ESPA Newsletter March 2014
If you can not view the newsletter properly, click here
• March 2014
					European Spas Association
2014 is a year of changes – in May it is time for the European Parliament elections. Thereafter we will welcome the new European Parliament which is the first time electing the President of the European Commission. The appointment of a new European Commission will follow in October and the appointment of a new European Council President, in November. Furthermore we enter the new period of the Multiannual Financial Framework and the funding programmes for the coming years 2014-2020. All this will lead to new potentials, chances and opportunities but will also find new challenges.

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

Martin Plachý,
 News | The 19th ESPA Congress
19th ESPA Congress 19th ESPA Congress

Please click here for the e-Invitation and Registration Form »
A lot to be excited about: Sharing, vikings and international relations A lot to be excited about: Sharing, vikings and international relations

‘It’s all about sharing, isn’t it? Sharing what you like and care about, what you find useful, what you are inspired about with others. What you are passionate about.  And connecting with people to find out what they are interested in, what makes them happy, what they need in order to be the best versions of themselves’ says Karen Vognsen, from the Vejle-based organising committee. ‘At the congress, we have a great number of people coming together from all over Europe, sharing their passions with all of us and inspiring us on both a professional and a private level.’

More »
Did you know? Danish VAT is refundable – save up to 20% on your congress fee + accommodation Did you know? Danish VAT is refundable – save up to 20% on your congress fee + accommodation

When attending the ESPA Congress in Denmark, all international participants are eligible to have up to 20% of the congress fee and the accommodation reimbursed by the Danish VAT authorities. Completing the paperwork is quite simple and each participant is individually responsible for this after the congress has been held.

Read more about tax refunds and download the forms here »
News | The Association

ESPA Innovation Awards - First Announcement

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 information can be found here »
New ESPA Logo New ESPA Logo

The European Spas Association has a new logo. The logo was step number one of the refreshment of ESPA’s corporate visual identity.

From 5 until 9 March 2014 Berlin was once again the centre of the global travel industry. ESPA was present and represented the European spas and health resorts during several meetings at the ITB. The meetings were on international, European, national and regional level and ranged from the exchange with ESPA members and member organisations’ members, the internal organisation of ESPA projects such as the 'ESPA Innovation Awards', the congress workshop preparation and the discussion about future collaboration possibilities, to the point of political meetings with for example the Deputy State Secretariat for Tourism of Hungary, Ms Dr. Viktoria Horváth, Deputy State Secretary. As well as a meeting with the DCC Danube Competence Centre, about the development and promotion of a Spa Wellness route in the Danube area and how to cooperate.
Termatalia brought together the European and Latin American Thermal experts at ITB Berlin Termatalia brought together the European and Latin American Thermal experts at ITB Berlin

07/03/2014 Termatalia an event led by Expourense, has become a main event in the European and Latina American thermalism. The next edition of this event was presented at the ITB Berlin to specialised tour operators, the international media and professionals of the health and wellness sector. This presentation took place at the booth of Argentina. Termatalia will promote the interchange of experiences from a corporate, institutional and social point of view, driving the strategic market of Thermal Tourism and Wellness. At the same time, scientific and commercial contacts between the two continents will be established in Termas de Rio Hondo (Santiago del Estero - Argentina), from 2nd to 4th of October.

Picture: from left to right: 2. Alejandro Rubín, Director of Termatalia 3. Joachim Lieber, General Secretary of the European Spas Association ESPA 4. Enrique Meyer, Minister of Tourism of Argentina 5. Nava Castro , Director of Tourism of Galicia 7. Miguel Mirones, President of Affiliate Members of the UNWTO, of ANBAL and the Spanish Institute for Tourism Quality 8. FIT -Reisen , German operator represented by its general manager , Claudia Wagner
Martin Plachý, ESPA President, received “Tourism Personality of the Year 2013” award Tourism Personality of the Year in the Jubilee 10th Year of the Award a Spa Representative Martin Plachý, ESPA President, received 'Tourism Personality of the Year 2013' award
Tourism Personality of the Year in the 10th Year Jubilee of the Spa Representative Award

Prague, Holiday World Exhibition, 20 February 2014 – The prestigious award of the Tourism Personality of the Year - Holiday World Award for 2013 has been received today in the context of the ceremonial opening of the Holiday World Exhibition by Ing. Martin Plachý, CEO of the spa management company Royal Spa, Vice President of the Society of Curative Spas of the Czech Republic and President of the European Spa Association. The winner of the award was selected by a jury consisting of leading experts in travel and tourism.

