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Sensitising for a new market

"Health Care meets Tourism" workshop: Cure destinations are perfect

 
   

Munich (July 9, 2010). The potential is tremendous but where are the investors? Health properties are promising reliable and stable yields; however, the scepticism concerning this new market segment remains high. One reason for this are lacking definitions and missing elaborate concepts, which can be focused either on tourism and guests or on hospitals and patients. Predestined for the establishment of health properties are, among others, health resorts and therapeutic spas. However, they have to do image work and raise awareness as well, just like the advocates of health properties. But the demographic development is playing into their hands in the meantime. The first workshop of the leading Austrian tourism consultancy Kohl & Partner in Germany attracted about 50 interested people from various industries last Monday. In the Hilton Munich Park, a lively discussion about the mixing of destinations and real estate, health and medical tourism took place. hospitalityInside.com was media partner of this premiere.

Every fourth girl born today can theoretically become 100 years old. This was the introduction of Insa Luedtke, presenter of the one-day workshop. Before the hair of this generation turns grey, the subject of health in old age will have captured millions of people. The share of population of the 30 to 40-year olds will become the "old age mountain" of our society in ten to 20 years. The need of senior citizen residences and nursing homes will increase considerably. On the market, new forms of living and nursing are already emerging. One of them is the "health property" (see links).

Two of the experts saw great potential for this subject in the workshop: Dr. Otto Ziegler, Undersecretary for Tourism in the Bavarian Economics Ministry and Klaus Holetschek, Executive Member of Deutscher Kur- und Heilbaeder-Verband representing 350 cure destinations in Germany. The marketing motto "Bavaria - A better state of health" shows the way: 26 million guest arrivals and more than 75 million overnight stays ensure the Bavarian State a spending volume of about 25 billion euros per year. 30% of the overnight stays are registered in the 47 Bavarian therapeutic spas and health resorts. And those contribute to the turnover of 1,000 tourism locations in Bavaria - about 24 billion euros per year - with about 3.2 billion euros. However, the vacation trend is shifting here to short stays; stays at health resorts lasting several weeks are decreasing significantly.

  Kohl&Partner
  Red carpet for investors: (from left) Klaus
Holetschek, Gabriela Squarra, Dr. Otto Ziegler
and Werner Taurer are open for any support.

/ photo: map

Cure destinations are equipped with medical basics

"Cure destinatins are the perfect location for senior citizen residences as senior citizens will encounter existing medical care", said Klaus Holetschek providing the link between touristic guests and potential new locals. Cure destinations are also a good location for guests who are preventatively oriented, such as rehab patients. But the expert adds self-critically: nevertheless, these destinations have to learn more about providing appropriate services.

An important driving force in cure cities is, among others, wellness hotels. With their everything-under-one-roof offer, they are indirectly competing with the infrastructure of the entire cure destination and have to distinguish themselves from the interchangeable wellness offers at the same time. Cure destinations and wellness hotels are similarly experiencing the opportunity to distinguish themselves by nature-bound cures (e.g. thermal water, brine). And: in their offers, they are specialising more specifically on individual indicators. "Burnout and psychosomatic problems are already generating a higher demand than gastrointestinal problems," described Werner Taurer, Managing Partner of the Kohl & Partner office in Munich, the development of the market.

Red carpet for investors

That means: there is still enough room for providers and customers to further develop cure destinations, wellness hotels and their respective offers. The old ones are becoming younger, and the young ones are becoming even older. This is a potential, which could be a perfect field for investors. What can be done to lure capital to tourism locations? "Rolling out the red carpet," answered Klaus Holetschek spontaneously. "Everyone at the location, politicians to locals, has to be attuned to the fact that health guests are the future and investors for all kinds of real estate are welcome," added Gabriella Squarra, Managing Director and Cure Director of Bad Reichenhall. Undersecretary Otto Ziegler got to the point: "The communities have to render advance payments – there is no other way."

However, the three of them are making no bones of the fact that everyday life in communities is different. "The communities have to tidy up!" said one participant of the workshop, also a cure director. "The lower levels in communities are blocking many enquiries." There are enquiries from investors in Bavaria - the Bavarian Economics Ministry provides a centre for investments. Viable investors are being given the royal treatment by the highest state authorities. But what use is it if the awareness for a mega market potential has not yet reached the local councils? The only thing that will help here is creating this awareness. And this first workshop about health properties of Kohl & Partner helped contributed to this cause.

Next week: "Hospital meets Hospitality Industry" - the potentials for operators, developers, investors. / Maria Puetz-Willems


 

April 30, 2010 The property gap: Health properties are in high demand - Hotel industry still reluctant

April 9, 2010 Care case Austria: Limitations and opportunities of a complex healthcare system - Background

 

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