January 21, 2022

Greece to regulate spas and springs

A bill from Greece’s Tourism Ministry seeks to establish a more comprehensive framework and introduce tools facilitating public-private partnerships in the promotion and development of travel destinations. It also has a separate draft bill launching an organisation, Thermal Springs of Greece SA, that will be responsible for managing Greece’s wealth of natural hot springs/spas.

The bills are aimed at encouraging synergies between investors, private enterprises like advertising agencies or tour operators, and local/regional authorities. The key hope is for national and international investors to develop wellness tourism facilities in Greece.

Eyeing the development of wellness tourism, the new spa legislation seeks to begin by rationalising the status of natural springs, which currently fall under many different jurisdictions in terms of ownership and exploitation rights.

The legislation lays out the terms and conditions for the country’s natural springs and spas through the creation of Thermal Springs of Greece SA which will be responsible for drawing up a strategy that will designate, use and manage the country’s thermal springs.

The wider tourism bill sets out the priorities for the sector that include setting out the terms of operation for destination management and promotion organisations (DMOs) in developing wellness tourism.

The proposed legislation aims to introduce flexible tools, encourage collaborations and synergies, respond to the needs of a sustainable tourism product, and move forward with the development of wellness and spa tourism.

The plan is to resolve historic legal problems, ensure the quality of the Greek tourism product, and strengthen Greece’s international reputation.

The bill foresees 50% funding by the DMO or relevant local authority for co-advertising and 50% by associations, companies or private sector bodies. Involved parties will also be able to plan and carry out volunteer and social responsibility actions related to sustainable tourism development and the preservation of the environment and to provide incentives for the promotion and management of local quality labels.

Greece has a vast wealth of natural thermal springs and making destinations, sites and enterprises accessible are among the main points of the separate proposed legislation for the country’s natural springs and spas through the creation of Thermal Springs of Greece SA.

The tourism ministry aims to incorporate spa tourism into a wider wellness tourism product and attract new visitors while ensuring they are in line with sustainable development standards.

Source: https://www.laingbuissonnews.com/imtj/news-imtj/greece-to-regulate-spas-and-springs/