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• December 2014
ESPA European Spas Association
 Editorial
 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Yours,
Martin Plachý,
President
 
News | The Association
 
sopot grand hotel.jpg

SOPOT (POLAND) - HOST CITY OF THE 20TH EUROPEAN SPAS ASSOCIATION'S CONGRESS 
19-21 May 2015, SOPOT, Poland

The 20th annual ESPA congress will take place from 19th – 21st of May 2015 in Sopot, Poland.
Are you excited? We are! Further information will follow in January.
#ESPASOPOT2015
Video 'A recipe for Sopot' »
Visit Sopot »
espa innovation awards.jpg INTRODUCING THE ESPA INNOVATION AWARDS 2015

The ESPA Innovation Awards reflect the ESPA aim of 'stimulating exchange of experience, best practice and know-how'. It is made for destinations, facilities or initiatives that represent 'innovation' in the true sense of the word; that is, the development of a new, more creative or more effective approach to any aspect of spas and health resorts management, operations or marketing.
The emphasis in judging applicants for the ESPA Innovation Awards will be on how effectively the innovation addresses its stated objectives, which may be to improve efficiency, increase marketability, effect cost savings, achieve environmental goals, improve market position.
Please note that the ESPA Innovation Awards are open for ESPA member organisations’ members only! Except category 5 - spa concept.
More »
romanspas.jpg ROMAN THERMAL SPAS OF EUROPE – CONSORTIUM MEETING ROME/CHIANCIANO

From 20-22 November 2014, the project consortium "Roman Thermal Spas of Europe" came together in Rome and Chianciano Terme. The project partners from 8 European countries discussed the current situation, the work in progress and the year to come. In Rome the project supporting partner and ESPA member FEDERTERME hosted the first part of the meeting, including a well-received press-conference. Continuing with the second part of the meeting in Chianciano Terme, the project partners were welcomed by their fellow partner from Italy, Terme di Chianciano. Here the focus was on the implementation on location as well as the quality aspect. This project is co-funded by the European Commission.
More at the preliminary project website »
THE ESPA MEDIA KIT WEB THE ESPA MEDIA KIT WEB

The European Spas Association launched their Media Kit Web 2015.
Advertisers have the opportunity to connect, interact and ultimately build a relationship with the www.europeanspas.eu audience.

Advertising with www.europeanspas.euwill ensure advertisers:
  • to get more website traffic and sales from interested audiences;
  • to announce and advertise new products and services;
  • to build your brand awareness and reputation;
  • to put your message right in front your potential new customers to win new business;
  • to advertise your business quickly and easily.

The Media Kit Web »

EUROPEAN TOURISM DAY 2014: KEY CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN TOURISM

On 1 December 2014, together with other representatives of the European tourism industry participated our President, Martin Plachý, and our Secretary General, Joachim Lieber in the open discussions on the future competitiveness and sustainable growth of European tourism. Martin Plachý emphasized that support for tourism shall be increased, that it is important to debate about Europe’s promotion in third countries, that the European Commission is needed as Co-ordinator of bottom-up initiatives and further that protection of our citizens shouldn’t lead to over regulating the market and making it non-competitive.
More »
THE EUROPEAN SPAS ASSOCIATION AT THE GERMAN "BÄDERTAG"

More than 200 representatives of the spa business, science and politics from all over Germany met on the 110th German "Bädertag" chaired by the President of the German Spas Association e. V. Ernst Hinsken, in the Baltic resort Zingst. Our President, Martin Plachý, participated in the panel giving an outlook on prevention and discussed the issue from a European point of view Our Secretary General, gave insights about his experience with spas and health resorts at the time of the reunification of Germany. He continued with the possibilities of EU funding for tourism infrastructure and marketing for the spa industry.
 
