ESPA Newsletter August 2013
If you can not view the newsletter properly, click here
• November 2013
ESPA European Spas Association
Official Newsletter
Recently all EU countries should have transposed the directive on patients' rights in cross-border healthcare into their National laws. But the level of transposition still varies from Member State to Member State.
The key objectives of the directive are to improve the choice of healthcare for patients, make information easier accessable, and set recognition criteria for cross-border prescriptions. Furthermore also Europe's healthcare systems benefit from this directive, as the cooperation between Member States should be enhanced for example on topics like eHealth, health technology assessment, and pooling experts of rare diseases.

The phenomenon of cross-border healthcare is not new for the spa sector because of an already long tradition of going to another country for spa treatments especially in Eastern Europe. But this directive will still provide benefits for the European spas and health resorts as a broader range of patients has better access to information about for example reimbursement and can make an optimal choice.

Martin Plachý,
News | The Association
12th EUROPEAN TOURISM FORUM took place on October 17-18th, 2013 in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
The Forum started with the Informal Ministerial meeting, where Vice President of the European Commission Antonio Tajani, ministers and representatives from the EU Member States in charge of tourism discussed visa policy, senior tourism initiatives and tourism related funding under the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020.
The private sector representatives signed the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Code for Ethics for the Private Sector, which has already been signed by more than 150 global tourism business associations.
Picture from left to right: Evalda Gustas (Minister of Economy of Lithuania), Jurgita Kazlasukiene (Vice-President of ESPA), Taleb Rifai (UNWTO Secretary General)
More »
From 25 to 26 October 2013 the German Spas Association (DHV) hosted in Bad Kissingen the German Spa Day "Bädertag". ESPA President, Martin Plachý, was invited from the President of the DHV, Ernst Hinsken, and cordially welcomed. After the official opening by Ernst Hinsken, the welcoming speeches followed. Martin Plachý spoke among the Mayor of Bad Kissingen, the President of the Bavarian Spa Association and the Spa Director of Bad Kissingen. His words about the European Spas Associations objectives and philosophy in German language had a very positive impact on the audience.
Within the framework of the German Spa Day, the Academy of Balneology and Climatology (VBK) held its meeting of members, in this context Mr Dr. Kurt von Storch was elected as President of the VBK. The VBK is as member of the DHV, its scientific department for medicine and technic.
Picture on the left: Martin Plachý (President of ESPA)
termatalia 2013
Ourense, Spain, 20 - 22 September 2013
On Friday, 20 September 2013 until Sunday, 22 September 2013, Expourense became once again global meeting point of thermalism. Termatalia, is an international tourism fair focusing on thermalism, thalassotherapy and spas.  The fair opened its doors for participants of 31 countries from four continents and a total of 237 exhibitors. In addition the B2B meetings counted more than thirty tour operators and travel wholesalers.
ESPA was also in 2013 again the European partner of Termatalia. ESPA Secretary General, Joachim Lieber, was part of the advisor committee and President of the 8th international meeting on water and hydrotherapy.
Picture from the left: Joachim Lieber (Secretary General of ESPA), Joao Pinto Barbosa (Marketing Manager of ESPA)
More »
News | ESPA Members

Euradon Association in Jáchymov 12.-14. September
The autumn session of EURADON Association was held this time by Medical Spa Jáchymov. The meeting gathering the representatives of European radon spas coming from Germany, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary allowed the delegates of spas, scientists and doctors to discuss and debate the development and the most recent findings related to radon therapy.
Picture: on the left Martin Plachý (President of ESPA) in the middle Dr. Eduard Bláha (President CZ Spa Association)
More »

109th German “Bädertag” of the German Spas Association (DHV) 24.-27. October 2013
The health cure (Kur) in change - the theme of this year's "Bädertag" (German Spa Day), which took place under the direction of the President of the DHV, Ernst Hinsken, from 25 to 26.10.2013 in Bad Kissingen, one of the most famous spas in Germany. High-ranking representatives from politics, industry and science discussed actual topics in various technical forums and workshops.
The presentations and discussions in Bad Kissingen ranged from I-Pad to walking-frame and represented the variety of the German spa industry. Outstanding and renowned exhibitors have presented their promotional materials to the wide audience on an information fair on Saturday, 26 October 2013.
Picture: Ernst Hinsken (DHV President), Melanie Ruml (The Bavarian Health Minister)
More » 


