• March 2013
ESPA European Spas Association
Official Newsletter
The European Spas Association (ESPA) is also in 2013 present at the world’s leading Travel Trade Show in Berlin, the ITB. On Tuesday, 5 March 2013, one day before the official opening of the trade show ESPA presents, during the ITB Media Day, new trends in spas and health resorts 2013, the destination of the annual ESPA congress 2013 and the quality seal EuropeSpa.

ESPA and EuropeSpa are especially proud, that the first prize of the “FIT Health and Wellness Award” is going to Hotel Thermia Palace (Piestany), a EuropeSpa med certified spa in Slovakia.

I hope you enjoy reading the March issue of the ESPA e-newsletter.

Martin Plachý,
News | The Association
ESPA Managing Board meeting
Brussels, 18th February
The 18th of February a meeting of the ESPA Managing Board took place in Brussels. Some of the main topics highlighted were the: preparation of the next ESPA Congress in Pomorie (Bulgaria), the Marketing plan activities for 2013, the preparation of the meetings with representatives of the EU Commission and the EU Parliament (see below) and the promotion of the Spa and Health Resort Medicine with the focus on Prevention.
Details »
18th Congress of the European Spas Association
Pomorie, Bulgaria, 14th – 18th May 2013
This year the ESPA Congress will take place in the beautiful coastal spa town of Pomorie, Bulgaria.

Organised by the European Spas Association and the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and Spa Tourism (BUBSPA), the Congress starting the 14th May will focus on the most important issues related to the European Spa and Health Resorts sector. One of the main topics will be Health and Prevention and the role of the European Spas and Health Resorts in the EU Health Agenda 2020.

This is year the Congress has a different structure providing 6 Workshops about subjects such as Destination Management, Prevention and Health Promotion, Marketing, Design and Architecture, Health Insurances and Pension Funds etc.

The latest draft programme will be presented at the ITB in Berlin on Tueday, 5 March 2013.
Details »
Meetings at the European Commission
The 19th of February 2013 the ESPA President Martin Plachý and Secretary General Joachim Lieber, had meetings with representatives of the EU Commission. Accompanied by ESPA Vice-President Dr. Janka Zálešáková the first meeting in the DG Health and Consumer took place with the Director for Health Strategy and Health Systems Mr. Andrzej Rys and his policy officer Mrs. Anika Nowak. The role and effectiveness of the European Spa and Health Resort medicine, the implementation of the EU Directive on Cross Border Healthcare and the EU Health for Growth Programme 2014-2020 were the main topics in discussion.

