NEWSLETTER JULY 2015
NEWSLETTER LUGLIO 2015 - _eng.pdf
This newsletter is being published in a significant period of the spa season 2015 and we hope that this will have success despite the uncertainties showed by the general macroeconomic framework, in particular in Europe.
We had always considered Europe as a significant point of reference and on many occasions we had outlined the guidelines the spa system had to build upon.
The most qualifying result of our commitment was the approval of EU Directive 24/2011 on patients’ rights in cross-border traditional and thermal healthcare. Once the Directive was approved it has been transposed in the legislation of all Member States and now patients can choose where to take their thermal treatments everywhere in the EU.
However, we must point out that there are considerable difficulties regarding its implementation and we are deeply committed to promote concrete steps to solve them.
Therefore we invite you to pay particular attention, in this newsletter, to the agreement with the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds in the framework of project “Kontaktstelle” (“contact point”), outlining a series of initiatives aimed at promoting information and understanding of EU Directive 24/2011.
We can assure you that we will continue to do our utmost in order to support any actions aimed at enhancing the concrete implementation of EU Directive 24/2011, as this is essential for the development of the spa industry.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the initiatives in the cross-border region Euregio and for the constitution of the Balkan Institute, formed by the Thermal Associations of Turkey, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, with the mission to identify a new touristic product “the spa businesses in the Balkan region”, as a qualifying offer focused on scientific research and health tourism.
We would like to congratulating also our colleagues in Latin America and in particular we would express our deep satisfaction for the activities of the ALATh, the Latino American Thermal Association.
We hope that our joint commitment let us reach all our target objectives as we believe that any future achievements will be possible only with your close cooperation and continuous support.
Andres Campos Ennio Gori
SITh President OMTh President
EUROPE - ITALY
EU Directive 24/2011: current state of implementation
With the patronage of OMTh, the consortium VENETOACQUAETERME, comprising all the spa businesses in the Veneto region authorized to provide thermal treatments, has promoted a series of important initiatives aimed at disseminating knowledge and understanding of EU Directive UE 24/2011.
This project, called “Kontaktstelle”, was co-funded by the Veneto region. As a consequence, in Germany a free-phone number (08006004410) was made available for all German citizens in order to get legal and health care information on the possibility to choose thermal therapies abroad (in particular at the spa’s in the Veneto region) without a previous authorization, as required by the EU Directive.
They are also developing the institutional website www.thermenitalien.de and their representative office is located at Villa Canossa, in Casale sul Sile - Treviso, where the Italian-German Chamber of Commerce and the Honorary Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany are located, as well.
In order to be successful, this initiative shall be supported, disseminated and marketed at all German associations, establishments or bodies by the Italian-German Chamber of Commerce, of which the consortium is a member.
The legal assistance is entrusted to the Berlin law firm of lawyer Paola Nardini, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Venice.
On 20th May 2015 the lawyers have met with the leaders of the GKV-Spitzenverband to discuss the technical requisites and all the necessary steps to be carried out in order to let German citizens undergo thermal treatments abroad with guarantee of the subsequent reimbursement of their expenses.
During the meeting they reiterated once again that medical prescription is essential to request prior authorization for treatment, which is also an essential condition in order to get the reimbursement of the expenses incurred.
This being said, the insured person shall be free to choose the health care center and the EU Member State where taking the authorized treatment and the health care center must have obtained all the necessary authorizations according to its own national legislation.
This meeting confirmed therefore once again the important work carried out by OMTh in order to fully include spa treatments in the therapies that can be carried out by all European citizens in another EU Member State, provided that the insured person is entitled to in her/his own healthcare system.
During the first semester 2015 the Working Group on thermalism met several times at the EURAC headquarters in Bolzano. During these meetings the representatives of Land Tirol, Trentino and South-Tyrol drafted a cooperation project in order to promote the training of professionals based on clear shared objectives.
The general objective of the project consists in promoting the contact and exchange of information between professionals in the three regions of Euregio, by identifying the common elements and the differences between the three Regulations.
