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•  August 2015
ESPA European Spas Association
 Editorial
During the annual congress in May, ESPA celebrated its 20th anniversary. In Sopot, the ESPA family together with the congress participants and political representatives, looked back to 20 years of consultation, representation, promotion, lobbying, cooperation, quality,… For this occasion the 20 years of ESPA trailer is available on our website here »

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

Yours,
Martin Plachý,
President
 News | The Association
THE EUROPEAN SPAS ASSOCIATION WELCOMES A NEW MEMBER

The European Spas Association is very happy to announce that the “Health Tourism Association at the Croatian Chamber of Economy” is from the 1 July 2015 a new member of the ESPA family. We are looking forward to a fruitful and sustainable cooperation of many kinds. More information about our new member will follow soon.

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UPDATE - ROMAN THERMAL SPAS OF EUROPE

During the first half of June the Roman Thermal Spas of Europe met in Dax, France, in order to discuss together with potential partners the future marketing cooperation - e.g. how to join the initiative and what will come after the actual EU funding period from February 2016.
After the first bookings of the national partner packages were reported, now also the two transnational packages Bulgaria-Romania and France-Portugal were finalised and let hope for more…

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2ND UNWTO CONFERENCE: QUALITY: THE KEY DRIVER FOR SUCCESS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN DESTINATIONS

From 22-24 June 2015 the UNWTO hosted the second conference on quality as the key driver for success in the Mediterranean destinations. During this prestigious event Mr João Pinto Barbosa, ESPA PR and Communications Manager, was asked by the UNWTO's Secretary General to present the ESPA’s vision on the following topics: the association and the business in Europe and in the Mediterranean region; the potential of health and spa tourism in the Mediterranean region; the prerequisites of developing spa destinations and/or spa resorts as well as systems for standardization or quality management in this field; and finally the economic and social impact of health/spa tourism on the local communities.

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 News | ESPA Members
BULGARIA BULGARIA

During the 2nd annual BUBSPA congress hosted in Sandanski from 26-28 May ESPA presented the current developments of the associations activities in Brussels. Quality, Business trends/Marketing/Sales, and the Roman Thermal Spas of Europe EU funded project were the highlights of the ESPA presence in Sandanski. An official meeting in the town hall with the mayor of Kyustendil, one of the most important spa cities in Bulgaria and the press conference with regional and local media, followed as well as an interview with the national TV, Channel 3, in Sofia. And the meetings with Bulgarian spa owners and managers.
SLOVAKIA SLOVAKIA

1st. CZECH and SLOVAK CONFERENCE on Health spas - an important factor in development of region and in improvement of health of population from 10th to 11th June 2015, Piešťany Slovakia

The V4 countries belong to the European spa countries and they possess large number of natural healing resources. The potential of the spa industry affects a population health status as well as quality of life and also significantly affects development of the region where spa resorts are located. Medical spas are part of the health system and at the same time most important exporter of health tourism. How is this natural potential used? Are our natural resources well protected? What are the current trends in the V4 countries? Is our nature able to heal people more efficiently even today? The conference was held under the auspices of the Minister of Health in Slovak Republic, Viliam Čislák, MD, MPH, MBA and under the auspices of the Minister of Health in Czech Republic, Svatopluk Němeček, MD, MBA.

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SPAIN SPAIN

The ANBAL Congress
hosted in Balneario de Alange (Merida) the 8 and 9 June, ESPA was invited to present the highlights of its working plan and to give an overview of the current development on the lobby, promotion, medicine and the Roman Thermal Spas activities.