10th Anniversary - Fondazione Forst 
In september 2013, the Foundation for the scientific and thermal research (, which was founded by Federterme in 2003, has turned its ten years’ activity. It is a no profits foundation, managed by a public and private administrative committee, financed  by some funds (more than 5 milions of euro), which derive from thermal companies that take place in Italy. The Foundation aim to promote and substain the activity of the medical and scientific research within the thermal field, which is focused on the biomedical and social-economic  results of its treatements.
More »

Jurmala is preparing for the winter season
While the cooler temperatures are a sure signal that autumn has arrived, Jurmala remains a lively place, as people from all over are still visiting to recharge their batteries in various ways.
After a renovation that lasted several years, the Great Kemeri Heath nature trail (Liela Kemeru tirela taka) reopened to the public in August. The trail’s wooden footbridges lead to an observation tower that offers a splendid view of the unspoiled heath and is a great vantage point for bird-watchers.
More » 

Joined Activities in Baltic Region
Conference on “Development of the Joint Regional Tourism Conception in the Baltic Region” on 11 October 2013 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The Baltic Assembly in close cooperation with the Lithuanian Resorts Association organised the conference which emphasised the Role of the resorts in the Baltic tourism sector and how resorts contribute to health tourism development in the Baltic Region.
During the conference the Momorandum of Understanding between the Lithuanian Medical Tourism Cluster, the Lithuanian Resorts Association, the Latvian Health Tourism Cluster, the Latvian Resorts Association and the Estonian Health Tourism Cluster was signed.
More »

The profile of Wellness guests
What is the profile of the Dutch Wellness guests? This was an important question for the Wellness sector in the Netherlands. Because of the fact that the answer could lead the possibility to respoind the needs and to enter in different market opportunities.
With the intention to get a more specific profile of the visitors in the Wellness sector in 2012 there was carried out a representative research under the customer base of seventeen organisations, spread over the whole country of the Netherlands. More than 10.000 respondents have participated on this extensive research.
More »

Romanian Workshop and Forum for Balneary Tourism 2013
As every year, OPTBR – the Romanian Spa Owner’s Organisation - organised an international event dedicated to the balneary and spa tourism. The 2013 edition of the Romanian Workshop and Forum for Balneary Tourism was organised for the first time in  Saturn/Mangalia, hotel Cleopatra****, between 4-6 September.The event was held under the high Patronage of the Ministry of Economy, of Mrs. Maria Grapini, minister in charge for SME-s, Bussiness Environment and Tourism and with the kind cooperation of ESPA and the World Tourism Organisation.
More »
News | European Union
The new EU Directive on patient’s rights and healthcare entered into force on 25 October 2013.
European citizens will be able to avail of healthcare in another EU country under this new law. The law clarifies patients' rights to access safe and good quality treatment across EU borders, and be reimbursed for it. Patients travelling to another EU country for medical care will enjoy equal treatment with the citizens of the country in which they are treated.