The dialogue and the exchange of information are based on the necessary self-reflection and self-learning which are possible only analyzing one’s own daily work and explaining it to the colleagues of the other regions for comparison. In this way the organization schemes and the relationships networks involving users and operators can be compared.
The staff exchange program will take place at different times in order to create groups of 8 subgroups (2 from the host structure and 2 from the structure sending its professionals) working together for 2 weeks. The staff exchange is scheduled for September 2015.
Debate would also focus on the 3rd meeting as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 28th February 2012 during the Meeting in Comano Terme. In 2014 the 2nd Meeting took place in Merano and the next meeting is due to take place on 13th November 2015 in Bad Häring. The meeting will focus on two aspects of hydrothermalism: the scientific research relating to thermal cures and the activities and offers in the Health and Wellness Tourism Sector. The staff exchange of the previous months will be presented and assessed, as well.
HYDROTHERMALISM IN ITALY
In 2014 the Area for strategic business planning of Monte dei Paschi di Siena has presented a thoroughly study over the Italian spa system. The study shows that Italy holds a primary position worldwide concerning the qualification of thermal cures and the modernity of the spa centers: Italy boasts over 380 spa businesses registered at the Ministry of Health, distributed over 20 regions and 170 municipalities.
Today more than ever the spa and wellness industry is a complex, wellstructured sector and its position has been changing over the years both in the national healthcare system and in the tourism activities. The spa system represents a very important sector in the national economic system, with 17.000 employees and a turnover of EUR 380 million.
The regions with the largest number of thermal visitors are Tuscany, Veneto and Trentino. In the years 2008 - 2012 the number of visitors in the thermal locations showed a decline because of the economic crisis and a lower propensity to consume of Italian households. Italians account for just over half of arrivals and visitors (55%) even if the number of foreign visitors choosing Italian thermal resorts as their holiday destinations is increasing. In 2012 a slight increase both in stays and arrivals was noticed (about 1%), but it still does not feature a countertrend, because the crisis is ongoing.
Now the current situation is being carefully monitored by OMTh.
Informal surveys carried out in 2014 by OMTh suggest signals of some encouraging stability. This is raising hopes and suggests the end of the decrease of stays and turnover that affected the previous years. Whilst at the beginning of 2015 the signals were extremely positive, in June a new stagnation was registered. This “hot spot” is a real concern to the industry. Now it will be necessary to wait the end of the current spa season in order to draw any reliable conclusions.
“Spain: the spa system between tradition and innovation”
Spain boasts over 2000 hot springs with mineral waters which have been declared to be in the public interest. As such, Spain offers all the necessary conditions for a differentiated development of the spa industry.
At the moment, with its ca. 120 spa businesses, 107 thereof in their own hotel, the country can be considered as a point of reference in wellness tourism.
Since time immemorial, all the civilizations that have lived in this country have appreciated the value of this natural remedy using the healing effects of the local hot spring waters to their advantage. That is why Spain can look back to a centuries-long tradition of specific clinical studies on the effects and the use of this distinctive element.
The great variety of waters - largely due to their specific composition - supports a very differentiated offer of the spa industry, also because every spa business can offer customized and specific services, with exclusive natural remedies.
Below you can find the (approximate) statistical data of the industry referring to 2014
Number of beds in hotel - direct (+1.0%) 19043
Number of beds in hotel - not direct (+1.0%) 3555
Number of Employees (-0.6%) 5040
Clients (+3.5%) 972,900
Overnight stays (+1.0%) 4,043,500
Average stay (-2.3%) 4,16 days
Total turnover of the industry 262,000,000€
D. Miguel Mirones Díez
President of the
Asociación Nacional de Balnearios de España - National Association of Spanish Spas (ANBAL)
Health and Wellness Tourism in Portugal
In 2004 in Portugal a law has been published (Dec Lei 142/2004) regulating all thermal activities and introducing the possibility to use spa businesses for purpose other than those strictly connected with therapies and cures.
The services provided at the spa businesses have been classified in three groups, i.e.: the basic services (“services provided through thermal technologies for prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and maintenance of health”), ancillary services, i.e. the ancillary activities helping to enhance the effectiveness of the basic services and finally the value added services, or accessory services. The latter are completely independent from the first ones and “integrate the services of thermal wellness that, due to the features of the spa business and its surrounding area, can be provided using natural mineral waters and thermal technologies.”
In this last large category we find what is commonly called “wellness thermalism”, as if it were contrary to the so-called “basic” services, which are also commonly defined “therapeutic thermalism”, using an overused word.
This legal framework enabled the spa businesses to offer an extended range of services, with highly increased purchases in the wellness sector. However, I would like to point out that until the publication of the above mentioned law no statistics were available on the use of the spa businesses as recreation and wellness centers - where “wellness” means a series of activities without any clinical supervision.
Thermal baths have a centuries-old tradition and I believe that their use for therapeutic purposes has never been exclusive. Today “health” is defined in a very wide sense as “wellbeing” and the World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Against this background, it seems worth reflecting upon the forced separation between these two types of thermalism.
‘Thermalism and health’ and ‘thermalism and wellness’ simply refer to two different scopes and to different clients’purposes, as well. With their huge amount of natural mineral waters, with all the clinical support they can rely on and with their qualified medical staff, spa’s and thermal baths are the right place to enable people to discover the power of wellness, as they are longing to. Maybe the clients have finally understood this, as the spa industry has experienced a significant growth after some years of stagnation between 2004 and 2010. In the last years Portugal has experienced a significant growth of the number of clients searching for wellness, in contrast to the trend experienced in therapeutic thermalism where clients mainly chose the largest and most famous thermal resort, at the expense of the less developed ones. In 2012, for the first time, the number of the wellness clients has overcome the number of client in the therapeutic thermalism sector. As such, we should be encouraged to a deep and clear discussion on such a relevant issue, as the clients’ purposes are.
Adriano Barreto Ramos
General Director at Caldas da Felgueira, Termas & SPA
THE SPA TREATMENT AND THE MEDICAL REHABILITATION REPRESENT THE MAIN PRIORITY IN THE ROMANIAN SPA NETWORK
As a European Union member state, Romania should adjust its economic and social development goals to meet the needs and expectations of its own people, as well as the European bodies directions and recommendations.
A part of the Romanian natural resources, such as mineral resources, including mineral waters, therapeutic mud lakes and a climate which vary from the Carpathian subalpine and forested areas to the Black Sea coast have allowed the development of a great number of climatic and spa-resorts, many of which enjoying the European level recognition.
The beginning of the third millennium was auspicious for the international spa movement, as the year 2000 was declared the “ World Year of Balneology”.
In the first decade of the new millennium the future of the European Balneology was defined especially in the field of the chronic diseases, which increases continuously, mostly in the advanced countries.
In the European spa revolution trends, reflects the positive new concept defined by de World Healthy Organisation, with a view to health people’s obligation to take care of personal health; thus, the focus was on health cures, as opportunities offered by spas to the healthy individuals.
As a member of the European Union, Romania has identified the development and capitalization of spa and tourist resort in our country. The expansion of international tourism in many European countries has led to new forms of “spa tourism”, with a lot of interconnections with the spa specific activities.
A very important support for the activity in the European spa movement has been done by the Council of Europe, approving in 2011 the “Directions regarding the medical assistance beyond borders of the EU pacients”. For this very important event OMTh and SITH paid a great effort, and started initiatives and steps at their meetings organized in Levico Terme and Cuntis.
In the Romanian spa network, we encourage the following steps, in order to promote our spa movement:
• to recomand the increase of the confort in our cure hotels, year by year;
• to encourage especially the upgrading and the building of the new cure hotels. Now we have over 40.000 beds in hotels with their own diagnostics and treatment centers indoor. The total number of beds in spa resorts is 53.000;
• to pay more and more attention for kinetotherapy and for the medical rehabilitation;
• to provide mostly the new generation of the medical equipments in the treatment bases;
• to increase the percentage of preventive treatment addressed to healthy people over 50 years old, living under stress, overweight people, depressive people, sleeplesnes people, sedentary people;
• to offer a complex antiageing treatment in order to slow down the ageing process (geriatric prophilaxy)
• to pay more attention also for “wellness cure”, “antismoking cure”, “slimming cure”, “fitness cure”, cosmetology for face and body.
