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Heating Up the Tourism Sector: Greece’s Rising Role in Global Thermal Tourism

Thermal Tourism: Greece Set to Heat Up the Global Stage

In the picturesque realm of thermal tourism, a sector blossoming to the tune of approximately 90 billion dollars globally, a recent gathering illuminated Greece’s potential to become a pivotal player. A comprehensive workshop held on the enchanting island of Lesvos shared insights into the burgeoning industry, revealing that with an impressive annual growth expectation of 18 percent through to 2025, thermal tourism is no longer just a drop in the ocean of global travel.

As the world increasingly turns towards wellness and health-oriented vacation options, thermal tourism has caught the eye of investors worldwide. The allure of thermal springs, known for their healing properties, has piqued widespread interest. Presently, the world boasts around 36,000 thermal spring facilities across 130 nations, with an array of new projects forecasted to augment this number, signaling robust growth in the sector. Notably, this expansion is gaining traction across various continents including North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and is rapidly accelerating in Asia, particularly in China and Japan. These regions have recognized the dual allure thermal tourism offers: the charm of a day trip and the allure of extended stays.

During this enlightening workshop, the conversation pivoted towards Greece’s eminent position in the sphere of thermal tourism. The European Association of Thermal Springs has lauded Greece for its rich thermal heritage and has advocated for a collaborative approach between scientists and tourism professionals. The aim is to cement spa therapy treatments as a cornerstone of international medicinal practices, emphasizing their contribution to human health.

Greece’s thermal springs are unparalleled in Europe in terms of quality and variety, as highlighted by the president of Elitour during the event. With a strategic plan and concerted efforts, Greece is envisioned to rise as a premier destination for health and wellness tourism. Its abundant hot springs and spa towns are poised to achieve global recognition, according to the association’s vision.

Lesvos, the host of the enlightening workshop, was singled out for its untapped potential in becoming a world-class wellness destination. The development of thermal towns, including noteworthy projects like the “Hippocrates” Model Thermal Spa in Polychnitos, is seen as a key to unlocking this potential. These initiatives are expected not only to enhance the local infrastructure but also to position Lesvos as a global beacon for wellness and relaxation seekers.

Aside from discussions, an integral part of the workshop involved exploring the thermal springs of Lesvos firsthand. Participants, including Elitour representatives and local stakeholders, delved into the therapeutic advantages these natural wonders provide. This exploration was part of a broader endeavor, undertaken in collaboration with esteemed organizations such as the Global Doctors’ Hippocratic Institute and supported by the North Aegean Region among others. It underscored the collective aim to elevate Greece’s status in the international arena of thermal tourism.

The resurgence of interest in thermal tourism, coupled with Greece’s rich thermal heritage, sets the stage for an exciting future. As the country leverages its bountiful resources and strategizes to enhance its offering, the golden era of thermal tourism in Greece is on the horizon. With an eye towards advancing medical tourism and positioning its thermal springs and spa towns on the world map, Greece is ready to welcome a new wave of health-conscious visitors, eager to discover the restorative powers of its natural thermal waters.

Ethan Wilder

Ethan Wilder is a conservation photographer and videographer whose lens captures the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world and the critical challenges it faces. With a focus on wilderness preservation and animal rights, Ethan's work is a poignant reminder of what is at stake. His photo essays and narratives delve into the heart of environmental issues, combining stunning visuals with compelling storytelling. Ethan offers a unique perspective on the role of art in activism, inviting readers to witness the planet's wonders and advocating for their protection.

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