 News | European Union
European Commission EVALUATIVE STUDY ON THE CROSSBORDER HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE (2011/24/EU)

The deadline for transposition into Member States legislation of the Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare was 25 October 2013. Article 20 of the Directive requests a report to be submitted by 25 October 2015 to the European Parliament and to the Council including information on related processes in place and the overall operation of the Directive in the first years of its implementation.
The present study therefore aimed at analysing the functioning of the Directive by reimbursement, quality and safety of cross-border healthcare as well as undue delay. Result: The Directive is still at an early stage of implementation. Source: European Commission 2015

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European Commission

RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF THE HEALTH WORKFORCE IN EUROPE

Regading to well-known difficulties like a shrinking health workforce in many EU countries, the recently released study aims to identify and analyse effective strategies for recruiting and retaining health professionals in order to develop organisational strategies and human resources policies in Europe and ensure the future sustainability of Europe‘s health systems. The study includes a review of recruitment and retention practices for health professionals, eight case studies addressing recruitment and retention of health professionals as well as policy and management recommendations.
Source: European Commission 2015

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EHEALTH - HEALTHY THANKS TO APPLICATIONS

Portable health services might be the answer to our problems. According to the commission there are available 100.000 applications with regards to the topic health. More and more devices - which help for instance to stop smoking or start exercising - are appearing.
On the 1st of July there took place a workshop by the panel of science of the European Parliament. An important role played the principles concerning the privacy of patients.
Furthermore the systems have to be simplified to guarantee access for everyone. One example that shows the benefit of those devices is that a patient can review personal data so that he or she can always monitor the current medical condition.
ehealth is more than only technology. ehealth is about the change of the medical system.
Source: European Parliament 2015

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EXPERT PANEL ON EFFECTIVE WAYS OF INVESTING IN HEALTH (EXPH)

Competition among health care providers: Final Opinion adopted The Expert Panel explored the policy options and practical considerations for integrating such competition into health systems. The value for competition as a useful instrument varies across countries, health care subsectors and time scales. By introducing, increasing or changing competition in health services there has to be available an appropriate regulatory framework and sound policy evaluation studies in order to assess and judge the impact of competition.
Source: European Commission 2015

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TRAN COMMITTEE: LUXEMBOURG PRESIDENCY PRIORITIES DISCUSSED BY EP COMMITTEES

The priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency for the second semester of 2015 are based on seven pillars:

1.) Stimulating investment to boost growth and employment
2.) Deepening the European Union's social dimension
3.) Managing migration, combining freedom, justice and security
4.) Revitalising the single market by focusing on its digital dimension
5.) Placing European competitiveness in a global and transparent framework
6.) Promoting sustainable development
7.) Strengthening the European Union's presence on the global stage
Source:http://www.eu2015lu.eu/en/la-presidence/a-propos-presidence/programme-et-priorites/index.html

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WORKSHOP "LOW/MEDIUM SEASON TOURISM FOR SENIORS AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN EUROPE"

Brussels, 18th June 2015 For tourism, the promotion of the low season is very important in order to stimulate economic growth and jobs in Europe.Therefore the European Commission has identified two main target groups which can help to overcome the challenge of seasonality: Seniors and young people. During the workshop held in Brussels in June 2015 best practice examples were promoted among a number of invited guests. To read the report “Facilitating cooperation mechanisms to increase senior tourists´ travels, within Europe and from third countries, in the low and medium seasons“ and for more information follow the link:
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NEW CHALLENGES AND CONCEPTS FOR THE PROMOTION OF TOURISM IN EUROPE

24 Jun 2015

Amendments 1-351 to the draft report of MEP Isabella De Monte on ‘New challenges and concepts for the promotion of Tourism in Europe’.
Source: European Parliament 2015

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BOOST EFFORTS TO PROVIDE SINGLE TICKETING FOR TRIPS ACROSS EU BORDERS, SAY MEPS

Integrated ticketing for travel across EU borders using more than one mode of transport would increase the use of public transport, said MEPs on Tuesday. They call on EU countries to improve and connect timetables and on providers to develop multimodal cross-border "journey planners". If there is no progress by 2020 they will call for legislation.
Source: European Parliament 2015

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EU TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

In 2016-17, over €100 million for research and innovation in the field of cultural heritage will be available under Horizon 2020, the EU's research funding programme. This increase in funding recognises cultural heritage as an investment opportunity where research and innovation can make a difference. This is one of the main conclusions of the report 'Getting cultural heritage to work for Europe' which was handed over today to Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
Source: European Commission 2015

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 Events
THE EUROPEAN TOURISM FORUM