In the meeting with the Head of the Tourism Unit, Mrs Francesca Tudini, in the DG for Enterprise and Industry and their staff, the ESPA President, Vice-President and the Secretary General got informed about the initiatives regarding the EU policy to promote Europe as the first touristic destination in the world, and the possibilities to get support for international projects to develop and to promote the variety and the common heritage of the European touristic destinations. Among other subjects discussed, the need to develop a platform for extending the season in social tourism was highlighted.
Details »
Meeting at the European Parliament
ESPA President Martin Plachý, Vice-President Janka Zálešáková and Secretary General Joachim Lieber also had a meeting with Mrs. Anna Zaborska (Slovakian Member of the EU Parliament). The main topic discussed was the preparation of a hearing in the EP about Prevention in European Spas and Health Resorts. The event will take place in October in Brussels.
Details »
ESPA hosted an evening reception to partner associations
An evening reception hosted by ESPA to its partner associations - the European Travel Agents´and Tour Operators´ Associations (ECTAA), the European Travel Commission (ETC), the European Social Insurance Platform (ESIP) and the Association International de la Mutualité (AIM) rounded off the meeting of the ESPA Managing Board. After a presentation about the role of European Spas in Prevention and Health Promotion, by ESPA Vice President Janka Zálešáková the participants had the time to discuss and to learn more about the work and the interests of the other associations.
News | ESPA Members
Picture: Ernst Hinsken
The President of the German Spa Association e.V. Ernst Hinsken MP: Quality pays off - German spas and health resorts satisfy abroad!
The German spas and health resorts reported a significant increase in visitors from abroad and continued their upwards trend of recent months. While the number of domestic visitors has remained constant, the number of overnight stays by foreign visitors increased by an average of 6.7 per cent. The seaside resorts could even record an increase of 12.7 per cent. Details »
Blue Lagoon Iceland – one of the wonders of the world
The Blue Lagoon Iceland is among the 25 wonders of the world according the respected magazine, National Geographic. Blue Lagoons geothermal seawater is known for its healing effect and active ingredients, minerals, silica and algae. Blue Lagoon offers a unique spa experience based on bathing in geothermal seawater. Treatment of psoriasis is offered at Blue Lagoon Clinic and the benefits of the Blue Lagoon active ingredients can be enjoyed through Blue Lagoon skin care. Details »
Medicinal mud-the gold of Jurmala
Located just 25km from Riga, Jurmala is a unique, elegant seaside town offering century-old traditions of SPA and medical resort treatments based on muds and mineral waters. Take your time and enjoy walking along 30-km-lomg fine sandy beach, breathing the fresh sea air and exploring the wonderful wooden architecture ensconced by pine trees. Details »
Cadzand: healthy sea resort in the Netherlands
Working out on a two years programme
Cadzand is situated in the region Vlaanderen next to the luxury Belgium beach destinations Oostende en Knokke and is part of the Dutch province of Zeeland. Cadzand has the intention to develop in a stylish international sea resort in a natural environment. Cadzand will focus on clients that are looking for relaxation, for wellness and vitality while they can use the facilities en programmes of high qualified professionals, especially in the sector of mental approach. Selfness, the word that is related to responsibility for your own health, will be a strong item in Cadzand. Details »
Picture: FG+SG
Archdaily Building of the Year 2012
Thermal Spa Pedras Salgadas Eco-Resort
The Thermal Spa Pedras Salgadas Eco-Resort (Portugal) is the Winner of the "Archdaily 2012 Building of the Year" (category Hotels & Restaurants).

