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The European Route of Historic Thermal Towns welcomes new members

The European Route of Historic Thermal Towns (EHTTA), a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe since 2010 has welcomed 3 new members and an International Partner at its first Council meeting of 2022.

There are three new member towns, which are:

  • Lipik, Croatia
  • Telese Terme, Italy
  • Varaždinske Toplice, Croatia

EHTTA also welcomed an International Partner, Poços de Caldas, in Brazil.

EHTTA, which is responsible for managing the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns, is delighted to add two new members in the south-east of Europe, and is hopeful that in the future, more members will join from this part of Europe which is rich in thermal resources and historic thermal towns.

Daruvar has been the only Croatian member of the Route for many years, and two new members, Lipik and  Varaždinske Toplice joining the Croatian part of the Cultural Route will be a great benefit to all three towns.  The Croatian Ministry of Culture is particularly supportive of the Cultural Routes Programme of the Council of Europe, and all 14 routes that cross its territory. In addition, health tourism is strategically important as it represents an important and growing segment of Croatia’s tourism industry.

The addition of Telese Terme as a member town gives the Cultural Route in Italy a boost, and adds to a greater geographical spread, from EHTTA founder members, Acqui Terme and Salsomaggiore Terme, joined by Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole and Montegrotto Terme in the North, to Fiuggi, not far from Rome.

Another long-term member of the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns, Montecatini Terme, has recently joined a select group of European spa towns as one of the eleven towns in the Great Spa Towns of Europe, inscribed on the World Heritage List in July 2021, shining a spotlight on spa culture in Italy. Italy is very active in the Cultural Routes Programme, and has held workshops recently for the 30 Routes that cross the territory.

The addition of Poços de Caldas, as an International Partner takes EHTTA global, and cements the connections forged by Portuguese and Spanish members of the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns, notably the cross-border Eurocity, Chaves-Verin.  The Brazilian thermal town has many of the characteristics of a European Historic Thermal Town, with sulphurous waters that are dispensed in many thermal fountains throughout the town.

EHTTA President, Manuel Baltar said: “This partnership with a South American town is particularly welcome in the run-up to the International Thermal Tourism Congress from 27th – 29th September, currently being organised by EHTTA and my own Province of Ourense as part of the UNWTO’s 2022 Affiliate Members Work Programme. I am excited that the Congress will be held shortly before the fair TERMATALIA, in Ourense, Galicia, which has strong connections to thermal towns in South America”.

For further information please contact:

Simone Zagrodnik, EHTTA Executive Director:                     simone.zagrodnik@historicthermaltowns.eu


EHTTA Success at the UNWTO Conference in Madrid

Mr Baltar meets Ion Vilcu in Madrid

EHTTA President Mr Baltar meets UNWTO Director of Affiliate Membership Mr Ion Vilcu in Madrid

EHTTA to join the UNWTO Work Programme in 2022 with an International Thermal Tourism Congress

30th November 2021


Image: EHTTA President Mr Baltar meets UNWTO Director of Affiliate Membership Mr Ion Vilcu in Madrid

The European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA) has been chosen to take part in the UNWTO’s Affiliate Members Programme of Work 2022, with an International Congress on Thermal Tourism to be held at the end of September 2022.  The Thermal Congress, which will focus on how thermal tourism can contribute to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals, will be hosted by the Province of Ourense, Galicia, Spain, where the EHTTA President, Mr. José Manuel Baltar Blanco is also the provincial President.

EHTTA, an Affiliate Member of UNTWO since 2019, participated in a global call for proposals for next year’s Programme of Work, and the successful applicants were announced at the UNWTO Conference in Madrid, today, 30th November.  EHTTA’s International Congress on Thermal Tourism is one of a number of initiatives to be co-organised by UNWTO, with the objective of “strengthen(ing) cooperation with the Affiliate Members while helping them enhance their visibility internationally through UNWTO’s global network”.

EHTTA president, José Manuel Baltar Blanco said

“At EHTTA, we are delighted to be given this incredible opportunity to work with global tourism experts at the UNWTO in the creation of this exciting congress in Ourense, next year.  I would like to thank the Director of the UNWTO Affiliate Members, Mr. Ion Vilcu, and Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili for this great honour.