The following information is accessable via our website:
- Questions and Answers (Q&A) about the Patient’s Rights in Cross-border Healthcare
- Video about Cross-border Healthcare
- Cross-border Healthcare leaflet
- List of National Contact Points
- Information for patients
(Source: European Commission 2013)
More »
Easing life for businesses and improving tax compliance
<<Brussels, 23 October 2013, a new standard VAT return, which can cut costs for EU businesses by up to €15 billion a year, has been proposed by the Commission. The aim of this initiative is to slash red-tape for businesses, ease tax compliance and make tax administrations across the Union more efficient. As such, it fully reflects the Commission's commitment to smart regulation and is one of the initiatives set out in the recent REFIT to simplify rules and reduce administrative burdens for businesses (IP/13/891).>>
(Source: European Commission 2013)
 More »
The programme includes also opportunities for tourism
<<Tajani: COSME is the EU’s new programme dedicated to SMEs, which provide 85 % of all new jobs in the EU. COSME is foremost a funding instrument that will improve access to finance for SMEs and improve access to markets inside and outside the EU. The programme is set to run from 2014 to 2020, with a budget of €2.3 billion.>> (Source: The Parliament.Com 2013)
Opportunities for tourism:
The objectives and activities of COSME are focusing on different areas but related to tourism the improvement of the framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises is relevant.
(Source: European Commission 2013)
 More »
logo_en_ep - kopie.jpg
21 October 2013, Civil Liberties MEPs voted on a major overhaul of current EU data protection rules
<<The new rules will also replace the current patchwork of national laws with a single set of rules, which should make it easier for companies to move across the EU while at the same time strengthening citizens' rights.
The EU's current data protection laws date from 1995, before the Internet came into widespread use, and does not cover data processed for law enforcement purposes. Today, 250 million people use the Internet daily in Europe. The new rules update existing legal principles and apply them to the new online environment, so as to ensure effective protection of the fundamental right to data protection and improve certainty as to the law for companies.>>
(Source: European Parliament 2013)
 More »
logo_en_ep - kopie.jpg
Meeting the challenge of demographic change is one of the greatest tasks facing policymakers, writes MEP Emer Costello.
<<On 2 October 2013, MEP Emer Costello hosted a seminar at the European Parliament with the Irish longitudinal study on ageing (TILDA) and ISC Intelligence focusing on how longitudinal studies on ageing can inform policy for healthy life years.
The evidence-based research generated by TILDA enables a better understanding of the ageing process, provides jobs, education and training, supports innovation, and informs policy for increased healthy life years. Over 8500 people aged 50 years and over living in Ireland took part in the studie.>>
(Source: The Parliament.Com 2013)
 More »
logo_en_ep - kopie.jpg
The time has come to move from 'reflection' to 'action' in tackling chronic diseases such as psoriasis, argues MEP Nessa Childers.
<<Not only do chronic diseases have a huge impact on people's health, they also represent a challenge for the efficiency and sustainability of health systems across Europe.
Between 70 and 80 per cent of healthcare costs are spent on chronic diseases which, according the OECD, corresponds to €700bn across the EU. This number is expected to grow over the coming years, creating even greater pressure on our member states' economies.>>

A few days ago a report was published about the 'reflection process on chronic diseases' where EU countries and the European comission were invited from the European council to identify ways to optimise the response to chronic diseases and improve cooperation between Member States. The main areas where EU intervention might add value were identified as prevention and health promotion as well as chronic disease management with an emphasis on patient empowerment.
(Source: The Parliament.Com 2013)
 More »
News | Miscellaneous

SPA-CE 2013 – Met in Spas of Central Europe
Spa and Wellness professionals met for the 5th edition of SPA-CE in Sárvár, Hungary, from 3 to 5 October 2013. Iztok Altbauer, Director of Slovenian Spas Association and initiator of SPA-CE, invited spa and wellness providers to promote their services. Being proud of its health- touristic services and developments, Hungary hosted this year’s event.
Picture on the right: Csilla Mezösi (Board Member of ESPA)
More information »
european thermal meeting (neu).jpg
European Thermal Meeting
7-8 November 2013, Enghien, France
The « Fédération Thermale et Climatique Française » (FTCF) and « Conseil National des Exploitants thermaux » (CNETh) are hosting in Enghien-les-Bains (20 km north of Paris) the European Thermal Meeting « balneotherapy in Europe: present and future » on 7 & 8 November 2013. Thursday, 7 November afternoon will be dedicated to scientific issues, namely to “the evidence in balneotherapy of rheumatic conditions” whilst more diverse topics related to balneotherapy in Europe will be addressed on Friday (education and training of professionals, organisation, regulation, funding, impact of european union rules and directive on cross-border healthcare…). Registration and all particulars concerning accommodation will be available through the website below...
More information »
logo ehv.bmp

