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The country’s economic strength, people’s living standards continue to improve, and the increasing demographic structure of the aging population, the tourism market has turned its attention to the health tourism market . By analyzing the current situation of China’s population size, the benefits of developing health tourism in destinations and the costs required, it shows that China is suitable for the development of health tourism, and the share of demand for health tourism will continue to increase as people become more aware of health.

The aging population of our country is increasing. The seventh national census showed that the population aged 0-14 was 253.38 million, accounting for 17.95% of the total. The population aged 15-59 was 894.38 million, accounting for 63.35%; The population aged 60 and above is 264.02 million, accounting for 18.70 % (among which, the population aged 65 and above is 190.64 million, accounting for 13.50 %). Compared with 2010, the proportions of the population aged 0-14, 15-59 and 60 and above increased by 1.35 percentage points, 6.79 percentage points and 5.44 percentage points respectively. The proportion of children in China’s population has risen, and the adjustment of the family planning policy has achieved positive results. At the same time, the aging of population is further deepened, and the long-term balanced development of population will continue to face pressure in the future[footnoteRef:0] [data source: National Bureau of Statistics]. . With the increasing proportion of aging population, the demand for health is more and more urgent, so the share of health tourism in China’s tourism market will continue to increase. [0: Data source: National Statistical Office.]

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With the development of society and the improvement of living standards, the increase of aging structure and the general emergence of sub-health, people pay more attention to some healthy ways of traveling. Here, the health tourism we are talking about mainly refers to recreation tourism, , mainly including leisure tourism, health tourism, medicinal food tourism, pension tourism and so on.

The benefits for a destination to develop health tourism.

The share of tourism revenue is increasing in the share of gross domestic product. Here, we take the development of health tourism in Zhangjiajie as an example to explain what the benefit for a destinations to develop health tourism .

Zhangjiajie City in Hunan Province is a tourism-oriented city, with the province’s forestry tourism, recreation and leisure exceeding 180 million visitors in 2019. It has the famous quartz sand peak forest of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, for visitors to appreciate the magical landscape of nature; Zhangjiajie Jiangya Spa base is a comprehensive health and recuperation base integrating hot spring bathing, fitness, diet and accommodation. Yongshun Laosi City site is China’s largest and most well-preserved ancient Tusi city site with the longest history. It was included in the World Heritage List in 2015 and is popular with elderly visitors.

Health tourism Can promote the development of local economy.The development of health tourism requires a large amount of capital investment for a short period of time to improve the construction of attractions and transportation systems.But subsequently,after the marketing of the tourism market, a large number of tourists will be attracted to the local consumption, which will not only increase the local financial income, but also increase employment opportunities and improve the income of local residents . Zhangjiajie is a city with ecological health tourism as its main focus. The contribution of tourism to the GDP is increasing year by year and occupies more and more share, which shows that the development of health tourism plays a role in promoting the economic development of Zhangjiajie.

Source: Hunan Provincial Bureau of Statistics

With the development of health tourism in the local, local construction will be more perfect. With the continuous improvement of people’s living standards, people’s demand for tourism is also constantly improving. In order to attract more tourists, local infrastructure should be improved, such as transportation, accommodation, consumption, urban construction and so on.

In recent years, zhangjiajie has built zhanglian Road, Zhuhe Road, downtown bus station and Sangzhi west Bus Station to support the urban infrastructure construction, and completed the main project of the city museum. Four sewage treatment plants were put into operation, with a sewage treatment rate of 59.9 percent. 5,492 kilometers of new rural roads were upgraded. We increased or improved the irrigated area of farmland by 2.18 million mu, and provided safe drinking water for 100,500 rural residents. In 2009, wulingyuan District carried out a pilot project for rural garbage management. In 2010, the whole city implemented a three-year action plan for Rural garbage management. In 2011, the continuous improvement of rural environment was launched. At present, 47 regional drinking water source protection projects have been completed, 2,728 decentralized sewage treatment facilities, 10 centralized sewage treatment facilities, 1,194 livestock and poultry manure treatment facilities, and 92,200 biogas digesters. [footnoteRef:1]”[Ecological city Construction in Zhangjiajie under the background of” Two-oriented Society “, Journal of Hunan University of Finance and Economics, Vol. 38, No. 138 (August 2012), pp. 52-56.] . [1: Li Zongli, “Research on ecological city construction in Zhangjiajie in the context of “two types of society””, Journal of Hunan College of Finance and Economics, vol. 38, no. 138 (August 2012), pp. 52-56. ]

Preserve local heritage and restore the original landscape of the environment. A place can develop into a tourist attraction with its own unique place. In order to develop tourism, local valuable cultural relics must be protected and built into a tourist attraction for visitors to visit. The local government or the host will shoulder the responsibility of protecting cultural relics and the natural ecological environment in order to sustain ticket revenue and additional consumption.

