Regional conference on the potential of spa cities and regions in Slovenia

On Tuesday, 2 February and Wednesday, 3 February 2021, Razvojni center Novo mesto organized a two-day regional conference on health resorts and regions, which was held online due to the epidemiological situation.

 Slovenia is well recognized as a destination of health and wellness, to which many sources of natural remedies and the activities of spa, health and wellness tourism contribute. In addition to numerous health resorts in the NE part of the country, Dolenjska and Posavje, which are part of south-eastern Slovenia, are also recognized by these. The regional conference was intended to define the development content of health resorts and regions and to exchange knowledge and experience in the management of health resorts from various perspectives.

As part of the HealingPlaces project, which is implemented with the support of the Interreg Central Europe program, we strive to highlight the specifics of the space, which consists of health areas and their characteristics for the functioning and development of communities. With the help of the project, we will make an important contribution to the content for the regional development of Jugovzhodna Slovenija, which follows the vision of harmonious and balanced sustainable development of the environment, society and economy. In this ecosystem Razvojni center Novo mesto has a stimulating and coordinating role.

Based on the contributions to the conference, we will shortly publish a collection of abstracts and a collection of written contributions by selected authors, which will contribute to the preservation and strengthening of knowledge and sustainable development. Contributions will also be important for the preparation of new programs and projects that can be implemented in the forthcoming EU multiannual financial perspective and beyond.

The conference also included a contribution to dr. Peter Kralj, one of the Slovenian pioneers in the field of geothermal energy, who has dedicated his life and career to making more use of the potential of geothermal aquifers. Before the start of the conference, we paid tribute to him with a minute of silence due to his unexpected death and thanked him for his contribution to this and other projects in which he was still active as a retiree.

Participants and authors highlighted in particular the specific outcomes:

  • Without knowledge of the geological characteristics of deep and shallow aquifers with thermal we cannot rationally exploit the potential of geothermal water - for agriculture, electricity generation, healthcare and tourism.
  • Natural spas play an important role as facilitators of local development at foundations of sustainability.
  • Lack of entrepreneurial initiatives in tourism services and management and marketing of natural heritage.
  • The presence of Slovenian natural health resorts in Europe and the world through international organizations and their importance in the public health system.
  • In Slovenia, healing waters are one of the best, the country is the top 3 best health destination in Europe.
  • Slovenia can become a Dermatological and Medical Service for Europe, which could competed globally mainly because of nature, thermal water, cultural heritage and a favorable position in the transport network.
  • Support of European co-financing mechanisms for environmental protection, destination management and strengthening stakeholder cooperation.
  • Monitoring the chemical-physical and biological state of water helps us to understand the impact of activities on living and non-living nature.
  • Development of industrial tourism (example Ocean Orchids & Tomato).
  • Strengthening the human resources competencies of employees in health care and tourism.
  • Seasonal adjustment of the tourist offer with new health resorts (Bela krajina region).
  • New business opportunities for tourism and health in the forest and its climate space - zoning and analysis of suitable areas.
  • Bridging the project implementation of activities in the field of management and marketing tourist destinations - the need for unity, continuity and professionalization.

You can watch the video report of the event here: