Latest News

All EHTTA news releases and articles related to EHTTA activities are listed below, and updated regularly.

ScoopIt is a news service curated by the former Delegate General of EHTTA and former Director of the Institute of Cultural Routes, Mr Michel Thomas-Penette. He scans the news around the spa towns of Europe and collects them into a themed, constantly changing newsletter, full of interesting information on the culture and heritage of the EHTTA members. Please do check in on this service regularly, as it is an amazing resource!

Latest news
EHTTA General Assembly in Karlovy Vary PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 April 2016 15:48

Karlovy Vary with Hotel Imperial

The next General Assembly of the European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA) will be held on April 14th in Karlovy Vary at the Hotel Imperial, one of Europe’s most impressive spa hotels, built in 1912. An international delegation of 50 delegates from nearly 30 member spa towns will attend this event, held over 2 days, and comprising the General Assembly, workshops on tourism and communication and a study tour of the Czech Golden Triangle of thermal spa towns.

EHTTA, which represents nearly 40 spa towns and regions across Europe holds its General Assemblies twice a year in order to network between the members and to further develop its work programme. These meetings are also an opportunity to learn more about member towns, and EHTTA is particularly pleased to be able to go on a study tour on this occasion, to learn more about the spa towns of Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně and Loket – and area known as the “Spa Triangle”.

President of EHTTA and Mayor of Montecatini Terme, Mr Giuseppe Bellandi said: “This is EHTTA’s first visit to the Czech Republic and to the Karlovy Vary Region, and I am very pleased that the Association is able to hold a General Assembly here in one of Europe’s most famous spa towns. We are looking forward to finding out more about the region and its heritage during our study visit, particularly about the many sources of water which made the region so popular for spa visitors. We are grateful to the Mayors of Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně , and all the staff of the Municipality who have worked so hard to make EHTTA’s visit here a success.”

This is an exciting time for the Association, as EHTTA will welcome several new members during the General Assembly, and will discuss several more applications for membership.

EHTTA's Celebration@Sources on World Water Day PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 March 2016 14:34

News Release                                                                                                                                   18/03/16     Immediate Release

EHTTA Network’s Celebration@Sources

World Water Day on March 22nd each year is the day the world focuses on water, led by the United Nations, and in the EHTTA network, this is a very special day too!  World Water Day is the day on which members focus on the sources of water which make each of their towns so special, and which are the reasons the towns continue to exist and to draw visitors from all over the world to take the waters for leisure and health.  This year’s theme of “Water is Work” is particularly important to all those who work in the spa town sector, in and around water sources which are used for bathing and drinking for medicinal purposes and general wellbeing.

The European Route of Historical Thermal Towns at the Louvre! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 08:44

The European Route of Historical Thermal Towns at the Louvre in the framework of the 33rd edition of the Thermalies Fair the EHTTA network showcases the Route to the greater public.

The European Route of Historical Thermal Towns will be present at Thermalies Fair at the Carrousel du Louvre from 21 to 24 January, 2016
The 33rd edition of the Thermalies ( represents a new opportunity to showcase the European Route of Historical Thermal Towns to the greater public. With nearly 300 exhibitors and 32,000 visitors, the Thermalies stand out as THE point of reference for health and wellness in France and involve many international stakeholders. It shows new trends in the sector of hydrotherapy, thalassotherapy, spa and balneotherapy.

Cultural routes, a source for new forms of tourism development
During the Thermalies, EHTTA Association (European Historic Thermal Towns Association) will have its Executive Council meeting on the 21st January, 2016. On this occasion EHTTA will present to the members its new promotion strategy. A strategy based on storytelling, for a better understanding of the European thermal cultural heritage that narrates the thermal Europe as a tourist destination through innovative communication tools

EHTTA Association (European Historic Thermal Towns Association)
The European Association of Historical Thermal Towns (EHTTA) is a network created in 2009 in Brussels, which includes thirty spa towns (among them Vichy - France, Baden Baden - Germany, Bath - United Kingdom, Ourense - Spain, Montecatini Terme - Italy but also Budapest - Hungary, Daruvar - Croatia, Chaves - Portugal and Loutra Pozar - Greece) in 13 European countries, characterized by an emblematic architectural heritage and whose of thermal waters are recognized for their healing properties throughout Europe.

The aims of this European network are to obtain the recognition of innovative and cultural specificities of European spa towns at the European Union, in order to develop the tourist sector in the frame of a new plan, by encouraging cross-border tourism of a "Destination Europe". EHTTA encourages the development, the economic redeployment of spa towns and the safeguard of their cultural and historic heritage through exchanges of experience and good practices at European level.

