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News & Events


Invitation to the XXIII Congress of the European Spas Association

23rd-25th May 2018 Domburg (The Netherlands)
Date: 22 Mar’18



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Water & Health - a way of life

We would like to invite you to our next congress to Holland, to Zeeland Domburg.

Domburg is the oldest seaside resort of Zeeland. A natural and healthy environment.
Seawater, sea air, climate and soil products all play a role in the health region status Domburg has.

The jury of the Green Destination top 100 have designated 2018 the four QualityCoast areas in the Dutch Delta, namely Veere (Domburg, Goeree-Overflakkee, Schouwen-Duivenland and Westvoorne, the best sustainable coastal destination worldwide!

Moreover, the four municipalities also jointly received a shared first Public Prize for best sustainable destination in general.

The Dutch Delta Region is characterized by unique nature reserves, seals, porpoises, deer, flamingos and other special birds. Pristine wide beaches and dune areas alternate with one another and Blue flags flutter on the beaches and marinas bordering the North Sea. These areas are renowned for their very clean bathing water. The areas in the Dutch Delta stand out for their ecological sustainability and are fully committed to sustainable developments. All four areas have received a Quality Coast Award.

Transport from Airport Schiphol Amsterdam by train to Middelburg (change in Rotterdam or in den Haag Station) 2h - 2h30min. From Middelburg to Domburg congress transfer or bus (30 min) or taxi (40 €).


CITY HALL (Gemeente Veere) Traverse 1 – Domburg, Direction Windmill

12h00 Meeting of the QuHEP - Quality in Health Prevention
14h00 Meeting of the Jury of the ESPA Innovation Awards 2018
15h00 ESPA Board Meeting (separate invitation)
15h30 Meeting of the ESPA Medical Research Working Group
17h30 Biketour with the major of Veere, Mr. drs. R.J. van der Zwaag
18h30 Welcome and Get together dinner in the "Hof klein Duinvliet", Domburgseweg 48

CITY HALL, Traverse 1 - Domburg, Direction Windmill

7h30 - 8h30 Optional: wake up yoga session at the beach or magnetic field therapy
9h30 - 10h30 City Hall - Opening ceremony with the traditional Flag Parade, Greetings
Opening Session by the commissary of the King, Mr. Drs. J.M.M. Polman
The mayor of the municipality of Veere, Mr. drs. R.J. van der Zwaag
gives a presentation of the Dutch ESPA members: Municipality Veere, Bad Nieuweschans, Cadzand en HZ University of Applied Sciences.
Traditional Flag Parade

Section 1: New methods in health tourism

11h00 - 11h30 1. Prof. Dr. Olaf Timmermans
Health benefits of living and recreating in a coastal area: health and business opportunities using natural assets
11h30 - 11h50 2. Claudia Wagner
Which product are booming and why - result is important! By FIT Reisen Tour Operator
11h50 - 12h10 3. Tobias Bielenstein
Managing Health Destinations: Methods to Face Competition
12h10 - 12h30 4. Dr. Karin Lehmann
The first official healing and therapeutic forest in Europa. The green pharmacy
12h30 - 13h30 Lunch

Section 2: Health and Innovation

13h30 - 13h50 1. Prof Dr. Christian Roques
Epidemiological survey of ESPA - first result
13h50 - 14h10 2. Joachim Lieber
Quality in Health Prevention - The European network for Health Tourism and Prevention! Strategy & Best Practises
14h10 - 14h30 EU support - healthy lifestyle
14h30 - 14h50 4. Silvia Giannini
New solutions in the spa architecture and design under aspect of sustainability
14h50 - 15h10 5. Dennis Spronk
The Health benefits of a plant-bases whole food diet
15h00 - 15h30 Coffee break
15h30 - 16h10 1. Presentation of the TOP 10 - ESPA Innovation Award winners
16h10 - 16h30 2. The growing market: China. The chance for Spas in Europe
16h30 - 17h00 3. Camille Hoheb
The guest experience and the five key elements that are important to the wellness traveler
19h00 - 00h00 "A ROYAL NIGHT OUT" with GALA DINNER and the ESPA Innovation Awards Ceremony at Badpaviljoen
Badpaviljoen in Domburg opened in 1889 and has a very rich history. Here you could find the blooming artist circle and also the rich local nobility, Russian princes and German princesses. They came to this mondaine resort to enjoy the healthy sea air in Domburg. The European nobility also came to Domburg to visit the famous Dr. Metzger. He treated many spa tourist and is seen as the founder of the current physical therapy.

