This project will focus on health tourism in the V4 region and analyse the extent to which thermal bath and spa traditions can be adapted to attract and accommodate commercial (non-state-funded) guests and international tourists. This includes the development of infrastructure, the upgrading and regeneration of facilities, the improvement of service quality and the enhancement of visitor experiences within specific destinations and facilities. Background and Rationale for the Workshop The project will build on a previous project that was undertaken between 2012 and 2014, which focused on wellbeing and health tourism in the Balkan countries. Similar to the Balkan countries, there is a long history of thermal bath-based (domestic) health tourism in the V4 countries, which was traditionally government funded. However, it was noted that if government funding ends, then it will be necessary to consider other options like developing more wellness spas, e.g. Slovenia already started this process. This is seen as a major challenge, as the region is still known for medical or rehabilitation spas which are visited mainly by local and domestic visitors rather than wellness spas for international tourists. The workshop will invite experts in this field from the four countries to discuss and analyse these challenges with a view to making recommendations for governments and spa directors as well as paving the way for a future research project bid. A new network of interested parties will be created consisting of researchers, academics, industry practitioners and policy makers.

Project partners:

The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.

Coordinator of the project: Melanie Smith PhD
Coordinator's e-mail address: project@metropolitan.hu

Coordinator's phone: +36-20-772-6069