Environmental Challenges & Innovations in Thermal Industry: Insights from the International Thermal Congress

European Spas Association is thankful for the invitation and the cooperation of the European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA) to its second International Congress on Thermal Tourism in Nancy (France). It was a great opportunity to meet our international thermal friends and visit the largest investment in France, Thermal Nancy on November 9th 2023.

ESPA’s president Thierry Dubois, also President of the French spa association, le Conseil National des Etablissements Thermaux (CNETh), emphasized the good cooperation and positive future in his opening speech.

Claude-Eugene Bouvier participated in the “Economic Impact” segment, detailing France’s six-year study initiative to gauge income generated in spa resorts, assessing the broader economic influence of healthcare services.

Csilla Mezösi, the secretary general of European Spas, participated in the International Thermal Congress held in Nancy, France.

Ms. Mezösi contributed to one of the five panels during the congress, where experts exchanged insights, experiences, and best practices. Roundtable No. 5 tackled the question, “What are the new environmental challenges of the thermal industry: energy management, sustainable development, and quality of life?”

Accompanying Ms. Mezösi were three esteemed experts:
Karl-Cela Hrólfur from Basalt Architects, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon (Reykjavik, Iceland)
Gisele Kanny, Professor of Internal Medicine, Medical Hydrology, and Climatology (France)
Iztok Altbauer, President, Slovenian Spa Association and Communication Group European Spas

The discussion highlighted outstanding examples from previous winners of the European Spas Innovation Awards:

  1. Albena resort in Bulgaria was recognized for its pioneering initiatives: introducing electric vehicles in 2018, establishing the first waste food power plant, and achieving the distinction of being labeled “Green All Inclusive.” Their efforts included limiting car traffic, implementing eco-friendly alternatives like electric buses and escalators, and emphasizing waste management. Notably, they have a plant that converts organic waste into biogas for clean energy and high-quality fertilizers. Additionally, Albena contributes 1 euro to Albena’s Green Fund for sustainable projects with each overnight stay.
  2. Glamping Village-Terme Tuhelj in Croatia was cited as a model for sustainable investment, attracting new demographics to health resorts.
  3. Center Thermal La Roche Posay in France made significant sustainable energy investments and thermal water conservation efforts through digitalization and innovative technologies. CEO Mr. Prince delivered a comprehensive lecture on these advancements at the Karlovy Vary Congress.
  4. Hot Spring Medical Spa and Hotel in Bulgaria was commended for its extensive biofarm and greenhouse complex, utilizing thermal water effectively to provide guests with organic, flavorful food.
  5. Slovenia was highlighted as a green, active, and healthy destination, winning the Innovation Award for product development for the Green Wellness bicycle, elucidated by Iztok Altbauer, CEO of the Slovenian Spa Association.

Iztok Altbauer presented The circular GREEN-WELLNESS Route of 680 km – created by the Slovenian Spas Association and Slovenian Tourism board. This new bikeroad with digital App connects 11 green-certified destinations and Slovenia’s incredible natural spa resorts.

Another significant discussion revolved around launching a new project targeting Generation Z, aimed at engaging this demographic as both employees and guests. This initiative involves collaboration among seven universities and we invite all interested partners to participate.

The press release of the congress you can read: https://historicthermaltowns.eu/ehtta-and-unwto-present-a-successful-thermal-congress-in-nancy-france/ 

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