State of the art of research in the sector of thermalism, thalassotherapy and spa: A bibliometric analysis


  • María de la Cruz del Río-Rama University of Vigo, Spain; email:
  • Claudia Patricia Maldonado-Erazo Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Ecuador; email:
  • José Álvarez-García University of Extremadura, Spain, Facultad de Empresa, Finanzas y Turismo Avd. de la Universidad, nº 47, 10071 Cáceres, Spain; email:


thermalism, thalassotherapy, spa, bibliometric analysis


Due to the importance that this type of tourism has gained in recent years, academic researchers of different knowledge areas have focused their interest on studying, deepening and analyzing this sector by following different approaches (economic, marketing, distribution, tourism, etc.). In this context, the objective of this study is to track scientific publications that deal with research in the field of thermalism, thalassotherapy and spas, which will reveal the current state of research in this sector and define approaches and areas of knowledge from which these studies have been addressed. Bibliometric analysis was used as the research methodology to meet this objective. The international databases Web of Science and Scopus are used to identify the scientific publications under study by choosing search terms, and to develop the database for analysis. The results highlight the importance of the Scopus database for the search of bibliographic material related to the subject under study by researchers. On the other hand, very few researchers have continued with this line of research, most of them have only published one article and very significant percentage of the articles are published in journals that are part of the “tourism journals” category. The analysis highlights the need to continue developing knowledge in a sector with great growth potential.




How to Cite

Río-Rama, M., Maldonado-Erazo, C., & Álvarez-García, J. (2018). State of the art of research in the sector of thermalism, thalassotherapy and spa: A bibliometric analysis. European Journal of Tourism Research, 19, 56–70. Retrieved from

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