Dr. Laviniu Munteanu
Bucharest, OMTh Treasurer
SPA-CE - 7th Edition from 1st to 3rd October 2015
Dear colleagues and friends of SPA-CE,
We are all dreamers and number seven is one of the most desirable fairytale numbers. But the 7th edition of SPA-CE is proving again that SPA-CE is not a fairytale but the only trade show of spa and wellness tourism in Central Europe. And we are happy to say it is strengthening its position each year. Since its beginning, SPA-CE has hosted more than 160 providers of spa and wellness services and hosted buyers on average more than 15 countries from Europe. Also the number of B2B meetings is really impressive as it has surpassed 3.300. A very important fact is also that we are able to attract more and more new potential partners. Just last, when the Slovenian traditional Spa town Radenci was host of the SPA-CE workshop, there were more than 90 % of newcomers. Our surveys show that they come to explore, get the knowledge and not only bind the first business connections, but also sign several agreements for programmes, groups, etc.
And this year SPA-CE is going international again. We are really honestly happy that the world famous lake resort Hévíz in Hungary agreed to be the host of this year’s meeting of the spa industry of Central Europe from 1 to 4 October 2015. According to The Global Wellness Institute research the spa and wellness industry is booming. Thermal and spa spring are generating $50 billion, Spa industry is annually generating $94 billion, while the Wellness tourism is generating a whopping $494 billion. Just looking around us, the Central European region has the strongest focus on the spa industry in a concentrated area so great opportunities are waiting for us. Also the predicted growth for this year by the WTO is a promising message just waiting to be turned into business.
We are welcoming all in Hévíz in the beginning of October where the European Spa business will met for the first time. And we are sure you would not want to miss the opportunity to be a part of it!
SPA‐CE, YOUR CHANCE TO DISCOVER, LEARN ABOUT AND EXPERIENCE THE BEST SPA & WELLNESS OFFER OF CENTRAL EUROPE!
SPA‐CE trade show is still the only trade show focused on the thermal and natural spa resorts of Central Europe. It was first held in 2009 in Ljubljana, Slovenia and after that every year in one of the natural spa resorts in Slovenia and Hungary.
This year we would like to invite you to Hungary, to Hévíz, Europe's largest thermal lake where 7th SPA‐CE will be held from 1 – 3 October 2015.
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOUL ATTEND SPA‐CE AS A HOSTED BUYER
• SPA‐CE = MAKING BUSINESS IN A PERSONAL WAY
SPA‐CE is a boutique trade‐show offering a different experience. Face‐to‐face business development is acknowledged as being the most successful form of selling and building a personal and direct relationship with exhibitors. SPA‐CE is the trade show that emphasizes the importance of personal contact. The core of the show are pre‐scheduled meetings between providers and hosted buyers that when realized, always put a face to the name of your potential new business partner!
• SPA‐CE = ECONOMICAL USE OF YOUR TIME
We promise that you won’t waste any minute of your precious time! Every 20‐ minutes face‐to‐face meeting will give you new information and new reliable contact! Using our one2one on‐line system will allow you to choose the exhibitors you want to meet!
• SPA‐CE = FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE
Site‐visits on a day before the show will give you first‐hand experience of the local offer. Post‐show fam trip will be organized to visit the local spa and health resorts. Experience the offer in order to present it in the best possible way to your clients!
• SPA‐CE =OPPORTUNITY TO GAIN NEW KNOWLEDGE
Traditionally SPA‐CE conference opens the stage for professionals from the spa & wellness industry. New trends, fresh ideas and valuable knowledge is what we offer!
• SPA‐CE = EXCELLENT HOSPITALITY
Free transportation to Hévíz, accommodation in a 4 star hotel, transfers to and from the airport, study tour, constant support of SPA‐CE team, evening social events, refreshments and lunches during the day. Good time is guaranteed!
