The European cultural thermal Routes becomes reality


The Council of Europe officially awarded the “European  Route of  Historical and Thermal Towns” with the label of “European Cultural Route”,  on 25th  November 2010 in Vichy; Mr Corne, President of the EHTTA had the honour to receive this important achievement.

The ceremony took place within the “Journées d’ Automne du Thermalisme” with great satisfaction of Mr.CORNE as President of  the  EHTTA,  promoter of the “Journées d’ Automne”, and Deputy Mayor of the city of Vichy.

This event was relevant both for the EHTTA partners and for  the members of the Cultural Route that obtained the label of “European Cultural Route”. The cities involved are: Spa- Belgium, Vichy- France, Bath- United Kingdom , Ourense-Spain,  Chaves- Portugal, Techirghiol-Romania, the Region of Karlovy Vary- Czech Republic, and in Italy Salsomaggiore Terme, Bagni di Lucca and Acqui Terme, that boast the Vice Presidence of the Association with its Major Mr Danilo Rapetti.

From the year 2000, when the “Thermae Europae” Culture Project started, we have come along  the way  up to receive the “European Thermal Route” award, that oblige
the member Towns to comply with 5 fundamental quality requirements:

  1. Demonstrate an heritage of thermal use and tradition of, at least, 150 years old.
  2. Possess a natural supply of thermal mineral water which is managed and monitored to a standard of quality as defined by legally binding regional, national or European statutes.
  3. Having an architectural heritage dated back, at least, to the 19th century, constituted by several buildings connected  to the thermal activity and classified as “National Monument”;
  4. Provide details of other cultural facilities such as; art galleries, museums, theatre, concert hall, opera house, casino, conference and congress facilities.
  5. Offering a prime quality hospitality (through high-end hotels, three stars at least) and having a remarkable number of rooms, suitable for the thermal and touristic function of the town.

And now, what will happen after Vichy?

Once having passed the constituent phase, the Association will focus on the implementation of the networking, the instruments, the initiatives, the good practices, the new routes, the communication, the dialogue (both public and private), the relationships and the collaboration.
“The Association will mainly undertake these fundamental goals- as President CORNE said- such as the recognition of the thermal cities’ specificities, the support to the thermal, architectural and cultural heritage preservation, the development European policies concerning the safeguard and a commitment to increasing awareness about the values of this heritage, on European level, as well as the creation of a European touristic product focused on the historical culture that will be able to produce economic rebounds for the European thermal cities”.

This important stage will also be supported by the Italian thermal system, represented by Federterme which attended the first formal Assembly of the EHTTA in Acqui Terme (on May 2010). Right then the Mayor of Acqui Terme, Mr Rapetti expressed his “satisfaction coming both from the choice of the City as the welcome centre of the event and from the aim and the commitment of  the promotion of  thermalism in an integrated way, with an all-accomplished thermal tourism offer, as the expression of the territory’s identities,  to be inserted into the framework of a strengthened collaboration, also thanks to the new European thermal routes”.

“Networking in order to increase the value of the European cultural thermal heritage and to share projects for the spa and thermal welfare growth will be a new commitment for the European thermal system –  according to – Costanzo Jannotti Pecci, President of  Federterme. Moreover, the European thermal route will be a promotion tool for every single Country as well as to increase the mutual acquaintance and cohesion, with an essential contribution to the consolidation of the common European Home. This commitment is shared not only by the European thermalists but also by the European Commissioner for the Industry and the Enterprise Mr Antonio Tajani, who stated that (Tourism stakeholders’ Summit, Madrid, April 14) “the most important sectors are  thermal and health once, together with the cultural, religious, congressional and sporty tourism as well as the tourism of wine and food and the ecotourism, as all of them are in a growing phase”.
For that reason the thermal towns have an important role, they have to satisfy the needs and the choices of people  looking for a thermal welfare model and tourism in accordance with the economic, social, territorial, environmental and cultural sustainability requirements.

