The first Executive Council meeting of the European Association of Historic Thermal Towns took place between 18th – 19th January in Enghien-les-Bains (France). Participants had the opportunity to attend a fundraising workshop focused on EU Structural Funds, brainstorming potentials projects that may contribute to boost EHTTA’s labour on the safeguarding and protection of European thermal heritage. The session was followed up by a discussion on the work programme and agenda for 2017, addressing EHTTA next public events – HTI conference in Rovinj (Croatia) and Intercare Medical Tourism Trade Fair in Milan (Italy) – and the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Council of Europe Routes Programme, marked this year.
On the 19th EHTTA representatives also attended Les Thermalies, France’s most important professional fair on thermalism and wellness, where they held a press conference with the support of the French Ministries of Culture and Communication and Tourism. “We are pleased to hold this very first Executive Council of our association in Enghien-les-Bains, a place not only well-known for its mineral hot springs waters but also for its creativity, as it has been designated a UNESCO City of Media Arts. It is a perfect example of how health, wellness and culture go hand in hand in our member spa towns” said EHTTA President Giuseppe Bellandi.
The European Historic Thermal Towns Association welcomes the election of Mr. Antonio Tajani as the new President of the European Parliament, confident that this decision is a step ahead in the valorization of European cultural heritage as a tool for sustainable development. As Commissioner of Tourism (2009 – 2014), he was a key actor for the implementation of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes, boosting the cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Commission which has made possible for this programme to keep growing year by year.
“We know that President Tajani has taken into particular consideration our project and our network of thermal towns, as well the Council of Europe Cultural Routes Programme. We had the opportunity to share with him the celebrations of European Tourism Day in 2010 (Brussels) and 2011 (Budapest), where he explicitly mentioned our thermal route and EHTTA as a model of good practice for sustainable and tourist development of territories” Bellandi said.