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ESPA European Spas Association
For the European Spas Association (ESPA) the year 2016 started with the completion of the EU funding period of the Roman Thermal Spas of Europe project which ESPA was coordinating since 2014. As well as with the EU Parliament Intergroup on Development of European Tourism, Cultural Heritage, Ways of Saint James’ and other European Cultural Routes jointly organized roundtable discussion on health tourism in the EU Parliament and the positive recognition of European spa tourism during the EuU Parliament TRAN Committee Tourism Task Force exchange of views with Commissioner Ms E. Bienkowska.
Now the preparations of the 21st annual ESPA congress in Vichy and the 3rd edition of the ESPA Innovation Awards are in our focus.
We look forward to a fruitful and strong year 2016! I hope you enjoy reading the February issue of our e-newsletter

Martin Plachý
News  |  The Association
XXI ESPA Congress - Vichy - 24-27 May 2016 - Save the date!
The 21st Annual ESPA Congress
Register now!
From 24-27 May 2016, the annual ESPA congress will take place in Vichy, France.
The ESPA Annual Congress is a one-of-a-kind, multi-dimensional, multi-day event. The Annual Congress includes everything from engaging workshops, B2B meetings, the ESPA Innovation Awards Gala, strategic thinking and knowledge sharing about the industry, and an outstanding international conference. The events and activities leading up to it are designed to strengthen the bonds between the key stakeholders of the Spa and Health Resorts Industry. Our congress programme is now availbale here and the invitational letter here.
Espa Innovation Awards 2016
ESPA Innovation Awards 2016
We look forward to your applications!

We are looking forward to receive a broad coverage of applications. Check-out also our new category for research and see what is new for 2016. Further information as well as all the relevant documentation can be found here. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Health Tourism Roundtable Discussion Eu Parliament
Health Tourism Roundtable
Discussion EU Parliament
© European Union 2016: Secretary General ESPA J. Lieber, Members of the European Parliament A.-C. Tapardel and I. Ujhelyi

On 26 January 2016 ESPA together with the EU Parliament Intergroup on Development of European Tourism, Cultural Heritage, Ways of Saint James and other European Cultural Routes in particular with the support of Ms MEP Tapardel, and the European Travel Commission, organised an event on "Health Tourism - a Chance for European Tourism Development".
The Roman Thermal Spas of Europe
The Roman Thermal Spas of Europe
Update on recent activities...

The Roman Thermal Spas of Europe started the new year with presence, presentations and press conferences in Denmark, France, Germany and Switzerland. Our recent activities and press releases can be found on our website and Facebook page.
Further the EU funding period ended with on January 31, 2016 and the continuing marketing cooperation has been in operation since the February 1, 2016. As we are still setting the course for the future, we invite all European thermal spas with Roman roots to communicate their interest to become one of the "Roman Thermal Spas of Europe".
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Europespa - blog
Europespa - blog on specialised medical spa and wellness topics
Update on recent activities...

EuropeSpa, the official quality system of the European Spas Association (ESPA), offers a blog on special interest medical spa and wellness topics on their website. The blog in English language is primarily aimed at professionals in the medical spa and wellness industry. Apart from posts on balneology and spa medicine the blog also addresses aspects from marketing, and quality management in medical spa and wellness as well as aspects of spa design and structure. The blog can be accessed here.
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News  |  ESPA Members
BUBSPA - Bulgaria - Four Season Health, SPA and Wellness Tourism
10 Years – Bulgarian Union For Balneology And Spa Tourism

10 Years – With A Mission And A Vision For The Future Development Of The Bulgarian Spa Destinations, Part Of The United European Spa Product! Since its establishment in Dec 2006, BUBSPA has consistently been working to fulfill its mission – Bulgaria to become known and recognized as a competitive spa and medical spa European destination with its more than 500 healing mineral thermal spas, healing climate and curative mud, competitive quality of the offered spa & medical spa product / modern medical spa & spa hotels, qualified staff, competitive prices.
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The German Kneipp-Bund e.V. is looking for support

Our Denish Board member Reiner Wieben is supporting the new project initiative of the Kneipp-Bund and taking part with two Denish kindergraden.

If you are also interested to be part of a project consortium focusing on the further development of treatment methods after Kneipp on European level then find the contact below.

Contact: rau@kneippbund.de
Deutscher Heilbäderverband
Uwe Strunk is the new Managing Director of the German Spa Association.

With Mr. Strunk, the association gains a proven professional with experience in healthcare. He also builds on many years of experience as a manager of DEHOGA Brandenburg and as an entrepreneur at the Baltic sea coast.

Oberstdorf certified as allergy friendlich municipality.

Oberstdorf, climatic health resort, Kneipp spa and one of the most attractive tourist resorts in Germany, has built up in just 6 month a supplier network of allergy-friendly accommodation, catering and retail under the guidance of the German Spas Association (DHV) . All enterprises are trained by professionals of the DHV and meet the criteria for allergy-friendliness of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF).
The Netherlands
Bad Nieuweschans is looking for medical treatment investors.

The local government of the region Oldambt (north-east of The Netherlands) is searching for medical treatment investors. This is part of a programme to develop the small village of Bad Nieuweschans into a (medical) spa destination.
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News  |  European Union
Tourism Task Force Meeting – TRAN Committee EP
On Tuesday 16 February 2016 the European Parliament TRAN Committee exchanged views with the Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Ms E. Bienkowska. In reference to the encouraging speech of Mrs Bienkowska it was positively recognised that the importance of health tourism and spa destinations for the European tourism was emphasised and that the Tourism for Growth & Jobs Manifesto which ESPA supports together with currently 27 other European tourism stakeholders found its appreciation and recognition.
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2-Day Training Course On Quality In Wellness & 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 prior to the ITB on March 7th and 8th, 2016 in Potsdam (near Berlin) and will be held by EuropeSpa CEO Dr. Kurt von Storch in English.
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Studies and Statistics
Improving Quality In Disease Prevention: Moving Forward
<<With the chronic disease epidemic rapidly evolving and imposing an increasing burden on health systems, disease prevention and health promotion have not been given adequate priority. Caused by common modifiable risk factors like tobacco, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and aggravated by underlying socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental determinants, chronic diseases are increasingly affecting vulnerable groups. As a result, inequalities in health are persisting across EU Member States, with a difference of 19 healthy life years between the lowest and highest values[1]. WHO’s recent report[2] ‘Preventing chronic diseases – a vital investment’ says that inexpensive and cost-effective interventions to address common modifiable risk factors exist.>>

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ETC: Exploring Transnational Tourism Themes And Routes
<<In the past decades, the development of thematic tourism initiatives has grown worldwide and gained importance. In particular, tourism routes emerged with the key aim of bundling tourist attractions under a unifying theme for promotion purposes and to attract visitors to remote tourist locations. In contrast, tourism themes bring together a destination’s tangible and intangible features and are designed to cater to specific visitor segments pursuing unique experiences on topics such as culture, history, heritage, nature, sports, gastronomy, religion or health. From a transnational perspective, themed tourism products enhance synergies, strengthen cross-border collaboration and offer visitors an immersive experience through the kaleidoscopic offer that’s available across different countries in Europe and in other regions around the world.>>

Source: ETC Bulletin Winter 2015/2016
Also further the new quarterly report of the ETC here.
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