As a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, and the only Cultural Route to be an Associate Member of the UNWTO, we were delighted to hear recently of the Memorandum of Co-Operation that has been signed between the UNWTO and the European Institute of Cultural Routes.  I am extremely proud that EHTTA’s International Congress on Thermal Tourism will be the first major event to be held in the context of this new co-operation agreement.”

Thermal Tourism is closely connected to the natural and cultural environment, and represents one of the most valuable forms of sustainable tourism. Thermal tourism offers visitors the possibility to use all the attributes of the town for health, well-being, learning, entertainment, socialising and mindfulness (and/or spiritual wellbeing). As a result, thermal tourism is a powerful tool to contribute to safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage as well as to provide socio-economic benefits, including the revitalisation of rural areas and the creation of stable employment and income-earning opportunities.

The timing of the joint UNWTO Congress on Thermal Tourism is perfect for EHTTA:

  1. Europe’s Historic Thermal Towns are perfectly placed to offer exactly what is needed after the pandemic
  2. Just in time for the new year in 2022 the AVE high speed train will connect Ourense with Madrid, building on a tradition started in the 1840s of arriving in thermal towns by train.
  3. The Jacobean Holy Year 2021 was extended into 2022 – Ourense is the perfect place to study new sustainable thermal tourism products and there will be an opportunity to walk the Way of St James as part of the Congress.
  4. In 2022 it will be 200 years since the founding of the Ourense Province, which is now governed by the Deputación de Ourense (Ourense Provincial Council). The Province maintains a strong commitment to thermalism as a tool for sustainable development.

This International Congress on Thermal Tourism builds on earlier initiatives held in Galicia:

  1. the International Congress on Thermal Tourism held in Mondariz (Spain) in 1999 and organised by the World Tourism Organization, Tourspain and the Xunta de Galicia (Associate Member of EHTTA).
  2. the International Congress on Thermal Tourism held in Ourense (Spain) in 2011 organised by the same partners and with the collaboration of the Municipality of Ourense (one of the founding members of EHTTA) and the Government of the Ourense Province (EHTTA Associate member).


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For further information please contact:

Simone Zagrodnik, EHTTA Executive Director:                                    simone.zagrodnik@historicthermaltowns.eu


World Water Day and Valuing Water

World Water Day and Valuing Water in our Thermal Towns

22nd March 2021

EHTTA’s President, Mr Baltar today sent a video message to mark World Water Day – one of the days when EHTTA Members celebrate the sources of water at the heart of each of their towns.

As Mr Baltar explained, “The theme for this year’s United Nations World Water Day  is “Valuing Water”, and for us this is perfect!  All the members of our Association, our Cultural Route, are built around water sources.   Our towns all exist because people in the past valued the water enough to build beautiful structures around thermal springs, and find ways to share the healing water with people near and far.  We have always found ways for people to “take the waters” so that they can improve their wellbeing and benefit from this unique source of health.  Our thermal waters,  are a “stream of history from the past to the future”, and we value that connection.”

EHTTA is  celebrating World Water Day this year, and taking up the question posted by the UN in their #Water2Me campaign by finding out what people think and feel about thermal water in the places where they live, or like to visit.   We want to know  what thermal towns were like in the past, what they are like now and how people would like them to be in the future.

Mr Baltar said “For me, the thermal waters of my town and region represent hope for the future.  Hope that we can help to heal the troubles of the last year with our thermal waters, that people can find the space in our towns to relax, recover, recharge their batteries and reconnect with springs that have been a source of wellbeing for so long.”

 To take part in the What’spa Survey in your language please find click  here.

For further information please contact:

Simone Zagrodnik, EHTTA Executive Director:                     simone.zagrodnik@historicthermaltowns.eu

Catherine Lloyd, Communications, Projects, Support         communications@historicthermaltowns.eu


EHTTA is a Premium Partner at ITB NOW next week!

EHTTA is a Premium Partner at ITB NOW from March 9th – 12th

Find us in the Medical Tourism Pavilion!


The European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA), certified as Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, is delighted to be back at ITB NOW in its new digital format for 2021.