More »
ESPA releases Parliamentarian Questions for the European Elections 2014 ESPA releases Parliamentarian Questions for the European Elections 2014

ESPA prepared during the last month parliamentarian questions for the 2014 European elections. It is made of 7 questions which are backed up by an explanation or rather statement. ESPA calls on all candidates and European political parties to support its statements and answer to the questions, in order to ensure that spas and health resorts contribute to a healthier Europe on a fair and recognised basis.

To the PQ»
 News | ESPA Members
Latvia Latvia
Jurmala City is widely represented at tourism fairs around Europe during the first months of the year

Jurmala City Council participated in the tourism exhibitions and fairs in accordance with the EU project 'Participation of Jurmala resort in foreign international tourism exhibitions, fairs and conferences-2014', as well as in cooperation with Latvian Tourism development agency and entrepreneurs of Jurmala city. Our main markets such as Skandinavia, the Baltic Sea region, Germany and Russia were covered.

Jurmala’s historical part of the city – Kemeri – soon will have its vision of further development!

More »

PEDRAS SALGADAS THERMAL SPA & NATURE is the 2014 winner of the US magazine "Travel and Leisure Design Awards" category Best Resorts.

'The 13 cottages and tree houses of this resort step slightly on the land, the latter stretching their long forms out into the forest like elegant praying mantises, the better to bask in and honor a pristine environment of centuries old trees and hot springs'. (Travel + Leisure)

More »
International training course on quality in wellness and spa, 'BBQ am Alex' hosted 25 participants from 11 countries

Berlin, March 4th, 2014 | What makes up a good lomi lomi massage? Which safety measures have to be respected in the sauna area? In which way different factors have to interact in order to offer the guest a perfect wellness experience? The topics hygiene, safety and service quality in wellness facilities have been covered during a two-days training course at “BBQ am Alex“ in Berlin. Prior to the ITB, 25 participants from 11 European countries discussed and studied all relevant aspects for leading-edge quality in wellness and spa. The course was held by EuropeSpa med & wellness GmbH which, together with the European Spas Association (ESPA), runs the most sophisticated quality system for medical spa and wellness in Europe.

More »
 News | European Union
The Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union The Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The first semester of 2014, Greece adopts the Presidency of the Council of the EU. Among the principles which guide the work of the Greek Presidency, they talk about the fight against non-communicable diseases. One of the actions is a High-Level Conference on nutrition and physical activity. 'Building on the input of the Conference, the Presidency intends to propose Council Conclusions on nutrition and physical activity, aiming at promoting healthy lifestyle behaviours across the Lifecycle.'
Source: Programme of the Greek Presidency
Schedule Health for Growth Programme (2014-2020) Schedule Health for Growth Programme (2014-2020)

The foreseen schedule for the implementation of the Health for Growth Programme 2014-2020 is as follows: On 26 February 2014 the European Parliament voted during the plenary session in Strasbourg positively for the Third Health Programme 2014-2020. At the beginning of March the Programme Committee of the previous HP 2008-2013 will be given the Annual Work Programme 2014 for informal consultation. Thereafter follows the adoption by the Council. The Annual Work Programme for 2014 with the subsequent calls and the programme regulation will be published in April/early May.
Source: European Commission 2014

More »
European Tourism Quality Principles European Tourism Quality Principles

The, on 20 February 2014 by the European Commission proposed, set of voluntary European Tourism Quality Principles, complement other European initiatives such as visa facilitation for third-country tourists etc. This initiative will be voluntary for Member States. However the Member States are asked to coordinate, monitor and promote the principles. The proposed recommendations will now be on the table of the Council during the Greek and Italian EU Presidencies.
Source: European Commission 2014

More »
Update on the progress of the revision of the Package Travel Directive Update on the progress of the revision of the Package Travel Directive

On 12 March 2014 the European Parliament voted in the plenary session on the Package Travel Directive. After the resolution of the Parliament the discussion will be continued in the Council. The vote in the Parliament ‘closes the first reading and ensures that the new Parliament has a mandate for negotiations with member states on the final wording of the directive. Talks with member states are expected to begin after the elections in May.’
Source: European Parliament 2014

More »
The European Commission presented on 20/02 a new strategy to support coastal and maritime tourism in Europe. The European Commission presented on 20/02 a new strategy to support coastal and maritime tourism in Europe.