27 - 28 November 2013, Klaipeda, Lithuania
We are pleased to announce the upcoming international conference on „Science evidence-based  wellness development“, which will take place from 27 to 28 of November, 2013, in Klaipeda.
The aim of the conference is to present the problems of the Lithuanian resorts, as well as for health and wellness tourism in general, to share the current challenges and exchange knowledge and experience with colleagues from the EU and neighbouring countries. Furthermore to give a brief overview of what has been done and still needs to be done in the future for science evidence-based wellness development, to have more professional specialists in rehabilitation.
This conference is organised in close cooperation with the European Spas Association (ESPA), Lithuanian Science Council, Klaipeda State College, Lithuanian Resorts Association and Lithuanian Chamber of Healthy Lifstyle and Natural Medicine.
More information and the programme available below.
More information »
HORIZON 2020 - Health Open Info Days
October 2013 - March 2014, EU Member States
<<Horizon 2020, the EU's new programme for investment in research and innovation, is expected to include more than 7 billion EUR for the 'Health, demographic change and wellbeing' challenge. The Health Open Info Days will give an essential information on how to develop a good project proposal, how to get through the application process, step by step, and how to find project partners and how to get answers to your questions.>>
(Source: European Commission 2013)
Dates & Information »
4 December 2013 - BRUSSELS, Belgium
On 4 December 2013, the European Tourism Day will take place in Brussels. This year's topic is accessible tourism. The organiser is the European Commission. For more information / registration available soon at
More Information »
Studies and Statistics
Improving Health for all citizens
The EU is active in many ways to ensure the improvement of health for all citizens in the European Union.

European spas and health resorts related topics are:
- Access to healthcare in all EU countries
- Strengthening the quality, safety and efficacy of treatments
- Tackling the risk factors of chronic disease
- Fighting obesity
- Promoting healthy and active ageing
- Increasing access to health information
- Research and health expertise

The European Commission proposed a public health programme for 2014–20 in 2011, in December 2013 the final version will be published together with the calls for proposals for 2014. The four key areas are:health promotion and disease prevention; protecting citizens from cross-border health threats; innovative and sustainable health systems; better and safer healthcare for citizens.
The budget proposed by the European Commission is €446 million. It is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2014.
(Source: European Commission 2013)
More »
International tourism on the rise boosted by strong performance in Europe
<<Demand for international tourism remained strong throughout the first eight months of 2013, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Between January and August, the number of international tourists worldwide grew by 5%, driven by strong results in Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East.
Europe (+5%) benefited the most from the growth of tourism in the first eight months of 2013, with an estimated 20 million more arrivals in the region. Given that Europe is the world’s largest tourism region with many mature destinations, a 5% growth rate is very positive. Central and Eastern Europe (+7%) and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%) performed particularly well.>>
(Source: UNWTO Press Release Madrid, Spain, 17 October 2013)
Update recommendations on "Accessible Tourism For All"
The UNWTO updated its recommendations on "accessible tourism for all". Taking the previous recommendations into account. Accessible Tourism for All defines the appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, transportation, information and communications and facilities open to the public or for public use.
Besides an introduction in the topic the paper includes definitions, recommendations on the scope of application regarding infrastructure and services as well as staff training.
<<According to the World Health Organization (2011), there are approximately 1 billion persons with disabilities in the world, or 15% of the world population having a physical, mental or sensory disability.>>
(Source: UNWTO 2013)
More »
Please take a moment to visit
You can also join us or leave feedback at Facebook and Twitter

At European Spas we are always pleased to receive feedback about the website from our users and, where possible, we use it to make changes that improve the website service. Please contact us at

Subscribe the ESPA Newsletter here
European Spas Association
© 2013 All rights reserved. | Design and development: Vectweb®

© 2013 European Spas Association. All rights reserved.
If you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, please click here

This message is in agreement with the Portuguese Law (Decree-Law No. 7 / 2004, January 7th) relative to sending of commercial messages: Any message must be clearly identified with the sender's information and should give the receiver a chance to be automatically removed from the mailing list.
European Spas Association - 50, Rue d'Arlon - B 1000 BRUXELLES - Belgium - Phone: 0032 2 2820558 - Fax: 0032 2 7330619 - E-mail: