Greek Spa Tourism Needs Regulatory Framework to Take Off
Technical specifications, distribution and setting out protected zones are the prerequisites for the development of thermal springs and spa tourism in Greece, according to Markos Danas, general secretary of the Hellenic Association of Municipalities with Thermal Springs.
Speaking to Greek daily Naftemporiki, Danas underlined that for there to be a fully functional network of spa treatment centers, thermal spa facilities, thalassotherapy and revitalization centers across Greece, a framework must be in place defining their operation.
Danas, also a member of the European Historic Thermal Towns Association, said that despite a relevant law passed 11 years ago and hundreds of natural thermal spring sources across the country, there has been little progress in the development of spa tourism in Greece.
Of the 750 natural springs in Greece, Danas says 120 can initially be tapped into for healing purposes. The tourism ministry, he adds, has thus far only recognized 46 of the 120 which applied for licensing.
Meanwhile, the ministry announced last summer that a legal framework to cover health and wellness tourism was the next step in a series of actions to pave the way for the expansion of the thematic travel sector.
Danas concludes that there can be no investments and development of this highly lucrative business if regulations covering technical specifications, distribution and protection are not in place.
Meanwhile, research carried out last summer by the National Center for Social Research (EKKE) found that spa towns across Greece reported 8 percent growth in terms of tickets issued in 2016 compared to a year before.