The 68th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission will be held in Sofia 

The main topic of the side conference is medical and wellbeing tourism

An important part of the 68th meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe (CEE), taking place between 31 May and 2 June 2023, is the side conference, where participants will be discussing two main topics: »Europe as an increasingly popular medical and wellbeing destination« and »Education and skills in medical and wellbeing tourism«.

The welcome remarks will be given by Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO and Mr. Ilin Dimitrov, Minister of Tourism, Bulgaria, followed by the introduction speech of Mr. Thierry Dubois, President of the European Spas Association. 

Thierry Dubois, Dr. Siyka Katsarova and Csilla Mezösi

Europe is an increasingly popular medical and well-being destination

The first panel will delve into the prominence of Europe as a sought-after medical and well-being destination. Distinguished panellists will share insights on the distinctive advantages, hurdles, and prospective opportunities inherent to their respective countries. The panel will be moderated by Prof. Alessandra Priante from the Director of Regional Department for Europe.

She will be joined by esteemed panellists: H.E. Mrs. Ieva Valeškaitė, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economy and Innovation, Lithuania, Mrs. Maia Omiadze, Head, Georgian National Tourism Administration, Mrs. Silvia Doušová, Director of Tourism Department, Ministry of Regional Development, Czech Republic.

Education and skills in medical and well-being tourism

The second panel discussion will be moderated by Csilla Mezösi, Secretary-General at European Spas Association. Key stakeholders from the private sector, including representatives from health tourism organizations, educational institutions, and industry experts, will discuss the existing gaps in education and skills training in the health tourism sector and explore potential strategies to bridge those gaps. The panellists will also examine the evolving demands of the industry and how educational institutions can adapt their curricula and programs to meet these demands effectively. 

Csilla Mezösi will be joined by: Dr. Siyka Katsarova, President of the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and Spa Tourism, Prof. Dora Kostadinova, Vice Rector at the Varna Medical University and Massimo Caputi, President of Federterme, Italy and Vice-President at the European Health Management Association, Elitza Stoilova, CEO, UMNI AI Bulgaria, Roberto Antunes, Executive Director at NEST, Portugal, Ricardo Leitão, Nova Medical School Portugal.

The closing workshop from Mike Wallace will based for the audience of tour operators, spa and health destination managers, employees working in the medical and well-being tourism field with the following topics: Post-pandemic well-being and medical tourism new customer expectations and how training & education new demands and expectations changed. ESPA Board Member Martin Plachy will highlight the Czech spa voucher system and its impact. Iztok Altbauer will present a unique Slovenian sustainability program – Green Wellness Route.

More information can be found at:

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