This year, EHTTA and the Great Spas of Europe are collaborating once again to promote the fascinating destinations that are the historic thermal towns of Europe – the Association, the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe and the transnational serial nomination to UNESCO.

In 2019 at the last physical ITB to be held, EHTTA had a very positive experience as an exhibitor in the Medical Tourism Pavilion.  This was the first time the spa towns as a network had been at the Medical Pavilion, in partnership with the Great Spas of Europe.

“In 2021, despite the difficulties of the last 12 months for tourism, our Association has such a lot to talk about with visitors to ITB NOW, especially members of the travel media and tour operators”, says Simone Zagrodnik, EHTTA’s Executive Director.
The network will present its new 2021 brochure which includes the very latest member, Bad Ems (also one of the Great Spas of Europe) along with three new leaflets, giving tour operators new itinerary suggestions based on special themes that connect the various historic thermal towns, for example “Spas in Antiquity”, “Therapeutic Landscape” and “Gastronomy”.
“We are also very excited to be working towards our annual celebration of Europe’s water sources on March 22nd, and to be talking about the historic connection between railways and historic spa towns during the European Year of Rail.  We are looking forward to exhibiting at ITB NOW with our partners, the Great Spas of Europe and to making some great connections at this fantastic event.”


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For further information please contact:

Simone Zagrodnik, EHTTA Executive Director:                     simone.zagrodnik@historicthermaltowns.eu

Catherine Lloyd, Communications, Projects, Support         communications@historicthermaltowns.eu


EHTTA Supports World Wellness Weekend!

European Historic Thermal Towns Support World Welless Weekend!

For hundreds of years, people have travelled to spa towns across Europe for centuries to use their mineral-rich, healing thermal waters to improve their health. While many spa towns still have medical facilities based around thermal waters to this day, they are also used for wellness in its widest sense. They are places of well-being, and relaxation, partly because over the years, they have become very good at looking after and entertaining visitors. In most spa towns in our network, visitors will find not only thermal baths and drinking fountains but high quality hotels, cultural and artistic venues, parks and gardens, and a generally more relaxed pace!

The European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA) supports World Wellness Weekend on 19th/20th September 2020 together with its members from 18 European countries. EHTTA represents historic thermal towns from Portugal to Estonia via the Peloponnese and beyond, all united in a network which was founded in 2009 and which was certified as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe in 2010.

“While spa towns are of course associated with the use of water for medicine and health, there are several other elements of the spa town package that fit well with the World Wellness Weekend ‘5 pillars of wellness'” says EHTTA president José Manuel Baltar Blanco. “Some of our members have supported the WWW before and this year we know about planned activities in Georgia, Hungary, Germany and France for example.”
Incorporating one or more of them into your lifestyle is said to “immediately improve your life”, and these are some very simple ways that everyone can enjoy one of Europe‘s spa towns for wellness:
• Sleep and Restoration:
Visit one of our spa hotels for complete rest and relaxation – and don’t be tempted to skip the relaxation session after a day at the spa either – it’s an essential part of the healing process
• Nutrition and Nourishment:
Spa towns often have great locally sourced food and drink – as well as a few alcoholic treats and specialty products which are designed to be part of the cure – such as wafers, Vichy Mints and the „13th spring“ in Karlovy Vary the herbal Becherovka tonic!
Drinking our waters can often be good for health, and can supplement a healthy diet
• Vitality and Movement
Use of parks and gardens within the towns as well as the woods, hills, rivers and likes in the landscape that surround them for fresh air and exercise – walking, cycling, swimming, yoga and other pursuits
• Serenity and Mindfulness
Contemplate life in one of our parks, taking a walk around the historic buildings of the town, or when you’re relaxing in the thermal water
• Purpose and Solidarity
There are often volunteering opportunities in our spa towns – whether as a tour guide or town ambassador, or as a participant in artistic and sporting festivals that take place throughout the year in all our towns.

During the World Wellness Weekend, EHTTA’s social media channels will share the members’ activities in different countries including Georgia, Hungary, Germany, Turkey and France.


Thermal Architecture Takes Centre Stage in Baden-Baden

Thermal Architecture takes centre stage at European Thermal Heritage Day in Baden-Baden

“Thermal Architecture” will be the subject of the third European Thermal Heritage Day organised by the European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA), on 16th October 2020.  It will be a virtual conference hosted in Baden-Baden, and will be streamed through the Association’s social media channels (see below).