All EHTTA towns are integral to the cultural route of the historic thermal towns, one of the 33cultural routes recognized by the Council of Europe, as well as the cultural route of St James Ways, the first to receive this label of European citizenship, exactly 28 years ago.

For further information about EHTTA:

Visit the website:
us on the Facebook page:
the web documentary:

EHTTA General Assembly and Cafe of Europe Bursa PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 12:27

The City of Bursa (Turkey) hosted the General Assembly of the European Historic Towns Associations, recognized as Council of Europe Cultural Route since 2009. The ancient capital of the Ottoman Empire is located on a stretch of the Silk Road and has a 1500 year historical thermal background. In this international context, two days of meetings, events and study visits took place from 19 to 21 October.

Invitation to the press conference PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 April 2015 11:08

Invitation to the press conference presenting the European Association of Historic Thermal Towns at the European Parliament (04/15/2015 - 09: 00 AM)


Communiqué de Presse

Press Release

Invitation à la conférence de presse

Invitation to the press conference

Declaration (EN)

Declaration (FR)


The European Association of Historic Thermal Towns General Political Declaration presented by EHTTA President Giuseppe Bellandi at the European Parliament  on the occasion of the press conference organized at the European Parliament that took place on Wednesday, April 15th at 9:00 at the prescence of Mrs Silvia Costa, European MP, President of the Committee on Culture and Education.


Tuesday, 02 December 2014 11:01

"Council of Europe cultural routes: cultural tourism for intercultural dialogue and social stability". The 2014 Council of Europe Cultural Routes Advisory Forum was co-organised by the Ministry for Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) and the European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR). The European Historic Thermal Towns Association has attended this meeting.
The event was opened by the Minister for Culture and Tourism, Abulfas Garayev and the Council of Europe's Director General of Democracy, Snežana Samardžić-Marković. Deputy Minister, Sevda Mammadaliyeva, gave the closing speech of the Forum.
The Forum's conclusions are set out in the Baku Declaration adopted by participants at the close of the sessions, which takes stock of the achievements since the 2013 Forum in Innsbruck and sets new goals for the future activities of the Council of Europe cultural routes. The exchanges and discussions in the thematic workshops will contribute to further progress and to identifying and elaborating strategies for the future.
The Forum was attended by representatives of the Council of Europe's 29 certified routes and candidate projects from all over Europe, representatives from member states of the EPA, international organisations (European Union, UNWTO, OECD, ICOMOS), NGOs, local and regional authorities, universities and professionals in the cultural tourism sector.
The four workshops of the Forum produced constructive outcomes and new proposals for action, which will be followed up during the twelve months until the next Advisory Forum to be held in Aranjuez, Spain.

Cultural routes as vectors for intercultural dialogue.
Participants stressed that the freedom to participate was a precondition for intercultural dialogue. They emphasised the importance of direct experience and of tourism as a facilitator of accessibility to experiences where it provides authentic and unrestricted contact between host and guest communities. They stated that creative interpretation must be integrated in the development of the Council of Europe cultural routes' activities to give space for intuition and emotion, and that engagement with the values of a cultural route may also be expressed through physical activities, including sport.

Cultural routes as drivers for sustainable social and economic development.
Participants recommended that cultural routes work towards raising the awareness of residents and local business communities of the cultural and economic value of their heritage, thus enabling them to become the main promoters of their own culture. They considered that dialogue between Council of Europe cultural routes and local and global business communities should be promoted through creative platforms and that dialogue between Routes and Research and Development departments should be encouraged in a transnational, multi-level approach.

Cultural routes as educational tools for understanding past conflicts, easing tensions and promoting peaceful cohabitation.
The participants in the workshop recognised that cultural routes have the potential to create places where intercultural dialogue can flourish and to foster peace through the promotion of social justice, human rights, economic equity, sustainable development and democracy. They recommended that the Council of Europe cultural routes engage in educational activities about European history, including conflicts, for all types of public. They called upon the participants at the Conference of Ministers for Culture and Tourism organized jointly by UNESCO and the UNWTO (Cambodia, February 2015) to bear in mind the importance of cultural routes for fostering intercultural dialogue and proposed that cultural routes for peace be a theme for the next World Forum on Intercultural dialogue (Baku, May 2015).

Cultural routes as guardians of Europe's memory and living history.
The participants in this workshop recalled that Council of Europe cultural routes are channels for intergenerational transmission of memory and living history, offering opportunities to tell Europe's "stories" through the different standpoints of the networks of witnesses and inheritors. They encouraged cultural routes to be instruments for cultural dialogue and reconciliation and recommended the creation of platforms (through research, education, business involvement and new technologies) to foster the co-production of living memories. Emphasising the importance of fostering bottom-up approaches, participants recommended that communities collectively identify and contribute content to cultural routes and that the sharing of cultural routes contents should be based on different means of actively engaging local communities, such as festivals and events. Informative and interactive approaches should balance tangible and intangible heritage and challenge stereotypes to reveal common European stories and citizenships.
All the workshops emphasised the importance of ensuring the full participation of younger generations, and consequently of Cultural Routes developing active education programmes, tourism products and capacity-building programmes that specifically target young audiences, as well as attractive and relevant new communication channels using digital technologies.
During the Forum, the certified cultural routes set up a Task Force to facilitate cooperation and synergies.