 News | ESPA Members
 
GERMANY GERMANY
German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel pays tribute to the German spas and health resorts during the 110th German "Bädertag" in Zingst as medical centers of excellence

The speech of the Chancellor made clear that she will support the German spas and health resorts in various issues and their ambition to set strategic points. After all, there are even in her constituency 13 Seaside spas. She also shared the opinion of the German Spa Association’s members that the German spas and health resorts must be included on the basis of their medical core competence in rural areas in the prospective prevention act. This currently discussed prevention act was besides the 25th anniversary of the German reunification in the focus of the congress. More »
HUNGARY HUNGARY

In Hungary, a new method has been taking into use for an increase in revenue of national baths. The new method consists basically of higher entrance fees, to reception of vouchers to be used for tourist services such as hotels and spas, and finally the usage of SZÉP-cards which has rosen considerably. These methods have together created the overall revenue of Hungarian baths, while the number of visitors hasn’t increased sufficiently (the number of visitors stagnated with 0,3 %). Finally, the Hungarian Bath Association estimates that the Hungarian Spas had a turnover of EUR. 302,6 millon in 2013.
More »
LATVIA LATVIA
Jūrmala Receives European Commission Eden Innovation Prize


On the 21st of October, the annual European EDEN destinations' forum took place in Brussels. Here the coordinators of the "European Destinations of Excellence" project which is coordinated by the European Commission came together. Jūrmala received the EDEN. Innovation prize in the contest on use and promotion of the EDEN logo in its destination.
More »

More news on our website:
Number Of Tourists In 2014 Keeps Increasing In Jūrmala City »
International Resort Conference 'Renaissance Of Resorts' »
nlespamo (2).jpg NETHERLANDS
Membership of the Netherlands in the European Spa Association


The Netherlands has made many progresses in health tourism, but the full membership in the European Spas Association was missing. To change this, the municipalities Gemeente Veere (Domburg), Sluis (Cadzand) and Bad Nieuweschans (Kerkstraat) formed an association with the HZ University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen. The aim was to become a full member of the European Spas Association in exchange to the observing membership of the HZ University of Applied Sciences, Scaldis Academy. It worked: On the first of January 2015, the membership will begin before it will be officially approved during the General Assembly in May. This was decided during the autumn meeting of the Board.

More news on our website:
Well-being on the coast of Holland: Domburg and Cadzand were appointed as spas »
Information for companies on graduation Vitality & Tourism Management »
ROMANIA ROMANIA

Convinced by the necessity of new projects and programs, the Romanian Spa’s Ówners Organization (OPTBR) organized during the International Tourism Fair in Bucharest, end November, a conference regarding the opportunities for acceding the European Fonds; recent was organized by the Chief of the Office of the European Commission in Romania a „’Ceremony Gala”” to celebrate the main projects and partners; a great selection of the best and representatives projects demonstrated the blow-up of the interest to benefit from the Structural Fond to the benefit of the entire society; from 10 different section, 2 were dedicate to "tourism".
More »
 
 News | European Union
 
A NEW START: THE 2015 EU COMMISSION WORK PROGRAMME A NEW START: THE 2015 EU COMMISSION WORK PROGRAMME

On 16 December 2014 the European Commission adopted the 2015 Work Programme. The Work Programme represents the new Commission's political commitment to an approach more focused on priorities and on results. As announced the next 12 months’ time and energy will be invested in those proposals that will have the biggest impact on jobs and growth.
Source: European Commission 2014
More »
The Work Programme 2015 »
FORMATION OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TOURISM INTERGROUP FORMATION OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TOURISM INTERGROUP

The political fractions of the European Parliament formed 28 intergroups which have the aim to hold informal exchanges of views on particular subjects and to promote contact between Members of the European Parliament and civil society. The new intergroup on ‘European tourism development, cultural heritage, ways of Saint James’ and other European cultural routes’ is received very positive by the European tourism industry as it shows that tourism is considered as an central priority. The Conference of Presidents approved the intergroups on 11 December 2014. List of intergroups »
EU FUNDING GUIDES FOR TOURISM EU FUNDING GUIDES FOR TOURISM

