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Transformation processes in Germany’s health resorts and spas – a three case analysis
Annals of Leisure Research, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 1-18
Germany’s traditional health resorts and spas have undergone far reaching transformation processes, triggered mainly by health care system reforms that started in the 1990s and resulted in significant cuts to the public funding of traditional restorative ‘Kur’ treatments in these destinations. Consequently, there has been a significant shift towards Germany’s so-called ‘second health care market’, which captures all privately funded health-related products and services. This paper provides an insight into these highly complex transformation processes using three Bavarian health resorts and spas (Bad Birnbach, Bad Füssing and Bad Griesbach) as case examples. Semi-structured interviews with experts from the three destinations offer insight into the structural transition towards the second health care market, including its manifold challenges and opportunities in an emerging health-leisure nexus.