EHTTA at the HTI Conference in Vienna PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 10:33

News Release 17/02/16 Immediate Release

EHTTA at the HTI Conference in Vienna 3-5 March

EHTTA, the European Historic Thermal Towns Association is delighted to announce that it will be taking part in the HTI (Health Tourism Industry) Conference in Vienna. Recognised as one of the largest events in Central and Southern Europe, the HTI Conference, brings together over 300 top executives from the global health tourism sector.

Two EHTTA representatives will be speaking on Day One of the conference, on “Globally Recognised European Destinations of Health”. The EHTTA, which also runs the Council of Europe’s Cultural Route of Historic Thermal Spa Towns, and is a prominent member of the Cultural Routes Programme, is well placed to speak about European Destinations of health. Its 35 members span Europe from Galaalti in Azerbaijan to Caldas de la Rainha in Portugal, and from the Roman city of Bath to ancient spas in Greece. EHTTA is committed to promoting not only the health benefits of its myriad sources of water, but the history and cultural heritage surrounding these historically important towns, all of which still possess significant historic architecture related to their function as spa towns dedicated to the health and wellbeing of their visitors.


Europe’s Historic Spa Towns can be credited with developing some of the earliest forms of tourism, so it is very appropriate that the Association has a presence at the HTI Conference. EHTTA will be very ably represented by LUCA BRUSCHI, International relationships and Communitarian policies at European Historic Thermal Towns Association and MARCEL MEDAK, mag.cin, Director at Daruvar Thermal Spa and President of the Health Tourism Cluster, Croatia.


President of EHTTA, and the Mayor Montecatini Terme in Italy, Mr Giuseppe Bellandi said: “Our Association has grown from small beginnings in 2009 when just six towns sat around the table, to one of increasing importance with over 30 members in 13 countries. We represent towns that all have an important heritage, often dating back to Roman times and beyond, and which are important for the growing tourism sectors of health and wellness. As we grow, the Association is keen to be visible on a wider European stage, not only at exhibitions such as the HTI Conference in Vienna, but also with other cultural routes, and crucially at a political level in Brussels. We are fortunate to have a dedicated and active membership which is working to ensure that the future health and prosperity of these important historic thermal spa towns is assured as much as the health and wellbeing of their visitors!”


Membership Benefits PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 November 2015 12:11

Discover what are the benefits of becoming an EHTTA member.

click here to download the Membership benefits pack:

The case study of the Route of Historic Thermal Towns PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 12:19

The Final Dissertation in Innovation in cultural products by Mrs Jennifer Gaeta a student from the ALMA MATER STUDIORUM   University of Bologna - School of Economics Management and Statistic Campus Rimini – Second Cycle Degree programme in Tourism Economics and Management

The dissertation: Building Europe as a unique destination: The challenge of trans-national destination management in the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe analysed  three certified cultural routes of the Council of Europe among which the Route of Historic Thermal Towns (EHTTA) has been chosen a study case and model.

Link to download the dissertation:

Salsomaggiore Terme hosts the European Thermal Towns Exhibition PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 12:09

Press release
Salsomaggiore Terme hosts the European Thermal Towns Exhibition

Salsomaggiore hosts the Exhibition of the European Thermal Towns Association, a network that joins Salsomaggiore Terme together with other 30 thermal European cities, such as Vichy, Bath, Baden Baden, Spa, Budapest and the Italians Montecatini Terme, Acqui Terme and Fiuggi.
From the 2nd until the 24th of December, appealing photos of Historical European Thermal Towns will be shown at the “Romagnosi” Public Library. Opening Times from Monday to Friday – from 8.00am to 18.30pm and Saturday from 8.30am to 17.30pm.
This Exhibition is the best opportunity to spread the knowledge and awareness to the public about the “spa towns - villes d’eaux”, through the display of photos about the European thermal heritage. The Exhibition, set up in the framework of the European network of historic thermal towns that organized the “Café of Europe”, is also hosted in Salsomaggiore Terme in order to underline the key role of our thermal city within this European network. The display of panels allow the tourist to sink into the prestigious universe of these smart cities, linking together the prosperous monumental nature of the thermal architecture and the wonderful ornamental details, besides the modern water functions, as a benefit of the Thermal heritage – said the Council member Elena Francani.
This Exhibition can be seen as an occasion to discover the main European Thermal Cities, with whom Salsomaggiore collaborates, in order to develop co mutual goals in the thermal, wellness, touristic, cultural field and local area strategic development. The collaboration will express itself, through the participation/attendance of European calls, linking for example together Thermal route and the Via Francigena, both part of the prestigious programme of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe.


