Celebrating Europe's thermal water sources and heritage
Every year, on World Water Day, the 22nd March, we celebrate the water sources which are at the heart of everything we do. It's a day where our member towns and thermal regions can give access to their heritage and healing springs in interesting and unusual ways, such as open days, special offers, water bars, guided walks, and behind the scenes tours.
This reinforces the importance of our waters and the history behind them to both local residents and visitors, welcoming everybody to explore with all the five senses this fascinating world of health, tradition and well-being
in 2020 the theme of World Water Day was “Water and Climate Change” and how the two are inextricably linked. The United Nations, which organises World Water Day tells us that “adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect health and save lives. That using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases. And that we cannot afford to wait. Everyone has a role to play.”
One of the themes this year is about “taking good care of water” – something that we already care about in our thermal towns: We protect our sources from pollution, by maintaining a clean environment around our towns, and they are even more healthy places to visit as a result. We measure and monitor our water sources, making sure they are safe for our customers to use, and that they maintain the unique balances of minerals and salts that give them their particular qualities. We instinctively know that some of our hotter waters can be used to lower carbon emissions by using them to heat buildings. In this way we can contribute to the “carbon-smart urbanisation” that the UN also encourages.
Our model of tourism is inextricably linked to water, the life-sustaining element that we all have a duty to protect. We are dedicated to health, to physical and mental wellness, and to protecting the natural environment that surrounds our towns. We encourage our visitors to explore “slow” and less environmentally-damaging tourism, with an emphasis on locally-sourced food and drink, and travel by rail, for example. We encourage them to take time out, to relax, walk in parks and gardens and surrounding countryside, and focus on their health and well-being, in ways that no other form of tourism does. We know that this model is good for people, and good for the environment.