Health spa tourism initiative in Bosnia and Romania

 

Working together, two nearby countries have found ways to promote health tourism.

The results of a European Union founded project, ‘ Development and promotion of health spa tourism in the cross-border region of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Serbia - Cross spa’ were recently presented,

The project aims to strengthen regional cooperation and sustainable economic development of the cross-border region of Bosnia and Herzegovina-Serbia, through the establishment of a joint integrated tourism offer on spa tourism.

The project organizer is the Foundation of Local Democracy Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main Serbian partner is the Tourist Organization of Serbia Western region of Užice. Other partners in the project are the Sarajevo Regional Development Agency SERDA in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Regional Development Agency Zlatibor in Serbia.

The project included three thermal spas in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Terme Ilidža, Reumal Fojnica and Aquaterm Olovo, and in Serbia three spas: Čigota in Zlatibor, Zlatar and Priboj spa.

One outcome is the establishment of a new trade body, the Association of Spas in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The project found that there is great potential in the cross-border region for health tourism between the two countries because of common culture. There is a need to build new and responsible partnerships, on the basis of regional cooperation. This can help build local tourism and health tourism from elsewhere by joint activities to increase the number of health tourists visiting the spas as well as the whole region. These activities include exchanges of personnel and joint training.

A new joint tourist product has been created - integrated health tourism with more than 15 individual programmes, a marketing plan, two brochures and a study for tour operators from Europe and the region

Money from the project has been used for new equipment in local spas and hospitals. Another outcome is the creation of a healthy weight loss programme for children and adults.

Romanian spas have benefited by new equipment, better knowledge, new approaches to service delivery and health prevention, and new customer services for spa tourists.

Everybody involved agreed that the project much more successful than expected, and will lead to long-term partnerships and co-operation in health tourism.

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