The European Spas Association (ESPA) is campaigning to put tourism back on the agenda of the European Commission, following a vote in which MEPs selected not to include the topic in the new European Constitution.
The European Convention, responsible for drawing up the document, has said tourism policies should be decided by individual countries. ESPA, which represents spa associations across Europe, has responded with the following resolution :
“Tourism is the leading economy of the 21st century. As a pan-European policy, tourism and health tourism must be embodied in the work of the European Union.”
This resolution has been sent to ESPA’s member associations, MEPs, national and regional MPs, and members of the Convention. ESPA’s members have also been asked to petition their own parliaments directly.
THE ESPA MISSION
In Europe there are more than 1,200 spas and health resorts, which are medically respected health centres, and form a powerful economic unit generating significant proportions of the gross domestic product of European Community member countries.
The EC and those countries wishing to join are seeking to work together on matters of common interest. This requires a greater co-operation of the national and regional associations as well as the private sector in the field of spas and balneology.
The European Spa Association`s objective is to promote spas and balneology in Europe and to take care that the natural remedies based on mineral water, landscape and climate will be available to as great a number of citizens and visitors as possible.
The interests of the European Spas Association lie at the core of the EU. These can only be pursued effectively, competently and at the highest levels if close co-operation and agreement on the common interests of the European spas exists. In order to achieve this, the European Spas Association has established the following aims :
? to monitor and analyse the condition of the spas and health resorts in the individual EC member countries
? to stimulate exchange of experience, best practise and know-how
? to produce and develop programmes for health and wellbeing products and strategies for prevention and rehabilitation for all living within Europe
? to establish, promote and improve the standards in all spas and health resorts within Europe
? to stimulate and resource spa research
? to define and harmonise common training programmes and courses and to determine a professional structure for the European spa industry
? to establish a framework for collaborative marketing opportunities for ESPA member countries
The European Spas Association is an umbrella organisation representing 20 European nations. Marketing co-operations and commissions of ESPA include:
? Baltic Sea Spas Co-operation (BSSC)
? European Spas Competence Centre (ESCC)
? Network of Classical Natural Cures
? Royal Spas of Europe
? The European Parliamentary Advisory Council (EPAC)