‘Under the new framework of the coastal and maritime tourism strategy the Commission invites Member States, regional and local authorities and industry among others to:
Develop cultural heritage based tourism, underwater archaeological parks (based on work done by UNESCO), and nature and health tourism in coastal destinations.
The strategy outlines 14 EU actions to help coastal regions and businesses tackle the challenges they face and strengthen the sector's position as a key driver of Europe's blue economy.’
Source: European Commission 2014

More »
Press Conference - The thermal therapy according to the WHO Press Conference - The thermal therapy according to the WHO

Roma, Italy, coming soon The thermal therapy according to the WHO FoRST (Foundation for Thermal Scientific Research) and Federterme present in Rome the results of the project "Hydroglobe". The study is included in the "Report on the health strategies 2014-2023" presented by the WHO last November in China and acknowledged for the first time the role of thermal therapies in the field of traditional and complementary medicine.
For information: email - ph: + 39 06/85300966 – 06/8419416

More »
Info Day EU Funding DG Tourism Info Day EU Funding DG Tourism

Brussels, Belgium, 20 March 2014
The info day will focus on the most important EU programmes for the tourism sector and will find answers around practical questions such as: who can apply; how to apply…

More »
Workshop on IT Tools for Tourism Workshop on IT Tools for Tourism

Brussels, Belgium, 21 March 2014 The objective of the Workshop on ICT for Tourism is to discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by the technological progress for the tourism small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

More »
International Peloid / Spa Treatments Symposium International Peloid / Spa Treatments Symposium

Bad Bayersoien, Bavaria, Germany, 21.-22. March 2014
From 21.-22. March 2014, you are welcome to participate in the International Peloid / Spa Treatments Symposium at Bad Bayersoien, Bavaria, Germany. The focus is on current empirical evidence gleaned from medical, scientific and clinical data concerning Peloid therapy and spa research. Please find the “Call for Abstracts” and the invitation below, with the request that you kindly distribute it among all your colleagues in related fields and to other interested parties.

More »
The 2014 EU Summit on Chronic Diseases
world water day 2014.jpg World Water Day 2014: Water and Energy

22 March
'International World Water Day is held every year on 22 March to focus global attention on the importance of water and advocating for the sustainable management of our water resources.
Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.'
Source: UNIDO/United Nations University March 2014

More »
The 2014 EU Summit on Chronic Diseases
The 2014 EU Summit on Chronic Diseases The 2014 EU Summit on Chronic Diseases

Brussels, Belgium, 3-4 April
The 2014 EU Summit on chronic diseases addresses the medical, social and economic burden of chronic diseases in the EU. Key policy makers, stakeholders and interest groups will explore ways to develop policy recommendations for action clarifying on how the medical, social and economic burden of chronic diseases should be tackled in the European Union now and in the years to come.

More »
Info Day on the Third Health Programme 2014-2020 Info Day on the Third Health Programme 2014-2020

Brussels, Belgium, 11 April 2014
As the Third EU Health Programme 2014-2020 is on its way to enter into force. The European Commission is organising a Info Day with the purpose of informing ‘about the main features of the Third Health Programme and how it can contribute to foster health in Europe by encouraging cooperation between Member States to improve the health policies that benefit their citizens.’

More »
Global Forum on Tourism Statistics Global Forum on Tourism Statistics

Prague, Czech Republic, 15-16 May 2014
The Global Forum on Tourism Statistics has been providing since 1994 a unique platform for the regular exchange of views and experiences on developments in tourism statistics. The aim is to discuss major technical issues concerning the establishment of harmonised tourism statistics in an environment that strengthens co-operation among governments, the private sector, researchers, academics, OECD and EU member and non-member countries and international organisations.

More »
MinWat2014 International Multidisciplinary Conference on MINERAL WATERS MinWat2014 International Multidisciplinary Conference on MINERAL WATERS

Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Czech Republic, 8-11 September 2014 The main objective of the conference are: typical problems existing in the fields of hydrogeology-hydrogeochemistry (Theme A), bottled mineral water (Theme B), and balneology (Theme C).