First the Committee of the Regions and then the European Commission – DG Enterprise and Industry published two very useful guides on EU funding for the period 2014-2020 in the tourism sector. While the Committee of Regions analyses the funding opportunities for tourism available to local and regional authorities (LRAs), the DG Enterprise and Industry guide focuses on the European direct and indirect funds for tourism.
Source: European Commission 2014 and Committee of Regions 2014
Committee of Regions publication »
Guide on EU funding for the tourism sector (2014- 2020) »
EU TOURISM CALL FOR PROPOSALS EU TOURISM CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Call "Facilitating EU transnational tourism flows for seniors and young people in the low and medium seasons" Aims: strengthening the competitiveness of the European tourism sector by encouraging the extension of the tourism season and by increasing internal mobility of seniors and young people. Proposals must target seniors (55 years old or above) or young people (aged between 15 and 29) and aim at designing/developing a tourism product concept and running a pilot test. Dealine for application: 15/01/2015 Please note that ESPA office collects expressions of interests. Do you have a project idea which could fit under this call or you are interested in being a project partner? Contact us!
Source: European Commission 2014.
On our website you can find the actual expressions of interests here »
More »
HEALTH AT A GLANCE : EUROPE 2014 HEALTH AT A GLANCE : EUROPE 2014

This is a joint publication of the OECD and the European Commission that presents key indicators of health systems in 35 countries (the 28 European Union member states, four candidate countries and three European Free Trade Association countries).
This publication underlines the fact that the countries were not victim of the economic crisis the same way. As a consequence, large inequalities were observed in health status. These inequalities were more visible within the different socio-economic groups : individuals with a high level of education and income enjoy better health and live several years longer than individuals with lower income and education. The crisis has also contributed to the long-term rise in obesity.
Source: OECD/European Commission 2014
More »
FUTURE EU AGENDA ON PATIENT SAFETY AND QUALITY OF CARE – OPINION ADOPTED BY HEALTH EXPERT PANEL FUTURE EU AGENDA ON PATIENT SAFETY AND QUALITY OF CARE – OPINION ADOPTED BY HEALTH EXPERT PANEL

The issue of health services has become a key priority at EU level particularly in the context of the Directive on Cross Border Health Care (Directive 2011/24/EU), allowing patients to seek treatment abroad.
As a consequence, a non-binding opinion on the Future EU Agenda on Quality of Health Care with a special emphasis on Patient Safety was requested by the Commission's Health and Consumers Directorate General. The Expert panel identified priorities that have to be acknowledged by the Commission and boosted at the European level in order to provide ‘effective, safe, appropriate, patient-centred, efficient and equitable’ service health for the patient. The Expert panel underlined the necessity for the Commission to play an essential role in the improvement of the quality of healthcare.
The opinion, ran from 1 August to 21 September 2014 and was approved by the 174 contributions received which also provided additional elements when necessary.
More »
LATVIAN PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION LATVIAN PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

The incoming Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), will start the first half of 2015 (from January until June 2015). During this semester, the Presidency will focus on “competitive, digital and engaged Europe”. The country's targets are ambitious : Junker's 300 billion investment plan, digital internal market, energy union.
Also, Latvia has decided to work on healthcare during its Presidency and formulated some propositions e.g.:
  • To hold a high level e-health summit
  • To discuss healthy lifestyle
  • To facilitate the discussions on the future of the alcohol policy/-ies in the EU
  • To emphasize the importance of patient centered health care
More »
 
 Events
 
SMART COOPERATION IN COASTAL AND MARITIME TOURISM - ENCOURAGING TRANSNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS THROUGH CLUSTERS AND NETWORKS SMART COOPERATION IN COASTAL AND MARITIME TOURISM - ENCOURAGING TRANSNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS THROUGH CLUSTERS AND NETWORKS

