Thermal Medicine has a wide range of preventive and therapeutic applications using natural resources. It is not only for the elderly (babyboomers), as it could be established as a trend of young people for prevention (new lifestyle). Thermal Medicine includes activities in medi-spa and thalassotherapy centers for recreation and rejuvenation and plays, also, important role in cosmetology and cosmetics, dermatological products and spas.
Globally, current trends include combination of holidays and services for prevention, maintenance, or improvement of health through programs of rejuvenation and relaxation. Furthermore, Thermal Medicine is directed not only to patients, but also to their caregivers, as well as, to healthy people
Worldwide, life expectancy is increasing, the gap between male and female life expectancy is narrowing, while the period of healthy life expectancy is expanding. Moreover, the number of older tourists from existing markets in developed countries is getting larger, while older tourists want to have a younger outlook than previous generations
In most European countries, Medispas and spa facilities, treatment is paid by social/health insurance, while cross-border healthcare is mainly paid by patients/clients.
Thermal Medicine consists of Balneotherapy, Internal washes, Drinking therapy, Inhalation therapy, Mud therapy, Thalassotherapy and Cave-salt therapy. The basic therapeutic elements, which Thermal Medicine is based on, are inorganic elements and nonmetals (Cl–, SO42-, HCO3–, S, Br, I, F, NH3, NO3–, NO2–, PO43-, H2PO4–, HPO42-, CO2, O2, N2, H2, Se), microminerals (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Fe2+, Fe3+, Cu, Co, Zn, Ni, Mn, Li+, Al, Ba, Sr2+, Pb, As, B) and noble gases (Rn, He, Ne, Ar, Kr) and especially Sulfur (S).
It is evidenced based that Thermal Medicine can be used as therapeutical approach on myoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, endocrinological, gastro-intestinal, urinary, dermatological, gynecological, allergic, ENT and periodontal diseases.
Health Tourism surpasses other types of tourism, as it constitutes a form of tourism that is active throughout the year. All treatments of Thermal Medicine require twenty one applications per semester and only for 20 minutes providing increase revenue of hotel units, job vacancies for specialized medical and hotel staff.
Furthermore, Greece with rich cultural and historical heritage, with excellent bioclimate has to be one of the top four seasons destinations for alternative tourism.
EU supports programs for financing investment initiatives towards development of health tourism, and besides, there is need for investment in a long-term planning to attract senior citizens who have both time and money.