- Between September 15 and 17, Expourense and the Water Campus convene the scientific community and professionals in the thermal sector with the 2nd International Congress on Water and Health and the 4th International Symposium on Thermalism and Quality of Life, in which 60 experts from 10 countries will analyze the challenges of thermalism in the post-COVID era
- 24 tour operators from 6 countries participate in the Workshop specialized in Health and Wellness Tourism and will hold business meetings with the collaborating destinations of the congress (Galicia, Extremadura, Murcia, Argentina, Uruguay and the GDR12 Ribeiro-Carballiño)
Analyze the challenges of thermalism in the post-COVID era, present current research on thermalism and mineral-medicinal waters and promote the business of health tourism at an international level. These are the main objectives of the professional actions that are held around the Termatalia brand and that will continue to position Ourense and Galicia as a center for international professional training in thermalism. It will take place between September 15 and 17 in a hybrid format between face-to-face (from Expourense) and virtual (from anywhere in the world). These actions are the 2nd Termatalia International Congress on Water and Health, which is held in addition to the 4th International Symposium on Thermalism and Quality of Life organized by the Auga Campus of the University of Vigo; the Workshop specialized in Health and Wellness Tourism; the 18th International Water Tasting and a training seminar on mineral waters.
These actions were presented this morning at Expourense in an act in which it was clear that Termatalia is an example of public-private and inter-institutional cooperation and the role it plays in the international promotion of Ourense and Galicia as thermal destinations. The territorial delegate of the Xunta de Galicia in Ourense, Gabriel Alén, participated in this act; the vice president of the Provincial Council of Ourense, Rosendo Fernández; the Councilor for Tourism and Thermalism of the Ourense City Council, Flora Moure; the technician of the GDR-12 Ribeiro-Carballiño, Rodrigo González; the vice-rector of the Auga Campus of the University of Vigo, Esther de Blas, and the managing director of Expourense and director of Termatalia, Rogelio Martínez.
Termatalia organizes the 2nd International Congress on Water and Health, which on this occasion is integrated with the 4th International Symposium on Thermalism and Quality of Life organized by the Auga Campus of the University of Vigo. For the first time, both events come together in a single common program in which, for three days, transversal activities alternate with other more specific activities. These events, which have brought together the international scientific and research community, will bring together a total of 60 experts from 10 countries (Germany, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, France, Greece, Portugal and Thailand).
The pandemic is, inevitably, one of the topics that will be addressed at these events, both from a medical and tourism perspective. This will be precisely the common thread of the first session, September 15, of the Congress/Symposium in which the Conference on Medical Hydrology will be held, focused on the role of spas in the recovery of health after the pandemic. It is coordinated by the Chair of Medical Hydrology at the University of Santiago de Compostela and by its director, Dr. Juan Gestal, who has become the reference professional in Galicia when it comes to talking about COVID-19. The president of the Spanish Society of Medical Hydrology, Dr. Francisco Maraver, and the medical directors of different spas in Spain such as Caldaria, Mondariz, Cuntis, Aguas Santas, Caldelas de Tui, or Archena in Murcia will also participate. Also participating, among other speakers, will be several doctors from the Ourense University Hospital Complex, the professor of Medical Hydrology, Dr. Rosa Failde, and the director of the Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality, Fernando Fraile, who will present the ISO/PAS 5643 Standard: Requirements and guidelines for reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission in tourism companies.
From the Chair of Medical Hydrology they have been working for months with the medical management of the Galician Spas to develop protocols for the treatment in these thermal centers of respiratory, dermatological, musculoskeletal and psychological sequelae in patients who have contracted the coronavirus. The results of these works will be presented during this conference.
Thursday, September 16 will be the day dedicated to Thermal Heritage in the morning session and to Tourism and Wellness in the afternoon session. New strategies for tourism promotion of thermal and wellness destinations will be analyzed. The change in the needs and preferences of the recent post-COVID consumer offers new challenges to face. Este nuevo turista va a solicitar ahora experiencias de alto valor añadido que promuevan un estilo de vida saludable que conjugue ocio y descanso, pero sin olvidar la prevención y la rehabilitación. You will also look for places that are not very crowded and quiet in contact with nature and with a good gastronomic offer, and where thermalism has its great asset.