EHTTA’s President, José Manuel Baltar Blanco said “European Thermal Heritage Day is one of the main highlights of the EHTTA calendar, and although we are unable to meet in person in Baden-Baden, we are delighted that the event is still being hosted in this wonderful city, and that EHTTA members will still be able to take a virtual tour of the Thermal Architecture in Baden-Baden.”

“Baden-Baden embodies a centuries-old spa tradition, which has its roots in Roman times”, says Margret Mergen, Lord Mayor of the host town, Baden-Baden.  “It is the meeting point of a long history and timeless lifestyle connected to the spa town’s thermal heritage. We are looking forward to hosting the first digital European Thermal Heritage Day and to a joint celebration our shared European heritage, as well as to exchanging best practises which raise awareness of the significance of Thermal Architecture.”

Paul Simons, President of EHTTA’s Scientific Committee, which organises European Thermal Heritage Day, and Secretary General of the Great Spas of Europe will be presenting the concept of Thermal Architecture in Europe with the Committee’s Vice President, Mario Crecente.  He said “Thermal Architecture is a fascinating subject – it is the collection of buildings that hold and distribute the healing thermal waters that are at the heart of our historic thermal spa towns. It also encompasses the buildings that housed and entertained those who came to ‘take the waters’.  Together these buildings make up a very special and distinctive heritage, which is part of a shared European culture, and worthy of more recognition and protection.”

EHTTA is very pleased to welcome several distinguished guests to introduce this special day:

  • Margret Mergen, Lord Mayor of Baden-Baden
  • Dr. Claus Wolf, Head of State Office for Cultural Heritage Baden-Württemberg
  • Birgitta Ringbeck, Member of Board of Directors, European Institute of Cultural Routes and Chair of the Governing Board, Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (Council of Europe)
  • Stefano Dominioni, President, European Institute of Cultural Routes (Council of Europe)

It is also our pleasure to have Dr. Andreas Förderer, World Heritage and Tourism expert, from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Karlsruhe, as an eminent panellist presenting the evolution and significance of thermal architecture in Baden-Baden.

The roundtable discussion, moderated by Prof. Dr. Jörg Haspel (President, ICOMOS Germany) will focus on “Managing Thermal Architecture and Generating Community Support”, and will include panellists with experience of initiating and managing  a wide range of thermal architecture projects, including Site Managers of some of the component parts of UNESCO transnational serial World Heritage nomination “Great Spas of Europe (GSE)”.

The panellists are:

  • Anke Matthys, GSE WHS Site Manager, Vichy (France)
  • Lucie Sochorková, GSE WHS Site Manager, Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic)
  • Lisa Poetschki, Head of Department of World Heritage Nomination and Urban Design, Baden-Baden (Germany)
  • Hans-Peter Mengele, Chairperson, Friends of the Lichtentaler Allee – Initiative World Cultural Heritage – e.V., Baden-Baden (Germany)
  • Anna Baker, Project Director, Cleveland Pools, Bath (UK)

Full details of how to attend European Thermal Heritage Day online are can be found here.   It will also be streamed on the Association’s  Facebook page, Thermal Travels, and on LinkedIn.


Pandemic as an opportunity for Thermal Tourism discussed in Ourense

EHTTA President Manuel Baltar sets the scene for International Congress

The first International Congress on Water and Health took place at Termatalia in Ourense on 16th and 17th September. Because of the pandemic it was in a different format to the planned event in Argentina, but still it brought together fifty international speakers and an audience of over 500 from 30 countries. The 20th edition of Termatalia proved that it’s possible to reinvent a trusted format and to adapt to new conditions.