This workshop aims to strengthen the role of cluster organizations and networks as drivers for growth and jobs in the maritime and coastal tourism sectors in Europe. It will also explore cluster-driven linkages between the sector and with other related industries: creative industries, marine and maritime heritage, fishing activities...
More »
INTERNATIONAL 2-DAY TRAINING COURSE: QUALITY IN WELLNESS & SPA IN BERLIN IN MARCH 2015 INTERNATIONAL 2-DAY TRAINING COURSE: QUALITY IN WELLNESS & SPA IN BERLIN IN MARCH 2015

Wiesbaden/Potsdam, December 12th 2014 | In cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) the European quality management system EuropeSpa will offer a comprehensive 2-day training course about quality aspects in wellness and spa in Potsdam on March 2nd and 3rd 2015. The course will be held in English just before the world’s leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin. It mainly appeals to Spa and Hotel managers and consultants. After the course, participants will have the opportunity to pass a test in order to receive the “EuropeSpa Expert” certificate.
More »
 
 Miscellaneous
 
etc.jpg WWW.VISITEUROPE.COM  - launched at London WTM

In order to re-energise the tourism sector in Europe, a panel of tourism leaders from both the public- and the private sector has been gathered with purpose of discussion the challenges that are met by the tourism industry in Europe. The CEO of the European Travel Commission, Eduardo Santander, stated in light of this the following; “It is essential to increase funds to promote Europe as a unique destination especialy in third country markets, where there is growing demand” . Pedro Ortun, the Director Tourism of the European Comission, stated that “It is the Commission’s aim to ensure Europe’s visibility as a unique destination and we are implementing several initiatives to support tourism growth”. Further the new webpage www.VisitEurope.com has been launched by the European Travel Commission in order to create more willingness among people to visit Europe.
Source: ETC November 2014
WELDEST E-HANDBOOK AVAILABLE WELDEST E-HANDBOOK AVAILABLE

WelDest – Health and Well-being in Tourism Destination – was a project funded with support by the European Commission, and which saw the collaboration of five higher education institutes from Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom. The aim of the project was to create a framework and toolkit for destination management organisations, public bodies and private companies in destinations looking to develop or strengthen themselves as health and well-being destinations. The main outputs of the project is the e-handbook, Developing a Competitive Health and Well-being Destination. More »
 
 Studies and Statistics
 
CROSS BORDER HEALTH CARE IN EUROPE

In 2011, the European Parliament and Council adopted the Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross-border Healthcare. Cross-border patient mobility is still high on the EU agenda and this also implies that health professionals can move across border.
Yet, despite the concerns about immigration, the number of patients seeking care in another Member State is low, as most patient cant to be treated in a familiar setting and health system. However, certain groups of patients may travel in another country to be treated if it offers some advantage.
The movement of patients and professionals has encouraged Member States to coordinate their health systems and policies across the EU and to face logistical challenges.
Source: WHO 2014
More »
ECONOMIC CRISIS, HEALTH SYSTEMS AND HEALTH IN EUROPE : IMPACT AND IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY

This a report which sums up a study about the impact of the economic crisis on health systems in Europe from late 2008 to the middle of 2013. The crisis appeared to be an opportunity to analyze policy-makers' responses facing the crisis and requiring to maintain a performing health system.
The report underlines that not all countries have been affected equally by the crisis and, as a consequence, cuts in health budget varied from one country to another reflecting the diversity of contexts and policy choices. Thus, to address fiscal pressure, governments tried to mobilize revenue, reallocated pubic resources and took money from the health sector to finance spending in other areas. But, the main risk of this kind of policy is damaging consequences on a long-term period with indirect effects on individuals (mostly poorer people), society and the economy. Nevertheless, the crisis gave an opportunity for policy-makers to introduce reforms in the health system to improve its efficiency.
Source: WHO 2014
More »
UNWTO: WORLD TOURISM BAROMETER