More »
ISO TC 228 and interview with the new Convenor of the WG2 ISO TC 228 and interview with the new Convenor of the WG2

Wellness / Thalasso / Medical
Progress in Working Groups - WG2 Update: This working group is developing two projects: ISO/DIS 17680 Thalassotherapy-service requirements ended the DIS period of consultation on 2013-11-19. ISO/CD 17679 Wellness spa-service requirements have finished the CD ballot in September. Both projects have been discussed in Malaysia. A third project is in the pipeline about medical spas. The basis is the old ISO/DIS28621 for Medical spas Service requirements using natural resources - ANBAL is currently working on a new proposal.
Picture: WG2 Health tourism services Convenor, Dr. Idoia Garaizabal

More »
 Studies and Statistics
EuroStat – ‘Record level of 2.6 bn nights spent in tourist accommodation in the EU28 in 2013’

The record level of 2.6 bn overnights spent in tourist accommodation across the EU in 2013 shows compared to 2013 a positive growth of 1.6%. The number for international arrivals was even higher and showed a positive growth of 5%.
 ‘Among the Member States for which data are available, the highest number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in 2013 were recorded in France (405 million nights, +1.1% compared with 2012), Spain (387mn,+1.0%), Italy (363mn,-4.6%), Germany (355mn,+1.3%) and the United Kingdom (320mn,+6.5%). These five Member States accounted for 70% of the total number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the EU28.’ Whereas the highest relative increases in number of nights spent in tourist accommodation were reported in Greece, Malta and Latvia.
Source: EuroStat Press release 29 January 2014

More »
Eurobarometer - 'Preferences of Europeans towards tourism'

In February the European Commission (EC) published the actual Eurobarometer survey. This survey gives insights about the preferences of Europeans towards tourism. In terms of health tourism you can find information about people choosing wellness/health/spa treatments as their reason for going on holiday in 2013. For example ‘In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, an exceptionally high proportion of people – 53% – went on holiday for wellness/spa/health treatment, as did relatively high proportions in Iceland (38%) and Latvia (36%).’
Source: European Commission February 2014

More »
ETC Trends & Prospects Report Q4 2013

The European Travel Commission (ETC) published recently the forth quarterly report for 2013.
According to the report ‘Destinations in Europe can look back over the past year and celebrate the outstanding performance of their tourism sector.’ An increase of 5.4% of international visitors (Among Europe largest destinations: Turkey (+10%), France (+8%), Spain (+6%), Germany (+4%), Italy (+3%); smaller destinations:  Iceland (21%), Latvia (+14%), Serbia (+13%), Greece (+12%), Slovakia, Malta (both +10%), Lithuania (+8%), Ireland (+7%), Croatia, Bulgaria (+6% each))in 2013 exceeded the optimistic forecasts of maximum 3 % at the beginning of 2013.
2014 will be influenced by this positive trend ‘International tourist arrivals growth accelerated during the year, also due to the recovery of large outbound markets such as France and UK. This positive trend is expected to continue through 2014, as the euro area (+1.0%) is turning the corner from recession to recovery, according to the IMF1. ‘
Source: ETC Feb 2014

More »
UNWTO - International tourism exceeds expectations with arrivals up by 52 million in 2013

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer international tourist arrivals grew by 5% in 2013, reaching a record 1,087 million arrivals. UNWTO forecasts a growth (4-4.5%) above the long term projections also for 2014. The strongest destinations in terms of international tourism were in 2013: Asia and the Pacific (+6%), Africa (+6%) and Europe (+5%). Whereas the leading sub-regions were: South-East Asia (+10%), Central and Eastern Europe (+7%), Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%) and North Africa (+6%). Russia and China stand out among the most important source markets in the world. ‘China, which became the largest outbound market in 2012 with an expenditure of US$ 102 billion, saw an increase in expenditure of 28% in the first three quarters of 2013. The Russian Federation, the 5th largest outbound market, reported 26% growth through September.’
Source: UNWTO January 2014 Press Release
EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020

In the framework of the ‘European Union (EU) Presidency conference entitled “Nutrition and Physical Activity from Childhood to Old Age: Challenges and Opportunities” held 25-26 February 2014, in Athens, Greece’, the new "EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020" was adopted. Furthermore the WHO/Europe "Country profiles on nutrition, physical activity and obesity in the 53 WHO European Region Member States" produced with support from the EU, were launched.’
Source: WHO March 2014

Action Plan 2014-2020 »
Country Profiles »
More »
EPHA Guide - The EU and Health

‘The main aim of this guide is to provide a comprehensive update on public health policies in the European Union. This paper includes an overview of the main actors, their role, as well as a synopsis of the main funding priorities. This guide also aims to support health actors in understanding how the EU works, which EU policies impact health, and the role of the EU in issuing health policies. In a nutshell, this guide is a compilation of the most up-to-date information on public health for the benefit of all.’
Source: European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) 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
© 2014 European Spas Association. All rights reserved. | Design and development: Vectweb®

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: