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Every year, the app. 18.000 European health resorts and spas generate a turnover of about ₏ 30 billion. Employing over 750.000 people this sector is one of the biggest employers in the EU – in fields healthcare and tourism – especially in regions where little or no industry is to be found. More than 1400 health resorts in Europe have made an important contribution to public health since centuries. Apart from medical treatment, they also contain a wide range of cultural amenities and show fascinating architecture in a cultivated environment, in many cases adjacent to unspoilt countryside. Their unique mineral resources such as thermal springs, mineral springs and peloids are successfully used for treatments in the areas of preventive medicine, rehabilitation and health resort medicine. They also include numerous Kneipp centres and thalasso resorts in Europe, where treatment involves the sea climate and marine products. European health resorts offer a diverse range of services. Nowadays, the classical methods su-


pervised by spa doctors are accompanied by an array of techniques for helping patients to maintain their good health and for recreation. This includes also those offers that combine traditional – even exotic – natural healing methods with medical competence. ESPA’s paramount job is to support and strengthen its members and their members. Its objective is to maintain and develop the long-standing health resort culture in Central Europe and to align it within today’s national medical systems and in the European Union.

Impressum/Masthead Published by the European Spas Association (ESPA) 50, rue d’Arlon, B 1000 Brussels Internet: Joachim Lieber, responsible Layout: Frank Freitag, D-65346 Eltville



The European Spas Association is the only umbrella organisation recognised by EU institutions which represents since 1995 the interests of health resorts at a European level. The interests of the European Spas Association correspond to the fundamental principles of the EU. And they can only be pursued effectively, competently and at the highest levels if close cooperation and agreement on the common interests of European spas exists. In order to achieve this, the European Spas Association has established the following aims: W to encourage the exchange of experience, best practice and know-how; W to produce and develop programmes for health and wellness products and strategies for prevention and rehabilitation for everyone living in Europe; W to establish, promote and improve quality standards in all spas and health resorts in Europe; W to stimulate and fund spa research.



W Lobbying the European Parliament and the European Commission W Granting members the use of its European network W Certifying the quality of health and spa resorts and wellness facilities with EUROPESPA med and EUROPESPA wellness quality seals W Consulting on relevant legislation for health and spa resorts in member countries W Organising and supporting marketing activities for members among the travel industry and consumers W Organising and participating in seminars and workshops in the member countries on topics related to health and spa resorts W Developing joint projects for European health and spa resorts W Supporting research into health and spa resorts and maintaining European statistics on health resorts


Members ESPA


European Spas Association

Deutscher Heilb盲derverband (DHV)



Bulgarian Balneology and Spa Tourism Union (BUBSPA)


Hungarian Spa and Bath


Czech Republic

Spas Association

of Czech Republic


Iceland Spa Association



Kurklinik Klovtoft

Federterme Latvia Estonia

J没rmala City Council

Estonian Spas Association (ESPAL) Latvian Resort Association




National Resort Association

Serbian Spa and Resort

of Lithuania




Domaine Thermal de Mondorf

Association of Slovak Spas domaine-thermal-de-mondorf

Spain Asociacion Nacional de Balnearios



Knowledgecentre of Coastal

Tourism Turkey Portugal

Turkish Association of Spas,

Associação das Termas

Thalasso and Health Resorts

de Portugal

(TURKSPA) termasdeportugal Romania Romanian Organisation of Spas Foto: Mark Stay, istockphoto



Commissions COMMISSION 1 MEDICINE AND SCIENCE Chair: Prof Zeki Karagülle, Istanbul, Turkey

The latest findings on improving the ways in which healing waters, peloids and healthy climates are used in treatment are shared at regular meetings. Prof Zeki Karagülle is also president of the International Society of Medical Hydrology and Climatology (ISMH), the world’s biggest organisation of doctors in the field of balneology and cooperationpartner of the EHV. COMMISSION 2 QUALITY Chair: Dr. Janka Zalešákovà, Bratislava, Slovakia

The Quality Commission discusses diverse quality requirements, health resort philosophies and aspects of wellness.

THE MEMBERS OF ESPA’S EXECUTIVE BOARD Dr Sigrun Lang, President, Germany Gunnlaugur K. Jonsson, First Vice President, Iceland Nicu Radulescu, Vice President, Romania Nicasio Pérez Menzel, Vice President, Spain Dr Janka Zálešáková, Vice President, Slovakia NN, Vice President, Portugal Laura Natali, Vice President, Italy NN, Treasurer Joachim Lieber, Secretary General, German


Divisions The multilingual glossary of European spas and health resorts as well as the European Definitions of Terms – a joint quality standard – are constantly updated. THALASSO DIVISION Chair: Dr Behi Bouhakez, Hammamet, Tunisia

Thalasso therapy concerns the medical side of employing the coastal healthy climate in connection with marine products. However, thalasso is frequently also indispensable in the wellness sector and could provide a new source of income for hotels in seaside locations. The division addresses aspects of using thalasso elements and also environmental protection. RADON HEALTH RESORTS DIVISION Chair: Steffen Matthias, Bad Schlema, Germany

Radon is a healing gas which is used in health resorts as a natural remedy. Since more information needs to be made available about its use, ESPA is playing a coordinating role. PELOID DIVISION Chair: Dr Theodor Stofira, Lazné Belhorad, Czech Republic

The job of the Peloid Division is to continuously promote the natural remedies known as peloids, especially mud. One important aspect of its activities is to compile relevant scientific and organisational information.



