In the last few years, there has been a “shift” to natural therapies along with paying much attention to one’s physical and mental health. This trend, dominant in the big cities, turns people towards health tourism and more specifically towards thermal medicine.
Thermal Medicine is an alternative approach to conventional medicine. It includes Clinical Hydrotherapy –long established abroad– and Medicinal Climate Therapy. Thermal Medicine is applied auxiliary to conventional medicinal methods, for the treatment of the musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, hematopoietic, gastrointestinal, urinary and the endocrinal system as well as skin, oto-rhino-laryngologic, gyneacologic, allergic and periodontic diseases.
Medicinal applications of Thermal Medicine are Spa treatment, Mineral Water therapy, Respiratory treatment, Mud therapy, Seawater treatment and Climate therapy.
Holiday packages to MediSpas and Health Resorts are usually combined with other touristic recreational, revitalisation, sports and cultural activities. That is because their target groups include not only patients but also the patients’ families or friends.
Patients need to spend quite some time in these resorts – longer than in a normal tourist resort – in order to benefit from the thermal treatment in combination with other special treatments such as rehabilitation, anti-ageing, smoke-quitting, stress relief, psychotherapy, kinesitherapy, nutrition, sleep techniques, body posture, beauty treatments etc.
Greece tops Europe in terms of the quality and uniqueness of thermal natural resources (750 mineral water springs, 82 of which are active and 34 have been registered as medicinal). The Academy of Thermal Medicine showcases the beneficial properties of thermal springs always combined with Greece’s bioclimate, which offers a major comparative advantage against other countries.
The combination of the above renders Greece a dominant player in the field of health tourism and necessitates that a new growth strategy is planned for health tourism aimed at coordinately promoting “Four Seasons Tourism”.