Don’t hesitate! As SPA‐CE is a boutique trade‐show the attendance is limited and early registration is highly recommended! Please check Terms and conditions (http://www.spa‐ce.si/hosted‐buyers‐status) for participation.
More information: http://www.spa‐ce.si, E: natalija@spa‐ce.si, T: +386 1 430 51 03
The BalkanSpa Treatment & Medical Research Center / BalkanSpa Academy / BalkanSpa & Wellness Summit / BalkanSpa Awards
I have a great honor to inform you that we have realized the initiative for the establishing of the BalkanSpa Institute, the idea that comes true from the Spa associations of Turkey, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.
All four associations equally and severally participate in the formation and operation of BalkanSpa Institute.
These four associations make the Board of Founders (BoF) which signed a BalkanSpa Manifesto on February 20th in Belgrade.
BalkanSpa Institute mission is a multidisciplinary and includes:
1. Improvement of methods of prevention, relaxation and medical rehabilitation in the Balkan spas, through clinical and experimental research,
2. Promotion of the use of natural healing factors in the process above.
3. Spa classification and introduction of standards in spa services,
4. In the field of health tourism, to collect all of the common ethnic components of the Balkan countries (traditions, culture, gastronomy, music, customs and certificates tumultuous history) profiling them, and put into use the definition, creation and promotion of new tourist product in Europe - Balkan Spas. We will succeed if we follow all the quality programs of relaxation, prevention, and rehabilitation in our salvation, “packed” in an authentic and intriguing tourist package, and show the rest of the world why we are unique.
The BalkanSpa Institute centers were established in order to efficiently and effectively conduct the BalkanSpa Institute. For the operation of each of the centers is responsible a team leader of the center. The Team leader of each center is elected by the BoF members, at the decision of the BoF.
The BalkanSpa Treatment & Medical Research Center performs the following activities:
a) Clinical and Experimental Research
b) Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation
c) Healing Natural Factors
d) Specific Spa Treatments
e) Spa Classification and Standards
Team leader is Prof. Dr. Zeki Mufit KARAGÜLLE (Turkey)
The BalkanSpa Education & Training Academy performs the following activities:
a) Education and Training
b) Medical Wellness and Fitness
c) Training Certification
d) Good Spa Professional Practice
e) Spa Classification and Standards
Team leader is Marko Jurakić (Croatia)
BalkanSpa Health & Wellness Summit performs the following activities:
b) BalkanSpa Quality & Promotion Awards
c) Educational Workshops
d) Agenda and Sections
Team leader is Vladan Vešković (Serbia)
The BalkanSpa Quality & Promotions Awards performs the following activities:
a) Awards & organizing categorization rules
b) Marketing & Promotion
c) Communication & Networking
d) Marketing & Promotion
e) EU Funds
Team leader is Iztok Altbauer (Slovenia)
SLOVENIAN SPAS ASSOCIATION©
ALATh – Latino American Thermal Association - News
Hot springs, warm climates and their inhabitants: could it be the scenario’s of a future wellness?
ASOCIACIÓN LATINO AMERICANA DE TERMALISMO www.alath.com
Regarding thermalism two approaches are actually the main ones on the international scene: hydrothermal therapy (1) in the Northern hemisphere and the protection of the environment alongside touristic activities (2) in the Southern hemisphere. In the first approach research is focused on therapeutic studies (medicine in the thermal locations, balneology, medical hydrology and climatology) while in the second approach - in particular in the tropical areas - the main issue is the knowledge of the well-preserved natural heritage, which is often unexplored and unknown, and of the tropical bioclimate, predominant in the whole Southern hemisphere.
Using the key words: therapeutic landscapes and environments, medical geography and geology, environmental geochemistry and therapeutic spaces/locations (Gomes & Silva, 2006; Finkelman, 2006), we can say that Latin America seems to offer the best conditions for the development of the spa industry, in particular in the regions featuring a vaste natural heritage and also thanks to the offer of spa’s, wellness, health tourism, salutogenic environments and hydrotherapy services (CAM).