Safety, infrastructure and services: the two certificates EuropeSpa med and EuropeSpa wellness signify international standards of quality as defined by ESPA.

MEMBERS’ BENEFITS THROUGH A EUROPESPA CERTIFICATION W More guests, better reputation W Auditing by DEKRA, one of the biggest testing and certification organisations in the world W Big marketing opportunities via the international web portal W Continuous improvement to international top quality within just a few years W Anonymous benchmark to keep you aware of your own position against international competition



CRITERIA AND AUDITING The some 1,000 audit criteria for EuropeSpa med are based on the 40 or so main sets of national and international rules on safety, hygiene and therapy infrastructure. For EuropeSpa wellness (safety, hygiene, wellness infrastructure and service quality), about 1,300 audit criteria are examined on your premises and anonymously. At least 80% of all the criteria as well as certain


basic requirements have to be met.


„ESPA Academy"

The international health tourism is blossoming. The need for well trained personal in clinics and Wellness-Hotels is increasing. Till today no international organisation in Europe was presenting the standards, which are necessary for formation in the spa- and medical Wellness sector. Thanks to the network of specialists, the ESPA as a Europe wide active association offers the possibility to identify and to promote highly qualified courses in schools, academies and universities. For this reason the International Academy of the European Spas Association – ESPA-Academy – was founded in the year 2010. The ESPA-Academy will publish offers for courses so that interested people will have the information. The Academy puts the main emphasis on topics that are important for the spa business, like „Thalasso, Peloids and Kneipp” or specific technical themes. Do you wish becoming a partner of the ESPA-Academy? Please take contact to us! Dr. Kurt von Storch


Basic terms

Spas, health resorts and health centres represent an indispensable part in the health system of their country. Besides that they influence the cultural background of the region, they are an important economic factor and offer many jobs. LOCAL AND NATURALLY OCCURRING REMEDIES form the basis of the spas, health resorts and health centres. The recognition as a spa in the different countries is much different and there exist many different spa – types : Mineral spas, brine spas, peloid spas and thermal spas; there exist spas on the seaside and climatic spas but also spas that offer the Kneipp-Therapy. HEALTH RESORT DOCTORS are a must in spas, health resorts and health centres. The main point is the qualification for the proper use of local and naturally occurring remedies in the physical therapy in the treatments for prevention and rehabilitation. QUALIFIED PREVENTION AND REHABILITATION are offered over and above normal tourist packages for holidays and recreation by spas, health resorts and health centres. They have the experience and the equipment and therefore they play an important role in the treatment of chronicle diseases corresponding to the age of the client. 13

Partners touristik aktuell is since more than 40 years the big weekly German magacine for travel agencies and since nearly 15 years the official medium of the European Spas Association in Germany. FIT-Reisen Since more than 35 years the leading tour-operator for Wellness, Health, Cures, Ayurveda, Thalasso, Medical Wellness & Beauty, Anti Aging and Detox travel worldwide. DEKRA is one of the world’s leading providers of expert services, with around 22,000 employees in over 50 countries dedicated to ensuring safety, quality and environmental protection. The SSI Berlin, the institut for tourism and marketing, is than more 20 years the specialist for training and further education in the field of wellness and health tourism. 14

Health & Wellness

Discover the world of Wellbeing and Spa Destinations  Special Tour Operator for German-speaking countries  999 Spa Holidays to Rejuvenate Body, Soul and Mind  Thermal & Health Spas in Europe and worldwide  Spotlight on Wellbeing, Pampering, Healthy Ageing, Thalasso, Ayurveda, Weight Loss, Detox, Thermal weeks …


More than 35 years Health & Spa Holiday Experts FIT Gesellschaft für gesundes Reisen mbH · Ravensteinstraße 2 · 60385 Frankfurt Information: · Tel. +49 69 405885-0 · Fax +49 69 405885-12

ESPA‘S Congress Places 1996–2012


1996 Wiesbaden


1997 Thessaloniki


1998 Chianciano Terme


1999 Naantali


2000 Archena


2001 Budapest


2002 Františkovy Lázne

Czech Republic

2003 Brussels


2004 Trencianske Teplice


2005 Reykjavik


2006 São Pedro do Sul


2007 Pärnu


2008 Yverdon-les-Bains


2009 Birštonas


2010 Baile Felix


2011 Belek


2012 Jurmala




2000 Legal seat of the ESPA: Brussels



1999 2007 2012 2009


2002 2004 2001



1998 1997



In Europa gibt es über 6.000 Anbieter von Wellness- oder Präventionsangeboten. Wir erleichtern jetzt die Auswahl. In Europe there are over 6000 suppliers of wellness and medical prevention services to choose from. Now we facilitate your choice.

Werden Sie Teil einer starken Initiative.

Become part of a strong initiative.

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ESPA Brochure