The Innovations and Learning in spa management (ILIS) project will combine the experience and knowledge of five academic partners and their industrial associates in spa management in Finland, Poland, Austria, United Kingdom and Spain. The project will be conducted in English but will also include aspects of the partners’ languages and cultural education.Spa tourism is widely acknowledged as a core element of the health and wellness movement which covers a broad spectrum of holistic, curative and preventative activities. Spa tourism is a growing activity throughout Europe as “the ageing population and an increasing concern for health are likely to drive a growth in demand for health tourism products and spa services.” - EU (COM, 2006,134 Final).The experience of spa goers in the various partner countries is variable in the nature of treatments offered, the standards of service provided and the training that the spa managers and the operatives delivering the treatments have experienced.This project will undertake research into the elements detailed above. Resulting from these findings we will design virtual learning environment (VLE) training modules in spa management that will be accessible to all partners and a disseminated group of academics and spa owners in the EU. The project will comprise of six work packages delivered over two years and will encompass:1 Spa concepts analysis and market research into existing spa facilities and customer demand for treatments2 Design, preparation and testing of VLE educational modules3 Quality management of the entire project4 Dissemination of findings to partners and the spa industry5 Exploitation of the results of the project by publication of results in academic and trade journals, at conferences and distribution of the educational modules.It is anticipated that the project will result in the production of a current market research report, four educational VLE modules and various academic papers and articles that will be of interest to the health tourism academic and business communities.ILIS will provide the European spa business sector with intelligence and training opportunities to encourage and stimulate the conditions for continuing competition with other areas of the world for this growing area of the tourism market.
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