17 – 18 September 2015, LUXEMBOURG, Luxemburg

The European Tourism Forum is the most important high-level event on tourism that the European Commission organises with the country that holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second half of the year.
This year’s focus is on digitalisation through the sharing economy, promotion of Europe via transnational and pan-European thematic products, skills and competences, and streamlining the regulatory and administrative framework for tourism on the example of current and future visa requirements.
Source: European Commission 2015

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TERMATALIA

Termatalia 2015, your profesional appointment

Termatalia, the International Fair of Thermal Tourism, Health and Wellness is a unique specialized fair which represents the thermal bridge between Europe and Latin America. Termatalia 2015 will take place from September 24 to 26 in Ourense, Galicia – Spain.
Termatalia 2015 will strengthen its professional and character training programming a series of actions that will strengthen the role of this appointment as Center of thermal training worldwide. THALASSOTHERAPY, will again become a Business Center for the sector of health tourism, spas, and SPA.
ESPA stand at Termatalia 2015 - call to members for promotional materials!

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2-DAY TRAINING COURSE ON QUALITY IN WELLNESS & MEDICAL SPA

EuropeSpa, the international quality system of ESPA, offers regular 2-day training courses on “Quality in Wellness & Medical Spa”. The next one will take place on October 12th and 13th in Wiesbaden, Germany and will be held by EuropeSpa CEO Dr. Kurt von Storch in English. For more information, please click here.
13TH EDITION OF THE OPEN DAYS – EUROPEAN WEEK OF REGIONS AND CITIES

Partners for investment and growth“

From 12th - 15th October 2015 there will take place the 13th European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels with over 100 workshops and debates on regional and urban development.

The programme focuses on:
- Modernising Europe
- Regions open for business
- Places and Spaces

New this year: OPEN DAYS goes urban!
OPEN DAYS University
Local events
HORIZON 2020 HEALTH PARTNERING EVENT

17 September 2015, Brussels, Belgium

Health-NCP-Net 2.0 and Fit for Health 2.0 are jointly organising a partnering event which offers health researchers and companies the opportunity to discuss new project ideas and to find potential partners for their Horizon 2020 funding application. The event will be focused on the upcoming call for proposals in "Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing", to be launched by the end of September.
Source: European Commission 2015

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EUROPEAN TOURISM INDICATORS SYSTEM CONFERENCE AND ACCESSIBLE TOURISM WORKSHOP

This is a joint event combining a conference on the European Tourism Indicators System (ETIS) on the first day and a workshop on accessible tourism on the second.
The purpose of this event, in which sustainability and accessibility are presented as complementary strategies to successfully manage and promote tourism destinations, is to:
1. present the results of the second ETIS pilot testing phase, including recommendations and the revised toolkit of ETIS;
2. identify policy priorities for accessible tourism in destinations, in particular focusing on accommodation, transport, attractions and customer satisfaction;
3. present a promotion strategy for Europe as a 'Sustainable Tourism Destination for All'.
Source: European Commission 2015

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"THE EU’S TOURISM EDUCATION & TRAINING OFFER – A MAPPING EXERCISE AND PERFORMANCE CHECK"

On 21st October in Brussels, the European Commission, CSES, NECSTouR and Fondazione Campus are organising the final conference presenting the results, highlighting good practice and providing recommendations from the study undertaken in all 28 EU Member States on the training and education systems for tourism and their performance against industry needs.
Source: European Commission 2015

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EUROPEAN TOURISM FOR ALL FORUM 2015

21-23 October 2015, ALBUFEIRA, Portugal

Tourism for All: A Tradition with a Future. In cooperation with the INATEL Foundation the Forum of the ISTO will take place from 21-23 October 2015 in Albufeira, Portugal. The topic of the Forum is the innovation in Tourism for All, which is about increasingly sustainable, responsible, inclusive, ecological tourism open to innovations. Follow the link to receive all practical information, the programme and the registration form:

http://www.istoforum2015.com
CONFERENCE 'WHICH PRIORITIES FOR A EUROPEAN POLICY ON MULTIMORBIDITY?

