Researchers are looking for a way to help develop the spa sector

9. 7. 2021 -

Researchers and practitioners from seven European countries will focus on the development of spas in Central Europe, which are solving unexpected problems during a coronavirus pandemic. Spas must be gentle on natural healing resources, ie especially on the springs of mineral waters that spa use. The requirements of nature conservationists or municipality representatives clash with the use of the spa, says Pavel Ptáček from the Faculty of Regional Development and International Studies at Mendel University in Brno.

In each of the countries, experts analyze the state of the spa in one of the model areas. In the Czech Republic, it is the area of the Jeseníky Mountains, where the spas of Karlova Studánka, Bludov, and Velké Losiny follow, among other things, the tradition founded by the founder of natural healing Vincenz Priessnitz (1799-1851). "The Czech Republic has a lot to offer in this area. Its strength is that it has a well-established system of interrelated measures in connection with the development of spas and the protection of mineral waters. These are very well protected from damage or destruction. On the other hand, we still have to work on ourselves in some areas," said Ptáček.

The domestic spa is visited by about 380,000 people a year, 40 percent of whom are foreigners. Although the spa is one of the sectors most affected by the coronavirus crisis, this sector still has great potential. Society in the Czech Republic has long perceived spas as an area intended exclusively for patients who must use them as part of their treatment procedures. People usually go to the spa for rest, relaxation, and especially for gaining mental and physical strength.

The way to development is quality communication within the so-called regional working group. According to experts, it would be beneficial if all stakeholders in the region met regularly, from representatives of spas, tourism, nature conservation, to representatives of municipalities, micro-regions, or the state. The aim is to better protect mineral waters, air, peat bogs, and nature in spas. Only thanks to this, they will not lose their hallmark of naturally unique places and will be attractive to the public for the public in the future as well.

The project is co-financed by the European Union's Interreg Central Europe program and takes place in seven countries and ten spa regions, namely Czechia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Italy, and Slovenia. Ten different institutions from development agencies to municipalities and cities participate in it. The perception of spas varies from region to region. For example, in the Czech Republic, spas and promenades, and landscaping in the area belong to the spa, in Hungary, spas are much more about medical procedures. They are gradually becoming part of various wellness centers. The exchange of experience between regions will help, for example, to create a special interactive tool that can be used in the management of medicinal resources. It will find its application in the field of spatial planning and will help in deciding on the possible expansion of spa complexes.

"Simply put, when planning the expansion of the spa's capacity, data on the given locality will be entered into the system, from the yield of the healing mineral water springs to the accommodation capacity of the future facility. The application then cleverly points out other costs that must be taken into account, in connection with the overall infrastructure. In other words, thanks to it, unexpected problems will have to be solved additionally and complicatedly during operation," Ptáček added. The interactive tool will be universal, ie usable not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad.

Contact for more information: Mgr. RNDr. Pavel Ptáček, Ph.D., pavel.ptacek@mendelu.cz, Institute of Social Studies (FRDIS), tel.: +420 775 772 313