ESPA is attending the 12th World Congress on Snow, Mountain, and Wellness Tourism- Mountainlikers

The 12th World Congress on Snow, Mountain, and Wellness Tourism taking place in Andorra from 20-22 March serves as a pivotal platform for addressing the critical issues and opportunities within these interconnected sectors. With tourism being a crucial economic driver for many nations, including Andorra where it accounts for 50% of GDP, and with Europe’s median at 10%, the congress acknowledges the significance of these sectors in driving sustainable development, conserving biodiversity, and fostering rural and mountain area economies.

The recovery of international tourism post-pandemic, reaching 84% of pre-pandemic levels by 2023, underscores the resilience and importance of these sectors. However, challenges such as climate change, global competition, seasonality, and evolving traveler expectations necessitate innovation, diversification, and improved competitiveness within the tourism offer.

In its latest edition, the Congress expands its scope to include wellness tourism, recognizing the growing demand for experiences centered around health and well-being. The agenda of the congress reflects the need to define and specify future development axes for snow, mountain, and wellness tourism.

Key topics to be discussed include sustainability as a cornerstone for sector development, diversification of tourism products to meet emerging traveler demands (such as nature, health, and well-being), leveraging new technologies including AI and digitalization, and enhancing education and training within the tourism sector to ensure its continued growth and relevance. By addressing these issues head-on, the congress aims to chart a course for the sustainable and prosperous future of snow, mountain, and wellness tourism.

Yesterday, Csilla Mezösi, the Secretary General of European Spas Association had a conversation at the congress on the topic “Entering the world of wellness“. Mezősi explained the experience of thermal tourism and climate health resorts throughout Europe. The conversation was moderated by Michel Julian, Senior Programme Officer, UN Tourism.


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