Brussels, 27 October 2015

Multimorbidity, usually defined as the co-occurrence of two or more chronic conditions in one person, has become the norm rather than the exception in primary care patients and is set to become more prevalent as our populations age. Multimorbidity is therefore a growing concern in our society and a challenge facing patients, health professionals and health systems' sustainability.
Using interactive formats, this conference will provide a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals, researchers, policy-makers, professionals from the pharmaceutical and ICT industry, insurers and patient representatives to share experiences and existing knowledge on multimorbidity from regional models of care to research and decision-making tools.
Source: European Commission 2015

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 Miscellaneous
DANUBE REGION TO HOST NETWORK OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM OBSERVATORIES

The UNWTO and the Danube Region have agreed to establish a Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories in the Region of Danube. The formal agreement was signed during an official visit of UNWTO‘s Secretary General on the 8th of June 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Observatories will measure tourism‘s social, economic and environmental impact along the Danube River and help define adequate sustainable tourism policies in the region.
„With this network of Observatories, the Danube Region is setting an example in Europe and beyond on how regional cooperation can advance sustainable development through tourism“, said Rifai.
Source: UNWTO June 2015

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HOTREC AND UEAPME PRESS RELEASE ON DATA PROTECTION REGULATION SHOULD ENCAPSULATE SME SPECIFICITIES!

The press release gives a review on HOTREC and the UEAPME that called on the European Parliament to embrace the Council position and approach on data protection. The two organisations refer to SMEs where the core business is not data processing and where a Data Protection Officer should not be mandatory. Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC, and Peter Faross, Secretary General of UEAPME, highlighted that due to the fact that SMEs are the backbone of the European economy there would be an economic and administrative burden by appointing a DPO. Therefore they called on the Parliament to keep the designation optional.
Source: HOTREC June 2015

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ETC PRESS RELEASE ON LONG-HAUL TRAVEL SENTIMENT POINTS AT CONTINUED APPEAL OF EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS IN PEAK SEASON

The latest results of the Long-Haul Travel sentiment Survey show that the travel sentiment in Europe‘s key long-haul travel markets proves upbeat for the summer travel period. The survey data was collected in the five key markets of Brazil, China, Japan, Russian Federation and the United States of America.
Key findings of the survey:
- Destination Europe is top of the wish list
- Intention to travel long-haul increases in key markets
- Asian markets are keener on travelling outside the region
- US travel sentiment stays positive in the wake of slowing economic recovery
- Economic uncertainty begins to affect Brazil In addition the survey identified the strongest long-haul travel sentiment among the young and middle-aged.
Source: ETC June 2015

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SUSTAINABLE AND COMPETITIVE HOTELS THROUGH ENERGY INNOVATION: NEZEH - NEARLY ZERO ENERGY HOTELS 2015

Around two thirds of global carbon emissions come from energy use. The tourism sector, as a provider of services, is an important energy consumer and over 20% of its carbon emissions come from accommodation. There are huge opportunities for the hotel industry to reduce its energy consumption.
Main topics of the conference:
· Gain new perspectives on the opportunities of energy innovation in the tourism sector
· Network with key stakeholders involved on topics related to tourism and sustainable buildings
· Participate in high-level discussions on the questions that matter most · Learn from experts on innovative tools and support mechanisms
· Get inspiration from the front runners
· Learn from experts on innovative tools and support mechanisms
· Get inspiration from the front runners
Source: NEZEH June 2015

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 Studies and Statistics
EUROSTAT HEALTH IN THE EUROPEAN UNION FACTS AND FIGURES

<<Health in the European Union – facts and figures is a Eurostat online publication providing recent statistics on health in the European Union (EU), focusing on different areas: health status, health determinants, health care ...>>
Source: EUROSTAT July 2015

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NEW WHO REPORT: INVESTING IN PUBLIC HEALTH OFFERS LARGE GAINS IN HEALTH, THE ECONOMY AND OTHER SECTORS

<<Tobacco use reduces overall national income by 3.6%. Obesity accounts for 1–3% of all health expenditure in most countries. These and other surprising facts came to light in a report published by WHO/Europe on the long- and short-term effects of a country's health status on its financial and economic situation.>>
Source: WHO July 2015

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HEALTHCARE EXPENDITURE STATISTICS