<<Europe, the most visited region in the world, posted a 4% increase in international tourist arrivals through October, with strong results in Northern Europe and in Southern Mediterranean Europe (both +7%), where established destinations such as Greece, Portugal, Spain and Malta recorded robust growth. International tourism grew at a more modest pace in Western Europe (+2%) and was stagnant in Central and Eastern Europe (0%), in stark contrast with the last three years, during which arrivals grew at an average of 8% a year.>>
Source: UNWTO 2014
More »
UNWTO: INTERNATIONAL TOURISM TRENDS IN EU-28 MEMBER STATES. CURRENT SITUATION AND FORECASTS FOR 2020-2025-2030

<<The objective of this report is to derive a consistent set of quantitative trends for the group of 28 European Union countries (EU-28) which is compatible with that in the UNWTO Tourism Towards 2030 (TT2030) long-term outlook. International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) reported by destinations around the world grew from a mere 25 million in 1950 to 1,087 million in 2013. Over the same period international tourism receipts increased from US$ 2 billion to US$ 1,159 billion (euro 873 billion) in 2013.>>
Source: UNWTO 2014
More »
ETC TRENDS & PROSPECTS REPORT Q3 2014

According to the latest report “European Tourism – Trends & Prospects” issues by the European Travel Commission, the tourism in Europe has increased very significantly, such as an increase of 4 %. The increase has been highly affected by an increased consumer spending on European key source markets, mainly because of the well-established source markets that contributed to the success of many destinations in Europe. The increase of increase of tourism is to be attributed several European states that have attracted large numbers of visitors, despite the fact that the international agenda has been flooded with natural disasters, upheavals and the political crisis between the West and Russia. On the same time, the increase of tourism has increased in the US while is has decreased in Russia. Finally, the European Travel Commission maintain as very positive outlook and it predicts that tourism in Europe to increase by between 2,5 % to 3,5 % in the year to come.
Source: ETC November 2014
More »
EUROPEAN TOURISM AMID THE CRIMEA CRISIS

<<In recent years, Russia has become the third largest source market for Europe. European destinations received nearly 32 million arrivals from Russia in 2013, with forecasts pointing towards a 3.6% growth for 2014. However, the escalation of the crisis between Ukraine and Russia over Crimea is abruptly changing trends in travel from this market in the short term. While the European tourism sector is not a direct target of international sanctions introduced in response to the crisis, it does suffer indirectly.>>
Source: ETC October 2014
More »
SERVICES STATISTICS: SHORT-TERM INDICATORS

To follow the development of the economic activity in the EU-28 member states, short-term indicators (STS : short-term business statistics) are used in order to make a rapid assessment of the economic climate with services.
The losses in turnover were quickly recovered for some services (administrative and support services, transportation and storage services and information and communication services) in the EU-28 zone than the others, but for distributive trade and accommodation and food services, the turnover indices remained below their levels recorded before the crisis.
Furthermore, the development for the services turnover in 2013 varied among the EU-28 member states.
While between 2008 and 2013, the volume of sales in retail trade fells every year (except for 2010), the latest development shows an increase in the volume of sales between April 2013 and April 2014.
Source: EUROSTAT 2014
More »
TOURISM STATISTICS

In 2013, EU residents made 1.1 billion tourism trips but large differences are observed between the Member States (due to both the size and the geographical location of the EU states). As a consequence of the crisis, EU faced a downturn in the number of nights spent during a trip. But since 2010 the EU zone has been observing a continuing positive growth. According to the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) the EU is a major tourist destination that contributes towards economic and employment growth. Moreover, tourism plays a major role in the development of rural or less developed areas. The impact of tourism within the EU-28 Member states involves a demand for reliable and harmonized statistics as well as a coordinated approach.
This important role of tourism underlines the necessity of appropriate accommodations. Thus, there are almost 562 thousand tourist accommodation establishments but 1/3 of all the bad places were concentrated in France and Italy.
Source: EUROSTAT 2014
More»
 
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