Inspired by the movie "A Royal Night Out" we will organize a 50 Gala by the name "A Royal Night Out with ESPA". This very much suits the mondaine character of the Badpaviljoen.



7h30 - 8h15 Optional: Beach walking tour and treatments in Badhotel/Meztger Lodges (twelve rules)
8h30 - 9h00 Sightseeing bustour to Veere
Bus starts from Bad Hotel at 8.30 - only one transfer
9h15 - 10h30 General Assembly ESPA
10h30 - 11h00 Coffee-Break

Section 3: Business and future market value

11h00 - 11h20 1. Marleen van Griensven
Trends in nowadays wellbeing guests by Puurenkuur leading Touroperator in Holland
11h20 - 11h40 2. Mike Wallace
Effective HR systems in spa operations and the importance of HR management for spas
11h40 - 12h00 3. Kris Hoet
Digital Marketing
12h00 - 12h30 4. Herman Lier
Innovative Business Model Canvas transformation
12h30 - 12h45 Closing Session of the ESPA Congress
12h45 - 13h45 Lunch at historical Veere at De Werf
13h45 - 14h45 Freetime in Veere
14h45 - 15h15 Transfer to Neeltje Jans
15h30 - 17h00 Excursion Deltawerken
the final program is also a big attraction of Hollands professional Knowledge, we invite our guest to visit the Deltawerk
17h00 - 17h30 Transfer Vertrek to Seafarm
17h30 - 20h00 Dinner by Seafarm
20h00 - 20h30 Transfer to Domburg

Special location and Background:

The seawater at Domburg has been investigated by the renowned international SGS Institute Fresenius. In summary the nature of Domburg - near the sea with his pure air and beneficial water - offers opportunities for balneo (water) therapies and thalasso applications aimed at prevention and recovery. Even in the Roman times there were bathing equipments. Dr. Mezger, founder of modern physiotherapy, opened a practice in Domburg in 1868 and introduced the new treatment methods. Domburg has the ambition to grow into an internationally qualified vitality and wellness destination. The ESPA congress Domburg in 2018 is a valuable addition and for many members of the European Spas Association a first acquaintance with Domburg, Zeeland and perhaps the Netherlands!

Discover the 125 years practice in the healthy Resort and learn from our Dutch and international Experts of health tourism and medical Spas! Stay with us on 23-25. May 2018!



Excursion Delta Works
The Delta Works, consisting of 13 sections, together form the largest flood protection system in the world and are definitely worth a visit. This imposing project, also referred to as one of the seven wonders of the world, illustrates how the Dutch deal with water. Furthermore, they lie in a gorgeous environment with wonderful beaches, beautiful nature and many culinary spots.

The Delta Works - incorporating among others a storm surge barrier, dikes, dams and sluice gates - have much to offer for everyone who wishes to see how the Dutch deal with and protect themselves against the waters. The main attraction of the Delta Works is the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier, a unique flood protection construction of 8 kilometers in length, that can shut off the entire Eastern Scheldt in 75 minutes. This ingenious system of 62 enormous sliding gates is meant to prevent a disastrous flood like the one in 1953. The gates are open during normal weather, preserving the marine tide nature and allowing delicious oysters to still be cultivated and Eastern Scheldt lobster to still be caught today.

Deltapark Neeltje Jans, a water theme park on an island in the middle of the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier, is a place where you can enjoy gorgeous nature, culture and technology. You can also visit the Delta Experience there, where you will learn everything about the notorious North Sea Flood of 1953. It's an absolute must-do when visiting the Delta Works.

For further information please go to

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