Communique de presse
A Salsomaggiore l’expo sur les villes historiques thermales européennes

La ville de Salsomaggiore qui fait partie avec 30 autres destinations de l’Association Européenne des villes historiques thermales accueille l’exposition de ce réseau où Salsomaggiore travaille avec Vichy, Bath, Baden Baden, Spa, Budapest et les villes italiennes de Montecatini, Acqui Terme, Fiuggi.
C’est du 2 au 24 décembre, dans les locaux de la bibliothèque communale “Romagnosi”, qu’il est possible de découvrir les anneaux qui proposent les images des villes historiques thermales européennes.
L’exposition est ouverte du lundi au vendredi (8 h30/18 h30) et le samedi (8h30/17h30) L’exposition est destinée à faire connaitre au grand public les richesses culturelles des “villes d’eaux” à travers les images du patrimoine thermal en Europe. Réalisée dans le cadre du réseau européen des villes historiques thermales qui est responsable de l’organisation des « Cafés de l’Europe », la venue de cette exposition à Salsomaggiore veut souligner le rôle actif de notre ville thermale dans ce réseau de villes « intelligentes ». Cette série de panneaux (en anglais et français) nous donnent l’occasion unique de découvrir l’univers des « villes d’eaux » européennes et de mettre ainsi en réseau l’architecture thermale avec ses éléments décoratifs, aussi bien que l’utilisation de l’eau liée au patrimoine thermal – a déclaré Elena Francani, ajointe pour les projets européens.
L’exposition constitue donc une opportunité idéale pour découvrir les plus importantes villes thermales européennes dans le cadre d’EHTTA afin de développer des projets communs dans le domaine thermal, celui du bien-être en mettant en valeur les aspects culturels et touristiques et permettant le développement durable des territoires. La coopération vise également à créer des liens entre itinéraires culturels comme c’est le cas pour les villes thermales et la Via Francigena, tous deux certifiés par le prestigieux programme des Itinéraires culturels du Conseil de l’Europe, en participant ensemble à des appels à projets de la Commission européenne.


Comunicato stampa
Salsomaggiore ospita la mostra sulle città termali storiche europee

Viene ospitata Salsomaggiore Terme la mostra della rete dell’Associazione Europea delle Città Storiche Termali, un network che mette in rete la città di Salsomaggiore Terme con 30 realtà termali europee di “ecellenza”, fra le quali Vichy, Bath, Baden Baden, Spa, Budapest e le italiane Montecatini, Acqui Terme e Fiuggi.
Dal 2 al 24 dicembre, presso gli spazi della biblioteca comunale “Romagnosi”, sarà possibile visitare i pannelli che propongono immagini suggestive delle città storiche termali europee. Orario di apertura da lunedì a venerdì dalle 08.30 alle 18.30 e sabato dalle 08.30 alle 17.30.
Questa mostra è l’occasione per far conoscere le ricchezze culturali delle « villes d’eaux » al grande pubblico attraverso immagini del patrimonio termale in Europa. Allestita nel contesto della rete europea delle città storiche termali che hanno organizzato i “Caffè dell’Europa”, la mostra viene ospitata anche nella città di Salsomaggiore Terme per sottolineare il ruolo propulsivo della nostra realtà termale all’interno di questo network europeo. Questa serie di pannelli, in inglese e francese, permettono di immergersi all’interno dell’universo delle “villes d’eaux” europee mettendo in relazione la ricca monumentalità dell’architettura termale e gli splendidi dettagli decorativi, cosi come il moderno utilizzo dell’acqua in funzione del patrimonio legato alle Terme – ha detto l’assessore Elena Francani.
La mostra diventa una occasione per scoprire le principali città termali europee facenti parte dell’Associazione EHTTA con le quali Salsomaggiore Terme è in rete, per sviluppare progettualità comuni nell’ambito del benessere termale, culturale, turistico e di sviluppo strategico dei territori. La collaborazione si articolerà anche partecipando a bandi indetti dalla Commissione Europea come è avvenuto recentemente mettendo in sinergia il binomio Terme-Via Francigena, due itinerari certificati dal Consiglio d’Europa nell’ambito prestigioso programma degli Itinerari Culturali.

Press release meeting EHTTA - MP Silvia Costa - 4th November 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 November 2014 11:15
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