Aiming to tap into Greece’s thermal springs for the development of health and wellness tourism, Greek and international experts gathered last week in the Central Greece coastal town of Kamena Vourla for the 4th Panhellenic Congress of Thermal Medicine.
Delegates focused on ways to reach out to local and regional governments in order to tap into 750 of the country’s natural springs, while exploring the Attica Region’s potential to evolve as a major international health and wellness destination.
“Thermal tourism can upgrade Greek cities and regions to unique health and wellness destinations open to travelers from across the globe,” said Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) President George Patoulis.
Addressing the event, Patoulis, who also heads the Athens Medical Association (ISA), and of the Elitour National Council of Health Tourism, noted that by 2025 health tourism is estimated at becoming the second largest industry after health and pharmaceuticals.
Titled “Modernizing Thermal Medicine: A Holistic Approach”, the congress also focused on other issues including new trends and therapies, complementary treatments, integrating thalassotherapy into main medical plans, regulations for the free movement of patients seeking thermal treatment.
“A total of 696 of the country’s 750 natural thermal springs remain unexploited,” said Patoulis, calling on all stakeholders to work together to establish a network of certified springs that will serve as incentives to “bring travelers back seeking rejuvenation and health”.
The event was jointly organized by the Hellenic Academy of Thermal Medicine and KEDE.