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Specialization option – Management of Health and Wellness Units 2017/2018

  • 5 ECTS
  • Taught in Portuguese
  • Continuous Assessment


1. Describe the various concepts that make up Health and Welfare Tourism in its different aspects and typologies.
2. To recognize the importance of Health and Welfare Tourism in the national and international tourism context, identifying its stages of evolution.
3. Identify the different products of health and wellness tourism.
4. Understand the organizational and operational structure of health and wellness units.
5. Characterize the different functions and categories that make up the organizational and operational structure of health and wellness units.
6. Develop scientific and technical competences in the field of health and wellness unit management, fundamental to efficient, creative and innovative professional performance.
7. Acquire skills, behaviours and techniques to manage, in an integrated way, activities in the field of health and wellness unit management.

Recommended Prerequisites

Non aplicable.

Teaching Metodology

Classes will have a theoretical-practical character (T/P), combining the interactive expository method with the analysis and discussion of the themes taught in Health Tourism and Welfare.
The assessment of knowledge and skills of the CU will be made according to the method of continuous assessment, where the face-to-face regime will be valued and compulsory in 65% of the total classes. The distribution of independent working hours per semester will be divided into practical assignments, mini-tests and other written tests. It will also be followed the preparation of the practical work, with oral presentation and discussion of the results in class context.
Through the use of these methodologies, it will be possible to develop the relevant generic competences during the UC teaching.

Body of Work

Topic 1 | Introduction to Health and Wellness Tourism
1.1. Contextualization: origins and historical evolution
1.2. Conceptual approach: fundamental concepts
1.2.2. Health Tourism Modalities
1.3. The symbology of the water: Thermalism, Thalassotherapy and Spas
Topic 2 | Health and Wellness Products
2.1 Contextualization
2.2 Hydrotherapy Techniques
2.3 Types of Massage Therapies and Therapies
2.4.1. Thermal Equipment and Facilities
2.5 Complementary Therapies
2.6 Review of applicable legislation
Topic 3 | Medical Tourism and Hospitality Hospitality
3.1 History of Medical Tourism
3.2 Ethics in Medical Tourism
3.3 Hospitality Hospitality
3.3.1 Operations management
Topic 4 | Operational Management in Health and Wellness Tourism
4.1 Organizational structure
4.2 HRM and Leadership
4.3. Quality of Services - Principles and Procedures
Topic 5 | Marketing in Health and Wellness Tourism
5.1 Characterization of Supply and Demand
5.2 Critical success factors
5.3 Marketing

Recommended Bibliography

Bodeker, G. and Cohen, M. (Eds.) (2008). Understanding the Global Spa Industry. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Bushell, R. and Sheldon, J. (Eds.) (2009). Wellness and Tourism – Mind, Body, Spirit, Place. New York: Cognizant Communication Corporation.

Coelho, M. M. M. S. e Portela, A. J. S. G. (2010). Turismo de saúde e bem-estar: um modelo de empreendedorismo e inovação. Lisboa: Universidade Lusíada Editora.

Kimes, S. E., & Singh, S. (2009). Spa revenue management [Electronic version]. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 50(1), 82-95. Retrieved [10th October 2017], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site:

Smith, M. and Puczkó, L. (2014). Health, Tourism and Hospitality – Spas, wellness and medical travel.
New York: Routledge.

Complementary Bibliography

D’ Angelo, Janet M. (2009). Spa Business Strategies (2nd Edtition). Miami: Murray Media.

Leavy, H. R. and Bergel, Reinhard R. (2003). The SPA Encyclopedia – A guide to treatments & their benefits for Health & Healing. New York: Thompson Learning.

Rawlinson, S. and Heap, T. (2017). International SPA Management – Principles & Practices. Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers, Ltd.

Soukup, D. (2014). Spa Business Secrets to increase Profits. Orlando: InSPAration Management.

Williams, Skip (2003). The Reluctant Spa Director and the Mission Dream. Haverford: Infinity Publishing.

Weekly Planning

WEEK 1: LESSONS 1 and 2 | 05.02.2018 and 06.02.2018
Presentation session.
Theme 1 - Introduction.
WEEK 2: LESSONS 3 and 4 | 19.02.2018 and 20.02.2018
Theme 1 - Development and conclusion.
WEEK 3: LESSONS 5 and 6 | 26.02.2018 and 27.02.2018
Theme 2 - Introduction, development and conclusion.
WEEK 4: LESSONS 7 and 8 | 05.03.2018 and 06.03.2018
Theme 3 - Introduction, development and conclusion.
WEEK 5: LESSONS 9 and 10 | 12.03.2018 and 13.03.2018
Theme 4 - Introduction, development and conclusion.
WEEK 6: LESSONS 11 and 12 | 19.03.2018 and 20.03.2018
1st Continuous Assessment Test
Correction of the evaluation test.
WEEK 7: LESSONS 13 and 14 | 09.04.2018 and 10.04.2018
Theme 5 - Introduction and Development
WEEK 8: LESSONS 15 and 16 | 16.04.2018 and 17.04.2018
Theme 5 - Conclusion.
WEEK 9: LESSONS 17 and 18 | 04/23/2018 and 04/24/2018
Conducting a Technical Visit - Guided tour of urban SPA
Elaboration of Visitation Report
WEEK 10: LESSON 19 | 30.04.2018
Theme 6 - Introduction and Development.
WEEK 11: LESSONS 20 AND 21 | 14.05.2018 and 15.05.2018
Conclusion of Theme 6.
Review of the contents taught.
WEEK 12: LESSONS 22 and 23 | 05/21/2018 and 05/22/2018
2nd Continuous Assessment Test. Correction.
Final orientation of practical work.
WEEK 13: LESSONS 24 and 25 | 05/28/2018 and 05/29/2018
Presentation of Practical Work.

Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

The contents covered throughout the UC will provide students with specific knowledge in the scope of Health and Welfare Tourism (objectives 1, 2 and 3), which meet the needs of the market, allowing the development of competences that have as their final objective the integration in the labor context, namely in leadership roles in the management and supervision of operations in units dedicated to this activity in multiple contexts (objectives 4, 5, 6 and 7).

Demonstration of the teaching methodologies coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

The interactive expository methodology will be used in all learning objectives, allowing the student to understand the various concepts inherent to health and wellness tourism (objective 1), including their evolution in the national and international context, recognizing their importance for the development of the sector (objective 2) as well. This methodology will be complemented with other methods, specific to each objective, such as the accomplishment of practical exercises and the use / use of hotel management software - spa module, and technical visit to the health and wellness unit (objectives 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7).

relevant generic skillimproved?assessed?
Achieving practical application of theoretical knowledgeYesYes
Adapting to new situationsYesYes
Analytical and synthetic skillsYesYes
Balanced decision makingYesYes
Commitment to qualityYesYes
Ethical and responsible behaviourYesYes
Event organization, planning and managementYesYes
Initiative and entrepreneurship capabilityYes 
IT and technology proficiencyYesYes
Relating to othersYesYes
Understanding multiculturalism and valuing diversity  
Written and verbal communications skillsYesYes
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