Puguang Temple is an important cultural landscape in Zhangjiajie city. Its main building was built in the 11th year of Yongle in Ming Dynasty (1413 AD). From 1983 to 1989, the cultural relics department carried out comprehensive maintenance of Puguang Temple, and in 1984, the cultural relics Management Office was established[footnoteRef:2].[ Jiang Hongying: Research on tourism Development status and Countermeasures of Puguang Temple in Zhangjiajie, Enterprise Culture, No. 6, (2012), pp. 149-150.] . [2: Jiang Hongying, , Enterprise Culture, Vol. 6, (2012), pp. 149-150.]

Measures taken by the Zhangjiajie Forestry Bureau to protect some flora and fauna: constantly optimizing the site selection and design of the relocation of the giant salamander protection base, speeding up the project land formalities and other work to promote the early implementation of the project. Scientific planning and construction of the national forest recreation base in Buzijie, high-quality ecotourism, and active prevention and control of pine worm disease[footnoteRef:3][source: Hunan Forestry Bureau http://lyj.hunan.gov.cn/ time: 2021-09-17 18:38].. [3: Source: Hunan Provincial Forestry Bureau http://lyj.hunan.gov.cn/ Time: 2021-09-17 18:38]

The costs for a destination to develop health tourism.

The cost of healthy tourism mainly includes the investment of basic supporting facilities, good natural environment related to health tourism, moderate distance of scenic spots, sustainable development of tourist attractions to attract tourists and so on.

Investment in supporting infrastructure. To develop the local tourism economy, it is necessary to improve the local infrastructure, such as the overall planning of the city, local road planning, accommodation, food and other issues. Basic supporting facilities mainly include: transportation, accommodation, intermediary platform and so on.

Convenient transportation system. Tourists usually choose cities with convenient transportation as their tourist destinations. Transportation is the foundation of developing tourism economy.In August 1994, the “Dayong Airport” in Zhangjiajie City started to operate. In order to make the transportation between urban areas and scenic spots more convenient, and to provide travelers with more diversified choices in the six tourism elements of food, accommodation, transportation, entertainment, tourism and shopping, Zhangjiajie City spent 3.73 billion yuan in 2006 to build the Wuling Mountain Avenue with a total length of 28.35 kilometers in 21 months. Zhangjiajie’s urban public transportation is also being improved to provide travelers with convenient transportation to reach the attractions.

Adequate accommodation resources. Local development of healthy tourism economy, the accommodation problem of tourists is urgently needed to solve. In order to promote visitors’ consumption, providing good accommodation for visitors can better promote visitors’ consumption desire and increase the development of local economy. With the improvement of people’s living standard, people’s choice of accommodation will also be diversified. In order to cater to the needs of tourists, the local community should build some B&Bs, short-term apartments and family hotel for tourists to choose from, in addition to the construction of ordinary hotels.

Marketing using intermediary platforms. With the growth of technology, people are relying more and more on online platforms for referrals and customization of their travels. Ctrip, Tuniu, Honeycomb and other such websites can provide services such as tickets, accommodation and arrangement of some travel routes for customers. Local service providers can take advantage of the online platforms and selectively cooperate with the relevant platforms to expand the number of travelers.

There is a good natural environment on which the development of health tourism depends. Health tourism requires more of a good local natural environment that can provide a range of services in close proximity. The distance to other attractions should be moderate. Local attention should be paid to the choice of location and the investment in nearby amenities when establishing health tourism attractions. People who take health tours are more interested in returning to nature and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and can bring a sense of relaxation and happiness to themselves during the tour. Zhangjiajie’s Jiangya Hot Spring Recreation Base is a comprehensive recreation base that integrates hot springs, health exercises, accommodation, retirement and food. There is also the famous Puguang Temple nearby for visitors to worship, and you can also visit the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in the Danxia landform.

Continuously explore attractions that are attractive enough to attract tourists. If the local community wants to better develop its health tourism economy, then it needs to have features that attract the tourists’ eyes. The local should continue to invest in the renewal of tourism projects as well as their maintenance, increase the investment of resources in the tourism market, explore more up-to-date tourism elements, and appropriately draw on and introduce some projects that match the local tourism projects.


In modern society, especially the outbreak of the COVID-19, people’s health awareness has been constantly improved, and health tourism activities have been paid attention to. The children of the elderly are more willing to participate in health tourism. China is an aging country, the proportion of the aging structure is increasing, starting from China’s actual national conditions, from the needs and harvest of the elderly, the development of health tourism is an important project in China’s tourism market. Developing health tourism is also an important source of income for local economy.

GDP(Zhangjiajie) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 203.1 242.48 298.04 338.99 365.65 410.02 447.7 497.6 tourism income(one hundred million RMB) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 100.2 125.32 167.31 208.72 212.29 248.7 340.7 443.1 Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 RATE(%) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 0.493353028064993 0.516826129990102 0.561367601664206 0.615711377916753 0.580582524271845 0.606555777766938 0.761000670091579 0.890474276527331

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