The session on Thermal Heritage includes a presentation of the “Eixo Atlántico” project and a round table coordinated by the European Association of Historic Cities with Thermal Heritage (E.H.T.T.A), which is currently chaired by the president of the Provincial Council of Ourense, Manuel Baltar. This table will present good practices in the marketing of thermal heritage in cities of Greece, Austria and France. Within this same session, a series of short Scientific Communications dedicated to the analysis of “Thermal Heritage and Architecture” will also be presented, and an Invited Conference entitled “Thermal heritage in the light of archaeology”, given by the UAM researcher Silvia Gonzlez Soutelo.
The day dedicated to Tourism and Wellness includes the presentation of outstanding health destinations such as Argentina, the Region of Murcia, Extremadura, the city of Ourense and the GDR-12 Ribeiro-Carballiño Association. Thursday afternoon will also include two scientific sessions dedicated to the study of the different aspects of “Experiential and Health Tourism”, and to the presentation of innovative works related to technological developments in different fields related to thermal waters.
The last day of the congress will be dedicated to the relationship between health and well-being and the analysis of trends in the wellness industry in the post-COVID context. It also includes the presentation of new initiatives, active or planned, around thermalism such as, among others, the project “A break on the roads” promoted by the Galician Tourism Cluster. The ingestion of mineral waters and the analysis of the current challenges of thermalism will be the topics that close this Congress / Seminar that will conclude with the award ceremony of the 18th Termatalia International Water Tasting and also with the recognition of scientific communications / call for papers presented by the researchers.
The activities linked to the Termatalia Congress will end with the showcooking organized by the GDR-12 Ribeiro-Carballiño with quality food from the agri-food producers of the twenty municipalities that make up this thermal destination. It will be in charge of chef Domingo González.
Registration to attend these events is open and can be done through the website https://congreso.termatalia.com/. It has a cost of 25 euros both virtual and face-to-face.
The 2nd International Congress on Water and Health of Termatalia has the support of the Galician Tourism Agency, the Ourense Provincial Council and the Department of Tourism and Thermalism of the Ourense City Council. In addition, it has the collaboration of the National Institute for Tourism Promotion of Argentina (INPROTUR), the Ministry of Tourism of Uruguay, the GRD-12 Carballiño-Ribeiro, Tourism of Extremadura, Tourism of the Region of Murcia – Costa Cálida, the Chair of Medical Hydrology at the University of Santiago de Compostela and RENFE as Official Carrier.
Termatalia celebrates the second edition of the International Workshop on Health and Wellness Tourism that will take place, also in a hybrid format, between September 16 and 17, coinciding with the Congress. It is a Tourist Recruitment Exchange whose objective is to act as a meeting point between the international supply and demand of the health tourism product and which will put participating companies in direct contact with tour operators from 6 countries (Spain, Argentina, Germany, Peru, Colombia and Brazil) thus covering both the European and Latin American markets. Its collaborating destinations will hold business meetings with 24 tour operators specialized in marketing health and wellness tourism.
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 will lead to a change in trend in tourists who will now bet on a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, thus opening new opportunities for Health and Wellness Tourism that can offer innovative experiences adapted to current needs. The objective of this workshop is to contribute to bringing together the marketing value chain, to design new offers for the coming year 2022, seeking collaboration between the different companies to find synergies that add up when facing the uncertainty that the tourism right now. These tour operators will also have the opportunity to visit different points of interest in the city and in the province of Ourense and the Ribeiro-Carballiño destination.
The tour operators participating in the workshop will meet mainly with Galician companies that sell quality products based on health and well-being, such as spas, thalassotherapy centers or hotels, and also with specialized guides, wineries, houses and rural tourism experiences. , in addition to receptive travel agencies. Companies from the Spanish regions of Extremadura and Murcia will also participate, since this action has the collaboration of Argentina through collaboration with INPROTUR (National Institute for Tourism Promotion) and Uruguay through its Ministry of Tourism. All these destinations have a wide range of health tourism.
Also related to the business in the thermal sector, a new edition will be held, the 18th International Water Tasting, which has become an international benchmark for mineral water bottling brands and which the sector demanded after the last edition held in 2019. The training in mineral waters will be complemented by a specialized seminar given by the hydrosommelier Mercedes González, who will also be the director of the tasting with the support of an international jury of experts.
Termatalia is an event that brings together professionals from more than 30 countries and Expourense decided to postpone the fair as such until next year in order to guarantee the massive presence of professionals. It will be held in Ourense in September 2022, taking advantage of the double Xacobeo Holy Year to attract tourists to Galicia.