ESPA Newsletter December 2013
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• December 2013
ESPA European Spas Association
Official Newsletter
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News | The Association
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20-23 May 2014, Vejle, Denmark
’We are thrilled to be hosting the 19th Annual ESPA Congress in Vejle’ says Head of Tourism in Vejle, Mr. Morten Damgaard and continues, ‘And we are presenting a congress, which we think will inspire the participants to Expand the Spa Experience for their guests.’
The invitation will be sent out early January and will also be available at . Registration at
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"Europe, Best Destination for Seniors"
DG Enterprise and Industry announced the members of the expert group on "Europe, Best Destination for Seniors", and Mr Petry is elected to represent ESPA within the expert group. The expert group is the result of the workshop of this topic held at the beginning of December. In this framework ESPA will contribute during the coming meetings to the Senior initiative of the European Commission. The objektives are to increase senior tourism flows in the low and medium season both inbetween EU countries and/or from third countries (Russia, Brazil, China, during the pilot phase of 2014/2015).
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International conference "Science evidence-based wellness development"
Klaipeda, Lithuania, 27 - 28 November 2013
During the international conference on „Science evidence-based  wellness development“, Mr Plachý, ESPA president, held a welcoming address to the conference participants. The conference outlined the challenge or rather the need for an industry-wide generic and consistent terminology when differentiating the sector. It is necessary to clearly articulate the different types of tourism in order to avoid confusion. For example what is health tourism, medical tourism and wellness tourism? This was among others emphasised by Anni Hood, one of the conference speakers. Her Blog »
News | ESPA Members

Updated version of the Definitions – quality standards for the official recognition of health resorts, relaxation resorts and medicinal springs
At the General Assembly of the German Spas Association on Saturday, 26 October 2013, in Bad Kissing, the revised definitions were adopted. The updated 12th version is also online available what is the joint work of the chairmen of the committee Hans-Joachim Bädorf, the federal states associations, the ministrys and further members. You can find the online version here » 
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European Thermal Meeting, Enghien-les-Bains, 7-8 November 2013
The European Thermal meeting organised by Federation Thermale et Climatique Française and CNETh in Enghien-les-Bains on 7-8 November gathered up to 250 attendants from thermal resorts, and medical professionals.
Representatives from the major international organisations of balneology and balneotherapy (ISMH, ESPA, FEMTEC) had a unique opportunity to come together in the outstanding setting of the spa resort of Enghien-les-Bain.
More » 


EU cross-border health assistance in Italy
The EU directive on cross-border healthcare treatments potentially concerns 600 million Europeans living in the EU’s 28 countries, 2 million doctors and 20 million nurses and thermal operators that will allow access to a “network” of structures for cross-border treatments in which European citizens can choose – following agreements between the respective national health systems and in regimes of reciprocity – where they would like to have their thermal cures.More »
Thermal bath consortia and EXPO 2015  in Italy
As Ms Natali emphasised during the European Thermal meeting in Enghien-les-Bains, the cooperation of companies, communities, local and regional authorities is an important opportunity for the wellbeing tourism of Italy’s spas. It is for this reason that EXPO 2015 in Milan has recently made an agreement to create initiatives to valorize the natural and touristic-cultural resources, naturally including the wellbeing tourism of Italian spas. More »

Latvian Health Tourism Cluster issued a brochure in Russian and English
The Latvian health tourism cluster in cooperation with Latvia’s resorts association created and issued a brochure for an easier and more effective promotion of its products in Russian and English. This brochure reflects varied areas of specialisation of cluster partners and types of companies, from clinics and hospitals up to SPA centres and tour operators, ready to arrange health tourist's travel to a clinic or other health-related institution in the country. More » 
Jurmala is the first city in Latvia to receive a resort status
On 19th of November, 2013, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia granted the status of a resort city to a part of Jurmala’s administrative territory, except Brazciems, Priedaine and Varnukrogs. Formal acquisition of a resort status will contribute to the attraction of investments for the further development of the infrastructure and will promote health tourism services of Jurmala in domestic and foreign markets. More » 
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Vitality&Wellness is a profession
In September 2009 HZ University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands started the bachelor programme Vitality & Tourism Management. As in wellness and health tourism one of the key issues is well trained and educated staff. Now, after four years, the first graduates have received their bachelor degree (Bachelor of Business Administration). More »
Wellness at the Coast, research in progress
As Scaldis Academy is building up a body of knowledge in Wellbeing, especially at the coast, they would like to extend their international research contacts, especially with companies alongside the “coldwatercoast”. More »

ATP (Portugal) have signed the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics
The Portuguese Spa Association (ATP) have signed the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, committing to implement the ethical provisions of the Code in their policies, plans and business operations. The signing took place at the 3d International Conference on Tourism & the Mediain the presence of UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai and Mr. Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, Portugal´s Secretary of State of Tourism (2nd December, Estoril, Portugal). More »

The celebration of 20 years since the foundation of the Organisation
For the occasion of the 20th anniversary a seminar about the potential and opportunities for the spa sector in Romania with a great participation of representatives from the official bodies, associations, tourism agencies, owners of infrastructure in the field.
The international Danube conference
For In the framework of the 4th edition of the international Danube Conference, honored by representatives from the UNWTO and the European Tourism Commission, tourism associations, as well as specialists from all Danube countries etc., the president of the Romanian Spa Organisation, Mr Radulescu, presented a project about a possible cooperation regarding the spa potential of the countries along the Danube.
 More »
News | European Union
Health, demographic change and wellbeing
The next EU research and innovation programme, HORIZON 2020, Work Programme 2014-2015 is adopted and the calls for proposals are open. The work programme is build around the main societal challenges like an aging society. Funding opportunities are available for example in the field of "Personalising health and care". A simplified funding model and bureaucratic processes shall motivate more potential applicants such as small and medium-sized enterprises to submit a project proposal.
If you would like to go through the information on the official website please click here »
(Source: European Commission 2013)
Accessible Tourism in Europe
<<The European Commission - DG Justice and DG Enterprise and Industry – celebrated on 3 and 4 December 2013, the "European Day of Persons with Disabilities" and the "European Tourism Day" 2013 with the Joint Conference on “Accessible Tourism in Europe”>>
Various speakers and representatives from the EC showed during these two days the importance of this target group for the tourism businesses. Within this framework spas were also named as examples and generally speaking health tourism has become more important and the awareness is risen. This was also emphasised by the evaluation of the stakeholder survey on senior tourism by the EC.
Various open consultations - Have your say!
Future European Tourism »
Regulatory and Administrative Framework for Tourism »
Patient safety and quality of care »
VAT legislation on public bodies and tax exemptions »
EU copyright rules »
Health: a condition for economic prosperity and social cohesion
<<Have a look at this infographic about health systems in the EU, investing in health and how the Commission can help.>>
(Source: European Commission 2013)
 Infographic »
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November 2013
The European Parliament approved the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. This framework allows the European Union to invest in the following spending priorities: sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness. The EU's growth strategy Europe 2020 is the basis for the prioritisation. In this context the cohesion policy will contribute to this aims by investing approx. 325 bn euro in Europe's regions, cities and the real economy. The support for small and medium-sized enterprises will be increased, local programme partners will gain more influence on spending and the terms of funding become more flexible. There will be stronger result-orientation and a new performance reserve in all European Structural and Investment Funds that incentivises good projects.
(Source: European Parliament and European Commission 2013)
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 »
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30 January 2014, HZ University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
On Thursday  30th January 2014,  Scaldis Academy (part of the HZ University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen) is organising the symposium “The future of coastal lifestyles”. The outcomes of the student research projects will be presented as well as keynote speakers will expand the topic with their own experience and research. One of the keynote speakers will be Ms Melanie Smith.
Invitation »
3-4 March 2014, Berlin, Germany
Basic Training for Hotel- and Spa-Managers  
European Quality Management System EuropeSpa will offer a two-day training course about quality in Spas on March 3rd and 4th 2014 in Berlin. The course will be preceding world’s biggest travel trade fair
ITB in Berlin. It is held in English and addresses mainly managers in Spas and Hotels as well as consultants. Participants will have the opportunity to pass   a test after the course in order to obtain the „EuropeSpaExpert“ - ­certificate.
More »
Studies and Statistics
Press Release UNWTO, 12 December 2013
According to the UNWTO press release from 12 December 2013, <<international tourist arrivals grew by 5% in the first nine months of the year, to reach a record 845 million worldwide, an estimated 41 million more than in the same period of 2012. Growth was driven by Europe and Asia and the Pacific, both seeing tourist numbers increase by 6%.>>
The figures show, that among the 25 largest international tourism earners, tourism receipts grew in ten destinations - including within Europe the United Kingdom (+18%), Turkey (+13%), and Greece (+15%).
(Source:UNWTO Press Release 12.12.2013)
European Tourism 2013 - Trends and Prospects (Q3/2013)
<<The ETC just published the third quarterly "Trends and Prospects" report for 2013. As tourism arrivals continued to grow throughout 2013 the numbers for tourism businesses across Europe are aceiving high level records of demand. This is emphasised by the fact, that most of the 32 European destinations reporting foreign visits through May-August post positive growth. The peak summer season sees acceleration in demand in some of Europe’s largest destinations, including UK (+6%), Spain (+5%) and Italy (+3%). Flat growth is reported only by Scandinavian destinations, while Cyprus (-5%) and Belgium (-2%) continue to struggle.
Visitors remain cost-conscious and consolidate the trend towards shorter stays, as suggested by a more moderate growth in overnights compared to arrivals. A notable exception is Bulgaria (+6% in arrivals and +8% in overnights), which actively tackles seasonality through product diversification.>>
(Source: ETC 2013)
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Published by the European Parliament
<<The study provides an overview of regional demographic structures and trends in the EU with the focus on their likely effects on socio-economic and territorial cohesion and the role of Cohesion Policy in addressing demographic change. In detail it analyses how and to what extent the 2007-13 European Cohesion Policy and Structural Funds have been tackling demographic change at the regional level in order to derive useful indications on how Cohesion Policy actions could be more effective in the future programming period (2014-2020).>>
(Source: European Parliament 2013)
More » 
It is alarming that prevention expenditures have been reduced further since 2009
<<The Health at a Glance 2013 version provides the latest comparable data on different aspects of the performance of health systems on the basis of OECD countries.
It provides striking evidence of large variations across countries in the costs, activities and results of health systems. Key indicators provide information on health status, the determinants of health, health care activities and health expenditure and financing. For example different areas of spending have been affected in different ways: in 2010-11, spending on pharmaceuticals and prevention dropped by 1.7%, while hospital costs rose by 1.0%. >>
(Source: OECD 2013)
More »
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