In future, Latin America could become an important source of wellness, as it could provide lots of therapeutic (both natural and urban) spaces. All this is most evident in the great variety of environments and natural resources which are actually used in the tropical spa industry. Along with Asia, Indonesia and Africa the continent offers amazing opportunities of development but we need more research on bioactivity in fields such as medical thermalism, crenotherapy, hydrologic medicine, thermal cures and more research is also needed on how to mobilise the unused potential of these therapeutic resources.
Some examples of countries where local natural tropical resources are already used: Cuba, Argentina, Korea, China, Taiwan, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil and many other countries in Latin America. All of them are countries featuring a lush tropical vegetation and are best suited for thalassotherapy. In this case, too, however, further studies on the BAC (biological active components), as well as on spa’s, health and tourism are needed.
VI OMTh/ALATh HYDROTHERMAL MEETING – Latin America – Brazil/2015
The main event organized during our foundation’s first year of existence was the VI OMTh/ALATh HYDROTHERMAL MEETING – Latin America, in Águas de Lindoia – Brazil (21st-22nd March 2015; the event was registered to the World Water Day - UNESCO 2015). The meeting was attended by prestigious professionals from three countries (Brazil, Argentina and Colombia) and from 10 towns located in 5 different federal states in Brazil. Among the speakers we would like to mention Dr. Nestor Ficosecco (Argentina) who explained the hydrotherapeutic technologies related to social thermalism-crenotherapy, that in Brazil are classified as part of Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM).
State Secretary of the Ministry for Tourism in San Paolo
At the current stage ALATh has sent to the MERCOSUR agency the last updated version of its statute, which will be also discussed and submitted for its approval on the next meeting of the OMTh Managing Committee, scheduled for next October 2015. Other initiatives: 14th Salão Turismo do Estado de São Paulo (Touristic Trade-show of the San Paolo State): dialogue and exchange of information on thermalism and on health tourism (www.amitur.org).
In San Vicente (Colombia), Professor Lisbo Justo (ALATh Director) has presented the positive results of the use of local thermal waters, after the discovery of their therapeutic properties. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Professor Lisbo for his commitment to the growth and development of the spa system.
NEWS FROM BRAZIL
OMTh carried out intense activities in Brazil under the guidance of its Vice-president Fabio Lazzerini, Scientific Director of SBT (Brazilian Society of thermalism).
Termatalia is expanding its network and welcomes Brazil among its members. Fabio Lazzerini, OMTh Vice-president and ALATh President was appointed as representative of this country for the states of Sao Paulo and Paraná. This is the first step to include this very large country, featuring lots of states offering the best conditions for the development of the spa industry. Like this, the International Fair of Thermal, Health and Wellness Tourism - already boasting 21 countries in 4 continents - goes even larger.
Brazil joins the network of the participants of Termatalia, i.e. countries with a great thermal potential counting on the sector through institutions and companies interested in the development of the product “Health and Wellness Tourism”. Given his long employment record, Fabio Lazzerini enjoys the group of representatives cooperating for the promotion of the trade-show as an international contact and meeting point in the spa and thalassotherapy industry.
Fabio Lazzerini is geologist and Vice-president of the OMTh (World Hydrothermal Organization) and he participated actively to the last edition of the International Fair of Health and Wellness Tourism which took place last October in Termas de Río Hondo, in the province of Santiago de Estero, in Argentina.
Lazzerini participated ad speaker to the 9th International Meeting on Water & Spa, during the session on medical hydrology and was member of the Brazilian delegation made up of businessmen and professionals which was represented also by ‘Termalismo Brasil’ and by the states of Sao Pedro and Santa Caterina, two states well-known for their many hot springs.
The spa industry in Sao Paulo and Paraná
The state of Sao Paulo actually boasts 63 spa businesses, 13 thereof with their own mineral hot springs. 10 of the latter belong to the same circuit: Águas de Lindóia, Águas da Prata, Amparo, Atibaia, Campos do Jordão, Lindóia, Monte Alegre do Sul, Poá, Serra Negra and Socorro. The latter is called Circuito das Águas paulista or Precambrian Paulista and it offers oligomineral waters which are cold all year round (21°C throughout the year), featuring the highest degree of radioactivity in the country. Bioleve, a bottled mineral water from this state, was one of the winners on the last international tasting session of several water varieties which took place on the Argentinian edition of Termatalia.