The new eco-resort of Parque de Pedras Salgadas, Portugal, consists of a set of seven small houses in perfect harmony with the surrounding outstanding nature. Details »
The New Year started promising - good times for the Romanian tourism.
The new minister for tourism, Mrs Maria Grapini, declared as main tasks for her activity balneary and cultural tourism. ”The tourism priorities will be focusing on a large public-private partnership, based on the richness and diversity of natural therapeutic resources combined with cultural heritage”- declared the minister in front of the Romanian Parliament during the presentation of the budget for 2013. She declared her intention to have a large cooperation with the local authorities as a main partner for developing the tourism, too.  Details »
News | Miscellaneous
TK Members want quality in treatments abroad
The wineg-Institute of the Techniker health insurance (TK) has published 5 February 2013, the fourth survey of the TK members about their planned treatments abroad. The title of the initiative is: "Europe Survey 2012: Planned cross-border supply in the EU. Doctors and dentists from the perspective of the TK members ". Details »
What factors motivate employers and workers to implement and to practice measures of workplace health promotion? The European Agency for Safety and Health at (OSHA) has adopted this question and performed a literature research, and the results have been summarised in a document, which can be accessed on the following website of the agency:
(Source: ESIP EUREPORT social 1-2/2013) Details »
Comission implementing Directive 2012/52/EU of 20 December 2012
Laying down measures to facilitate the recognition of medical prescriptions issued in another Member State:
On 20 December 2012, the European Commission adopted EU-wide rules for the basic information a prescription must at least contain, when a patient wants to submit a prescription in a different EU Member State. The Following standardised descriptive elements must be included in an EU-wide accepted prescription: the identity of the patient, authenticity of the prescription, the identity of the doctor and the prescribed product. Details »
The ‘Europe – Whenever you’re ready’ international communication campaign, which started in the end of 2012 (until December 2013), is currently highlighting the diverse cultural heritage and natural beauty that Europe has to offer. As EU countries account more than 39% of global arrivals, the important role of tourism in Europe is indisputable. Details »
For the success of a Spa it is important to control, document and coordinate the actual situation of the business. Therefore the buisness ratios are key management tools for researching a decision about the efficiency of the Spa. The management has to eliminate the weaknesses and built on the strength. Business ratios as the Return on Investment (ROI), the capacity and the profit margin are getting more and more important for Spa businesses. A few years ago most of the wellness range was covered by other hotel and business areas, but today a Spa must be economically successful to have a future in the long-term. Details »
Quality in Wellness and Medical Wellness
International Training Course (2 days)
Berlin, 4th and 5th March at SSI Institute for Tourism and Marketing
”International quality requirements for wellness and medical wellness facilities“ Quality is a key success factor of our time especially in international health and wellness tourism. EuropeSpa – the quality seal of the European Spas Association – is the most comprehensive evaluation scheme and the only international certification system considering more than 30 national and international laws and standards covering the areas of service, safety, hygiene and infrastructure.
More information »
ITB Travel Trade Show
Berlin, 6th – 10th March
“The ITB is the world’s leading Travel Trade Show. The whole variety of travelling is present at ITB Berlin: Destinations, tour operators, booking systems, carriers, hotels and all other suppliers who want to embellish their customers' most beautiful weeks of the year.” (ITB Berlin 2013)
More information »
Regional Workshop on Health as a determinate for Growth
26th March, Committee of the Regions
Learn more about:
- Health impact assessments & health in all policies
- Research & evidence on health inequalities
- Stakeholder engagement processes across sectors
- Regional action on HI & structural funds
More information »
3rd Iberoamerican Congress of Peloids
Ponta Delgada (Azores, Portugal), 1st – 6th October
The intention is to achieve the following main goals:
- To disclose and potentiate the experience of both individuals and groups of researchers and professionals on the science and application of Peloids in Balneology and Balneotherapy;
- To disclose both scientific and technical advances in the last years on several topics regarding the Peloids;
- To promote among the Azorean companies and researchers the field of Peloids, especially for the development of innovative products and services at The Azores Archipelago.
More information »
Studies and Statistics
Europe in Figures – Health
Eurostat Yearbook 2012
Europe in figures – is the statistical Eurostat yearbook. The Eurostat yearbook 2012 has been published on 6th February, 2013. Among the comprehensive selection of statistical data on Europe is also the area of health treated. In this area the focus is on healthy life years, causes of death, healthcare as well as health and safety at work.
More information »
The United Nation World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer points out that international tourist arrival to European destinations increased by 2.3% in 2012. The increase of 5.1% in 2011 was beneficial for last year’s arrivals. That means that in 2012 were approximately 400.1 million arrivals reported in the European Union, whereas the figures for 2011 were 9.2 million less. However for whole Europe 535 million international tourist arrivals were counted. There was an increase for Central and Eastern Europe destinations by 8% and for Western Europe by 3%.
More information »
The European Travel Commission (ETC) published in February its fourth quarterly report on tourism trends in Europe for 2012. In summary the “European travel performance exceeds expectations in 2012”. The figures show, that inbound travel to Europe is expected to have grown by 4%, despite the negative economic climate.
More information »
In 2012, once again more German tourists in Hungary - 7.4 per cent more international visitors in September 2012 - Hungary spa destinations increasingly popular - Budapest is booming Frankfurt, November 2012. Hungary established itself as a popular holiday destination, especially with German tourists. Germany is deemed to be the most important foreign market for Hungary, with a 20 % share of incoming tourism. The Hungarian tourism recorded an 8.5 % increase in German hotel guests, a growth of 6.6 % in German hotel overnight stays and an increase of 3.7 % on German overnight stays compared to the same period last year. In general, the number of international visitors in Hungarian accommodations increased by 7.4 % in September 2012 compared to the same month last year (Source: Hungarian Statistical Office).
Details »
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