<<This article presents key statistics on expenditure and financing aspects of healthcare in the European Union (EU); these data complement data on healthcare resources and activities. Healthcare systems are organised and financed in different ways across the EU Member States, but most Europeans would agree that universal access to quality healthcare, at an affordable cost to both individuals and society at large, is a basic need. Moreover this is one of the common values and principles in EU health systems.>>
Source: EUROSTAT July 2015

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TOURISM HIGHLIGHTS 2015 EDITION

UNWTO Tourism Highlights presents the key facts and figures of international tourism in 2014. Over the past six decades, tourism has experienced continued expansion and diversification, to become one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world. A long-term outlook shows that international tourist arrivals worldwide are expected to increase between 2010 and 2030 and arrivals in emerging destinations are expected to increase at twice the rate of those in advanced economies. The international tourism in 2014 showed that arrivals in Europe grew by 3%. In Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+7%), both Greece and Spain gained 4 million international arrivals in 2014. In Northern Europe (+6%), Iceland (+24%) reported the fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth. Growth was slower in Western Europe (+2). By contrast, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium reported solid increases. Central and Eastern Europe was the only subregion in Europe and the world to suffer a decline in arrivals in 2014.
Source: UNWTO June 2015

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UNWTO - INTERNATIONAL TOURIST ARRIVALS UP 4% IN THE FIRST FOUR MONTHS OF 2015

Madrid, Spain, 9th July 2015

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism demand increased by 4% worldwide between the first months of 2015.
Destinations worldwide received some 332 million international tourists (overnight visitors) in this period, which is 16 million more compared to 2014.
This outcomes show a steady growth of +4,5% per year since 2010.
By region, the Americas led growth (+6%), followed by Europe - the world‘s most visited region -, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East. The subregions, Oceania and South Africa (both +8%) as well as the Caribbean and Central and Eastern Europe (both +7%) could record an increase.
Only in Africa, demand weakened after years of solid growth, affected mainly by the Ebola outbreak among other challenges.
For more information:
UNWTO World Tourism Barometer: here
Repository of national tourism master and marketing plans: here
UNWTO CALLS FOR HIGHER FINANCING FOR TOURISM IN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

Press Release Madrid, Spain, 15th July 2015

On the occasion of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 13th - 16th July 2015, the UNWTO called for higher support for tourism in international financing for development flows to maximise the sector‘s contribution to sustainable development across the globe.
Even though tourism is identified by half of the world‘s LDCs as a priority instrument for poverty reduction, the levels of financing for development in tourism are still comparatively low.
„2015 is the year for action“, said Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of UNWTO. He sees a huge opportunity concerning sustainable development worldwide, but particularly for the countries most in need.
For more information:
Tourism - Driving Trade, Fostering Development and Connecting People: here
Sustainable Tourism for Development“-Guidebook: here
WTTC – ECONOMIC IMPACT MAY 2015

<<Data remain encouraging and suggest another quarter of solid GDP growth by Eurozone standards is on the cards. Growth of 1.5% is expected in Q2 and 1.6% for the year-the strongest year since 2011. However, at the time of going to press, Greece’s membership of the Eurozone hangs in the balance, although the situation is dynamic and could change. Greek banks have closed for a week, capital controls have been implemented and probability of a ‘Grexit’ remains extremely high. Should an orderly ‘Grexit’ proceed, scenario analysis suggests Eurozone GDP growth for 2015 will decline to 1.4%; revised to 1.3% in the event of a disorderly exit and potentially falling to -0.2% in 2016. Under the‘worst case scenario’ Greece will be hit hardest, with negative GDP growth of 3.3% and 10.6% forecast for 2015 and 2016 respectively.>>
Source: WTTC July 2015

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ETC TRENDS & PROSPECTS REPORT Q2 2015

<<The European Travel Commission (ETC) published the second quarterly report for 2015. European tourism growth remains solid at the beginning of the year confirming the continued positive performance of European destinations. Positive results before the summer period are driven by increased demand from both intra-regional and overseas markets. These results confirm the sustained upward trend estimated for 2015 and proves the on-going efforts of destinations to fight seasonality.The vast majority of reporting ETC destinations record increased numbers of international tourists arriving in the first five months compared to the same period last year.>>
Source: ETC July 2015

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