Destination Management Organizations and Health Tourism Visual Identification in Central and Eastern Europe
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify and diagnose the activities of national destination management organizations (DMOs) from Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) in the scope of a visual identification of health tourism destinations. Design/Methodology/Approach: The investigations were conducted on three stages: (1) a verification was performed of the existence of national DMOs in CEEC; (2) when making targeted selection, a questionnaire interviews were performed with 16 DMO representatives; (3) desk research was conducted, i.e. an analysis of the contents of the official websites/ portals and social media of DMOs. Findings: The role of health tourism is to grow in the coming years in the opinion expressed by the DMOs examined. The organizations under examination try to address this trend by indicating that health tourism, even at its current stage, constitutes a fairly important tourism product. The current status of the visual identification of HTD created by DMOs in the states under examination is rather poor. A small part of organizations identify themselves directly with the health tourism product. A significant part of the organizations do not undertake any activities in this area. In turn, those that do undertake such activities rely primarily on fairly common elements such as: an internet website, possibly a logo and an advertising slogan. Practical Implications: The results may serve as a point of departure for taking adequate activities aimed promotion at the health tourism product not only by other national DMOs but also by similar organizations on the regional or local level. Originality/Value: The variety of health tourism products available at CEEC puts new tasks for DMOs. The article highlights the important role of the entity that is responsible for the management of the HTD brand.