The Paranà basin as well, with the famous Guaranì Aquifer - the largest source of fresh water in the world - boasts many spa businesses offering mineral waters with a particular and complex structure; they are mainly alkaline waters featuring therapeutic properties already acknowledged and certified in many balneologic and hydrotherapic activities.
The state of Paranà is located to the south of the Sao Paulo state, in the area called “Corredores das Águas” (‘water corridors’). It is a region with humid subtropical climate, featuring hot summers and is renowned for its many entertainment options, for example its taverns in the countryside, its waterparks and its mineral hot springs, as well as for its large rivers such as Paraná, Paranapanema and Ivaí. The region hosts many cultural and commercial events and Maringá is its most important center.
In Brazil the spa industry is experiencing a general growth despite a serious political crisis affecting the major strategic sectors, i.e. the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Mines/Energy. The sole purpose of the latter, which have always supported the spa industry with large investments, is currently the defense of bottled mineral waters interests. It shall be noticed that in the last 10 years the National Crenological Committee has had no representative of the Brazilian Thermal Association among its members.
As a consequence of the strengthening of the activities relied to the spa industry in the country, many initiatives have been started with the financial support of institutional, regional or local bodies and with the investments from the private and the commercial sector.
Regarding the development of the Brazilian spa industry following initiative is worth to be mentioned:
in Águas de Lindóia/SP, in cooperation with Bioleve Co., a project was realized resulting in the discovery of interesting levels of bioactive components like oxygen, thoron and radon in the thermal hot springs (environments with natural ionization and exposed to radionuclides radiation), alongside with trace elements such as silicone, boron and barium. The project also boosted some legislative progress in sectors related to health tourism and CAM hydrotherapy.
I would like to mention another study carried out in cooperation with UFES (Federal University of the state of Espirito Santo): this state offers ideal natural conditions for thalassotherapy and spa holidays on the radioactive monazite sand beaches (Guarapari beach).
Finally, in the Paranà state, located near one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Iguaçu waterfalls (Cataratas - Foz do Iguaçu/PR), the spa resort Itaipu lake (Itaipulandia/PR) is worthy of mention. This resort offers its mineral and medicinal thermal waters - from the largest source of fresh water in the world, the Guaranì Aquifer - using them for recreational activities, thermal and cosmetic treatments. The local alkaline waters are rich in sulphates and trace elements (boron, manganese, zinc and molybdenum) in form of BAC (biological active components).
In conclusion I would like to highlight two scientific documents:
1. development of cosmetics with water naturally rich in liquid crystals (Monteiro e Silva et al., 2015 – UNIFESP/BRA)
2. the presentation of the study over thermal siliceous waters, carried out by Lazzerini (OMTH) in cooperation with Dobrzyński (Warsaw University - Poland) and Souto (Sociéte Française de Thermalisme et de Thalassothérapie pour la Santé Bucco-Dentaires - France).
COLOMBIA – preparations for the meeting
In Colombia the preparations are running at full speed in order to organize an international meeting scheduled for May 2016 in Santa Rosa de Cabal. This is a very important initiative, not only for Colombia but for the whole spa industry on the Latin American continent.
40th ISMH WORLD CONGRESS - Brazil - Rio de Janeiro 26th-28th August 2015
This is a very important event qualifying ISMH as an essential protagonist of the current international thermal scene in the sector of scientific research. It is highly recommended that you participate.
ITALY - LEVICO TERME
The spa season at Terme di Levico - highlights 2015!
By tradition, on 27th April Levico Terme celebrated the opening of its spa season. The local spa’s can look back to a solid and ancient tradition, rooted both in history and legends: since more than 150 years we have been taking care of the health and the wellness of our guests thank to a natural resource which is unique in Europe, the Acqua Forte (“strong water”) from the Vetriol spring sources. Thanks to its several therapeutic and healing properties the thermal water has been used for over hundred years for the treatment of: arthro-rheumatic pathologies, diseases of the respiratory tract - very common in children - skin diseases, like eczemas and psoriasis, and gynaecological complaints. Strong water covers also other therapeutic indications for the treatment of stress, anxiety and hypertyroidism.
