About the Project

In accordance with the European Union’s objective to foster low/medium season tourism (COSME Programme), a European consortium has launched the ‘Off to Spas’ project. The project aims at creating new, thermal water related international health tourism products (international balneology product) in the spa towns of Central Europe that could serve as a main attraction in order to bring seniors to these regions in the low tourism seasons.

The main objectives of the project:

  • Encourage a better cooperation and increased agreements among different actors of the health tourism value chain and seniors associations/organisations with elaborating a new, international balneology tourism product network focused on off-season, and custom tailored to seniors specific needs;
  • To make more benefit for tourism SMEs by increasing the number of tourism flows during the low and medium seasons and professionalization of tourism service providers;
  • Communication and promotion of tourism as a strategy for active and healthy ageing;
  • Facilitate accessibility in tourism offers, along with intermodal transfer and transnational connectivity;
  • Foster the construction of innovative health insurance policies in order to make the product sustainable and self-developing in the future.

In order to generate new tourism flows, new jobs, new opportunities for regional growth the following actions are taken:

  • Creating a new, international balneology tourism product network which offers site and market specific curing, health promotion and leisure programmes for seniors;
  • Implementing a medium to long term strategy for self-sustainable tourism products for seniors, that takes into account the dynamic approach of the product offer (i.e. the rapid changing shape of economic and social realities affecting seniors, currently and in the medium-long term);
  • Senior market analysis, surveys, comparative analysis, evidence-gathering, analysis of the senior market and balneology issue studies;
  • Local resource based and market-oriented re-positioning of the complementary spa destinations in order to find new aspects in the field of co-operations;
  • Holding discussion platforms, workshops and other events for networking and partnering activities and for exchanging good practices;
  • Capacity-building for senior tourism professionals, service suppliers;
  • Creating awareness raising events and communication programmes of the project and the international balneology product.
  • Fostering and facilitating the negotiations amongst the state-owned and private health insurance companies and health-related tourism services, building promotional and communication campaigns on it.

The project involves two important health tourism destinations, Hévíz (Hungary), and Covasna (Romania).

The project period is from August 2015 to November 2016.

For more information, please contact the project coordinators:

Tunde VAJDA (Ms), University of Pannonia/Hungary (vajdatunde@gtk.uni-pannon.hu)
Judit SULYOK (Ms), University of Pannonia/Hungary (sulyokj@gtk.uni-pannon.hu)