The mark of the European thermal model- highly supported by the EHTTA-  seems to have passed the Mediterranean as it characterized also the 63rd International Scientific Congress of the World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy (FEMTEC) in Hammamet (Tunisia). The Tunisian thermalism will pay attention to the great European heritage, to the scientific culture and to the thermal qualities, with particular regard to France and Italy.

Les Journées d’Automne du Thermalisme – 25 / 26 November 2010 – VICHY (France)


On 25 and 26 November 2010, the actors of French and European thermalism will meet at the Palais des Congrès – Opéra of Vichy (Allier – France) on the occasion of “les Journées d’Automne du Thermalisme”.

This event intends to bring a response to the question concerning the adaptation of current thermalism facing the development of the 21st century European society and new consumption principles which are going to overcome in the next years.

During this venue, on 25th November, there will be the  presentation  of the E.H.T.T.A. Associations and the official cerimony of the Label awarding of the Council of Europe to the European Route of Historical and Thermal Towns.


The European Thermal Meeting is postponed to 2011.

Click here to view the program


European Tourism Day – Brussels, 27th September 2010


European Tourism Day
Brussels, 27th September 2010
Charlemagne Building – Room GASP

Draft Program

08:30 – 09:00 Registration

09:00 – 09:20 Official Opening

  • Address speech by Vice-President Antonio Tajani and Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou

09:20 10:40 Session I
European Cultural Itineraries: a Trans-European Cultural Tourism Model?
Chair: Ms. Françoise Hetto-Gaasch, Minister for Tourism, Luxembourg

  • Mr. SandroBondi, Minister for Culture – “The Italian experience of the ‘Consulta Nazionale degli itinerari storici, culturali e religiosi'” tbc
  • Mr. Brian Simpson, Member of the European Parliament – “Cultural Tourism: the EP perspective”
  • Ms.Gabriella Battaini Dragoni, Director Council of Europe – “How to further develop the European Cultural Routes: The Council of Europe’s perspective”
  • Mr. Michel Thomas Penette, Director Cultural Routes Institute – “Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe: towards a model of quality tourism in Europe”
  • Mr. Philippe Calamel, Project Director – “The Odyssea Project”

10:40 – 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 – 12:20 European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) Award Ceremony

12:20 – 14:00 Lunch break (at the Eden stands – Berlaymont)
Possible visit to the “Via Francigena and Cultural Routes” exhibition

14:00 – 15:30 Session II
Case studies: European citizenship and Intercultural Dialogue
Chair: Mr. Miguel Sebastián, Minister for Industry, Tourism and Trade, Spain tbc

  • Ms. Silvia Costa, Member of the European Parliament
  • Mr. Stefano Zappalà, Regional Minister Regione Lazio
  • Mr. Massimo Tedeschi, President of the European Association of “Via Francigena” – “Via Francigena meets Abram Itinerary”
  • Mr. Antoine Selosse, Director Saint Martin Route – “Saint Martin of Tours” and the
  • European citizenship
  • Ms. Inmaculada Lopez, Director of the Foundation “El legado Andalusi” – “Route al
  • Andalus” and with the Arab culture tbc
  • Roberto Varela, Regional Minister of Galicia for Tourism and Culture – “The Saint
  • James’ Route” tbc

Open Debate

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 17:40 Session III
Case studies: Tourism, Sustainability and Networking
Chair: Mr. José Vieira da Silva, Minister for Economy, Innovation and Development,
Portugal tbc

  • Mr. Antonio Cancian, Member of the European Parliament
  • Mr. Michael Cramer, MEP – “The Iron Curtain Trail”
  • Ms. Marinella Katsilieri, Scientific Director – “The Route of the Olive Tree” tbc
  • Mr. Antonio Barone, Director Phoenician Route – “The Phoenician Route”
  • Mr. Christian Corne, President of “The European Historical Thermal Town Association” (EHTTA) and Deputy Major of Vichy – “The European Thermal Route”
  • Berit Lånke, Manager Nidaros Pilgrim – “The Saint Olav Route” tbc

Open Debate

17:40 – 18: 00 Conclusions
Conclusions by Mr. Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Ms.
Isabelle Weykmans, Belgian Presidency, Minister for Culture and Tourism