The Terme in Levico and Vetriolo are “conventioned”, i.e. signed a contract with the National healthcare system and enable access to the treatments on medical prescription, only paying the corresponding surgery fee. By payment of a fee it is also possible to take complementary treatments restoring your psycho-physical balance: physiotherapy, kinetotherapy, massage therapy, physical rehabilitation and beauty treatments.
EVENTS AND HIGHLIGHTS 2015
On the 9th May the “SPA OPEN DAY FOR CHILDREN” was celebrated, a special event enabling kids and their families to get familiar with the health offers that were specifically designed for them. Children have enjoyed a various animation program in order to get familiar with mineral water by playing, listening to stories and having fun!
LOYALTY AND REWARD PROGRAM: Come for a second round of treatments, it’s worth it! Taking a first round of spa treatments before 30th June you will benefit of an autumn discount for a second round: 75% discount on inhalation therapy and 20% discount on mud, thermal baths and massages!
THE MEDICAL ADVICE CENTER
The increasingly important role of the Terme di Levico and Vetriolo will be ensured in 2015 with the opening of a medical advice center, providing specific medical advice in ENT, cardiology and angiology, dermatology, psychotherapy, gynaecology, physical medicine and rehabilitation.
TRENTINO - ITALY
Guidelines for the spa industry
On 16th January 2015 Trentino approved the guidelines for the development of the spa industry in the region - four years after the approval of the relevant Provincial law.
The spa activities involve two important provincial departments, i.e. the Department of Health and the Department of Tourism. Regarding scientific research, we must underline the importance of an even deeper knowledge of the therapeutic properties of Trentino thermal waters, with more investments in this sector. In the guidelines the Mach Foundation is mentioned, but not the newly established G.B. Mattei Institute for Research in medical hydrology and hydrothermal medicine, that should be included, as well - also in the light of the resources invested by the Autonomous Province of Trento in order to have a qualified reference point in the research sector.
It is necessary to transform this niche-tourism in a relevant sector, thanks to the promotion by Trentino Marketing, that will make Trentino spa’s even more attractive, provided that they decide to fully support the sector also by involving the healthcare authorities and the research community in order to transform the spa industry in a genuine sector of excellence.
The spa industry in Trentino accounts for about EUR 75/80 millions with respect to the overall economic performance of the region; and it should also be noticed that the OMTh, the World Hydrothermal Organization is headquartered in Levico Terme. This is not only a source of pride for our region but should also serve as a driver for research implementation in this sector in order to identify new and more specific therapeutic properties related to spa’s; furthermore this could also enhance international cultural exchanges between spa locations, thus generating a powerful stimulus for driving up the quality of the services provided.
In short, the document covers both the therapeutic/health aspects and the touristic aspect involved in the spa industry in Trentino. A specific analysis of the spa businesses in Trentino and in other regions in Italy and in the rest of the world has been carried out, as benchmarking study. Among the analyzed regions we would like to mention Emilia Romagna - as a region where spa businesses have the status of touristic product - Styria in Austria, the Black Forest in Germany and Slovenia, featuring a strong connection between wellness and spa’s. Among the non-European countries Canada is worth to be mentioned: here the quality of the spa&wellness offer is guaranteed by the investments from the private sector. The documents contains a SWOT analysis, identifying strengths and weaknesses of the spa industry in Trentino and making recommendations to improve the current situation.
Other aspects addressed in the document pointing out the guidelines for the spa industry in Trentino are as follows: strategic planning, staff training - both medical and non-medical operators - marketing, promotion and communication. Finally the aspect of internationalisation is highlighted and some examples of a unique offer in the sector are analyzed, which justify an international movement.
OMTh MANAGING COMMITTEE - October 2015 - LEVICO TERME
The OMTh Managing Committee, elected by the General Assembly on 14th June 2014 will meet on 23rd-24th October 2015 in the OMTH headquarters, in Levico Terme, with all its members from all the geographical areas concerned.