Health tourism: Needs for healing experience and intentions for transformation in wellness resorts in Korea

Jae Yeon Yang, Soyon Paek, Taegoo (Terry) Kim, Tae Hee Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of tourists’ needs for healing experience (NHE) on behavioral intentions for transformation (BIT) with healing involvement (HI) as a mediator. Using the two sub-constructs of BIT in the tourism industry (i.e. selection of healing tour products and transformational intention of healing tour behavior), this study evaluates BIT. Design/methodology/approach – The survey was administered to visitors in healing resorts/centers in Korea; 383 completed surveys were used to investigate the hypothesized relationships of this study using regression analysis. Findings – The study results confirmed the hypothesized relationships: the positive effects of NHE on BIT and the significant mediating role of HI in the relationships between NHE and BIT. Practical implications – The relationships among NHE, HI and BIT can improve the understanding and practices of healing experience and the development of healing products in the tourism industry. This study offers a meaningful and extended perspective on customers’ experience and product development by interpreting customers’ desires and needs. Originality/value – This study explores the under-researched subject of NHE and HI from a transformative economic perspective. The study is among the first to examine the structural relationships among NHE, HI and BIT. The uniqueness of the study is highlighted by the use of two sub-dimensions of the BIT industry (i.e. selection of healing tour products and transformational intention of healing tour behavior) in a tourism context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1881-1904
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral intentions
  • Consumer behavior
  • Experience economy
  • Experience marketing
  • Healing involvement
  • Healing tour behavior
  • Health
  • Health tourism
  • Korea
  • Motivation
  • Tourism development
  • Wellness resorts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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