EHTTA President, Manuel Baltar, who also chairs the Termatalia Advisory Committee was one of the introductory speakers at Termatalia, and was keen to express the importance of thermal water in regions such as his own Province of Ourense, and the opportunity that it represents, particularly if public and private bodies collaborate to deliver thermalism projects – services, infrastructure, tourism and health can all benefit. His message at this difficult time for the whole world was a clear one: “Water is life, but thermal water is health. In spas we talk about well-being, relaxation, rest and, above all, of the properties that mineral-medicinal waters have for health, something that in these times takes on a fundamental role and is a strength for our thermal territories ”

Simone Zagrodnik, EHTTA’s Executive Director joined the Congress from her office in Wiesbaden to talk about “The pandemic as an opportunity to rediscover thermal towns”. SHe spoke about how there is a new chance for spa towns to be
re-discovered and enjoyed by visitors. One reason is that big cities are associated with crowds of people, little space, and a hectic lifestyle, whereas many of our spa towns are smaller and have space, green parks and surroundings, relaxation, well-being, and a slower pace of life. New tourism trends suggest that people prefer to discover places nearby and/or in their own country, and are keen to find out what spa towns offer which is a combination of thermal waters, health, wellness, treatments, prevention and rehabilitation – something which all together adds up to a new concept of “Healthness”.


Luxembourg hosts Cultural Routes Exhibition

EHTTA is Crossing Routes in Luxembourg

EHTTA’s Executive Director, Simone Zagrodnik attended the launch of a new exhibition at the striking ‘Hall du Funiculaire’ of the Middle Station in Luxembourg, featuring the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns. Our Route is one of eight Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe that cross Luxembourg, where the European Institute of Cultural Routes is based, and includes one of EHTTA’s newest members, Mondorf-les-Bains.

The opening of the exhibition included speeches by Mrs Sam Tanson, the Minister of Culture of Luxembourg, Mrs Snežana Samardžić-Marković the Director General of Democracy of the Council of Europe and Mr Christian Biever, the President of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, pictured here with Mr Stefano Dominioni, Executive Secretary of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes – Directorate of Democratic Participation (DGII), Council of Europe, and Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes.

The exhibition will run from 17th September to 17th November 2020, and is organised by the European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR), with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg National Railway Company (CFL). The exhibition will give people using the funicular the opportunity to discover the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe with network members in Luxembourg, as well as all the wider network of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, which bear witness to our shared European cultural heritage.

The routes included in the new exhibtion include: Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim Routes, Saint Martin of Tours Route, Iter Vitis Route, European Route of Historic Thermal Towns, Fortified Towns of the Grande Region, European Route of Industrial Heritage, Liberation Route Europe and the European Route of Jewish Heritage.

Luxembourg is one of the founding Council of Europe member States of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA). The European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR) is the technical agency created in 1998 under an agreement between the Council of Europe and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, located in the Abbey of Neumünster in Luxembourg. The EICR gives advice to Cultural Routes and candidate networks, organizes training and visibility activities and coordinates a University Network for Cultural Routes Studies.


EHTTA General Assembly

EHTTA’s first General Assembly 2020 took place

EHTTA Held its first ever Online General Assembly on the 23rd and 24th June, with Members joining a Zoom Conference over four sessions.  The morning session of the General Assembly was a networking and welcoming session, followed in the afternoon with the Association busines, including several activity reports, financial matters, and plans for future events.

In his opening speech, Mr Baltar welcomed the “new normality” and  talked about the gradual opening of thermal facilities and tourism in our member towns – the network of the towns of health in Europe.  He said, “It is time to face this situation with renewed energy, new ideas, and new efforts to valorise the environment that has been at the service of health for  Europeans and  to visitors for hundreds of years.”  Mr Baltar reminded members that it is a year since he and the Vice Presidents took up their positions, and he paid tribute to former President, Mr Bellandi, saying “The Association would not have got where it is without the untiring work of the ex-President and good friend Mr Bellandi”.  Mr Baltar sent warm greetings to him, and thanked former members of the Task Force for their hard work.  He went on to thank the Scientific Committee and the EHTTA Co-ordinator, and looking forward to when Simone Zagrodnik takes up her post as Executive Director he said that she will help to bring new opportunities and to move the Association to international recognition.  Mr Baltar finished by talking about the work that is taking place with some of the most important organisations in our sector in Europe, and said he was pleased to say we’ve been well received.

