Iceland's geothermal water is white gold in health tourism

 

“Geothermal water is Iceland‘s white gold,” said health tourism consultant Csilla Mezösi at the annual meeting of the Iceland Association for Health Tourism. Iceland’s most famous commercial spa is the Blue Lagoon, which is visited by more than 400,000 people annually. Myvatn Nature Baths is a newer smaller version. Fontana Steam Bath capitalizes on a natural steam vent next to Laugarvatn Lake and is scheduled to open this summer.

Csilla Mezösi believes Iceland’s abundant supply of geothermal energy provides the opportunity for the development of health tourism, which is still in its infancy in Iceland, “Iceland has barely started tapping into this genre of tourism, although there is a lack of information on the number of tourists who actually visit Iceland with the purpose of improving their health. Reykjavik’s public geothermal swimming pools are of a high quality and clean so offer opportunities to build hotels next to the pools for greater convenience for foreign visitors. The country could organize dance parties in the thermal pools in winter to attract young tourists in the low season. It should get the Olympic handball team medalists to promote health tourism in Iceland. Health tourism incorporates both spa tourism, as well as medical tourism. However, a typical spa tourist focuses on different things than a medical tourist. Spa tourism involves a holiday whereas medical tourism involves cost-effective operations but more importantly a guarantee of a follow-up service after the treatment.”

Iceland offers many ways to relax and recover from life’s tensions through physical activity. The warm water that is found so abundantly in the Icelandic soil provides opportunities for relaxation and recreation. Every village or town has a swimming pool. In some places you can swim in natural bluish water, rich in minerals and soothingly warm. The country has very low levels of pollution and a high life expectancy.

The Blue Lagoon’s ecosystem is unique. Spa treatments and massages use the energy of geothermal seawater and its active ingredients: minerals, silica and algae. The treatments take place both inside and in the lagoon itself, in the open air. Floating in the mineral-rich water, in close proximity to the Blue Lagoon’s extraordinary environment, surrounded by the natural elements and pure Icelandic air, is a unique experience for body and mind. The geothermal seawater is led directly to the Blue Lagoon from wells as deep as 2000 m. and the water stays warm and inviting at 36-39° C/100-110°F throughout the whole year. An indoor Blue Lagoon and geothermal sauna are also on the site. The white silica mud gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin and has a revitalizing effect while the blue green algae nourish and soften the skin. The mineral salts balance and relaxes body and soul.

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