Packaging natural springs into community hubs for wellness and spa tourism
a case of Makonde district in Zimbabwe
Keywords:Natural Spings, Community hubs, Makonde District, Wellness and Spa Tourism
Natural springs in Makonde district are generally remotely located, with poor infrastructure and undervalued as assets to Wellness and Spa tourism development in Zimbabwe. The strategies for packaging these natural springs into community hubs for Wellness and Spa tourism has remained a gap to be exploited for development. Therefore, this study explored strategies that could be adopted to package the natural springs to optimise their appeal for Wellness and Spa tourism. The research was carried out in the Makonde district of Mashonaland West province in Zimbabwe. The study adopted an exploratory case study design. It involved four (4) sites including one hundred and fifty (150) respondents purposively and conveniently selected from the members of the host communities, traditional demand leaders, academics and officers from the tourism industry. Data was collected using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, accidental observations and it was thematically analysed. Findings unveiled strategies that could be adopted to increase the demand for Wellness and Spa tourism included infrastructure development, research and innovation, product and site marketing, community socialisation and involvement. The study concluded that the proposed strategies have the potential to transform natural springs in Makonde district into community hubs for Wellness and Spa tourism. Therefore, there is need to develop a model for packaging the product so as to increase the demand for Wellness and Spa activities for tourism.
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