The Association welcomed Mondorf-les-Bains in Luxembourg and Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole in Italy as new members, and heard short presentations from representatives of the towns, as well as seeing some videos of these new members of our Cultural Route of the Council of Europe.  EHTTA President, Mr Baltar, also welcomed Simone Zagrodnik as the new EHTTA Executive Director who will take up her new post at the start of August.  Members heard about Simone’s vision for the future of EHTTA and her priorities and learned about the “EHTTA House“.  Members of the Association then had the opportunity to update each other on how tourism is moving once again in each town, and how the recovery is starting in the network.

In the second session of the General Assembly, members voted to accept the 2019 Annual and Financial Reports, and to accept the Emergency Budget for the remainder of 2020.  Mario Crecente talked about plans for European Thermal Heritage Day on 16th October and Simone Zagrodnik talked about the Technical meeting planned for the 17th October – both in Baden-Baden.  Members also heard about the development of EHTTA’s first international event in Saratoga Springs in October 2021, and received an update from the Scientific Committee on potential new members.   Anne Kaiser presented the Communications Report, showing how EHTTA’s online activity and social media has grown since the start of the pandemic.  Anne was thanked by Mr Baltar for her work, as she will leave EHTTA for a new role at the end of June.  The members also saw the results of the Impact Survey carried out in April and May, and learned about a new Manual and Sharefile System, which will soon become useful  tools for members.

Day two of the General Assembly was more like a training session and webinar.  We were honoured to be joined by  Mr Stefano Dominioni , Executive Secretary of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes – Directorate of Democratic Participation (DGII) Council of Europe; and Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes and Carolina Clark, Project Manager of the European Institute of Cultural Routes.  After a fascinating session on the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, there were several presentations from different routes (The European Route of Industrial Heritage, the Via Francigena, the HANSA, and the European Cemeteries Route) of  which have all developed great projects, hailed as best practice in the five priority fields of action of the Cultural Routes Programme.  Carolina Clark also talked about youth initiatives around the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe.

All the presentations are available for members to download from the new Sharefile system.

In the afternoon, Members heard updates  from key partners (The Great Spas of Europe, The Route des Villes d’Eaux du Massif Central, The European Heritage Alliance 3.3. and the European Tourism Association).

Members are able to download presentations, papers and videos from the meetings from the Sharefile system, and are also asked to give feedback on the General Assembly, through this link. https://forms.gle/bGZg3tW4RTJtKxgG8


COVID-19 survey

EHTTA’s COVID-19 impact survey

As the Europe-wide lockdown stopped thermal towns throughout our network, we wanted to find out what was happening in each town, and what, if anything could be done to help.  A survey was sent to all the Members, and over a period of 6 weeks, from 17th April, we received 26 replies, representing 41% of the membership, and all of the towns in the Great Spas of Europe.

There were several insights from the results, some of which may need to be studied further, and these can be found in detail on the new sharing platform.

The survey highlighted a general lack of awareness of EHTTA’s online social media activities, and showed that very few of the respondents are engaging in sharing this content, and less than 2/3 had made colleagues aware of EHTTA’s social media accounts, even though respondents also wanted to see more online activity, lobbying and sharing of best practice.

The vast majority (83%) had to discontinue some projects temporarily.  Loss of private and public funding was an issue for 30-40% of respondents, while approx 60% were looking for new funding and/or applying for emergency government funded where it was offered.

Many described springs and taps as being open but bathing establishments were on the whole closed. Montecatini Terme and Daruvar reported some limited facilities being open.

Jobs, festivals and events, and income (eg from ticket sales) are perceived to be at the most risk – thermal and other built heritage seem to be at the least risk

19 respondents gave  a free text answer about how thermal towns can lead the recovery from COVID-19.  84% of these mentioned health in their answer.

In terms of the important markets before the crisis – 60% said within our own country was “most important” and 50%  said the local region was “moderately important”.  Europe had some level of importance for everyone, other world markets less so.      The responses to where the most important markets are likely to be after the pandemic show the importance of “proximity tourism” – within our own country, the local region and Europe being most important.  NB not all respondents answered all of this question.

Hotels, Events, Festivals and Gastronomy are the worst affected parts of the spa town ecosystem now. Sporting events seem most likely to lead the recovery.  Both Built Heritage & Museums and Thermal Water facilities (medical and leisure) seemed to score equal to each other in both parts of the question.