a highly volatile destination. The study consists of 76 health motivated tourists; 309 religion motivated tourists and 149 sightseeing tourists. Health motivated tourists, as opposed to their counterparts, were characterized by their perception of the destination mainly in terms of financial and natural disaster and car accidents risk factors. It appears that these risk factors may reflect their preference for staying at the Dead Sea area that has remained relatively peaceful and stable without geo-political acts of terror. Indeed, it seems that health motivated tourists made a wise, logical niche choice within a highly volatile destination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-225
Number of pages21
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • Destination risk perception
  • Health tourism
  • Religious tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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