The 14th edition of the Balneal Tourism Exchange and Forum, which has become a landmark event in the series of specialized events on the Romanian tourist market, will take place in Covasna-spa resort, September 19-22.9.2018. Numerous  specialists from the country and abroad, spa tourism companies, tourism agencies, companies with activities related to spa and balneal tourism, representatives of central and local authorities, journalists, researchers, etc. will be present at the event.

The main topics of the Forum are: information exchange through case studies from countries with an old experience in the field, certifications and accreditations as tools for easier access to the European market, the evolution of the spa / wellness in the Romanian spa tourism, the qualification and training the personell, cooperation  with authorities.

At the exhibition organized on this occasion (The Balneal Tourism Exchange) will participate hotels with treatment bases that will present their potential and offers, travel agencies, other service companies and products for the sector, etc.

- Senior Expo, exhibition organized by Romexpo, dedicated to the elderly category, attracted both exhibitors with different services, programs, activities for seniors and many visitors; OPTBR was present with a stand in which several programs dedicated to this category of clients were presented.

- the Contract with the National House of Public Pensions sign woth the majority of our members started, based on the auction organized at national level; the contract is ensuring the capitalization of capacities by November;

 - Annual General Meeting of our organization ( OPTBR) - was held in Mamaia, hotel Riviera ***; on this occasion several priorities of spa tourism were established; it was requested the support of the Ministry of Tourism and a better  collaboration with other central institutions;

Two new members are joining OPTBR: SC Transport Trade Services SA Covasna and SC Casa Romaneasca - Calimanesti Caciulata. Welcome to OPTBR!

 

 - The Seminar “Opportunities and obstacles in the development of the Romanian balneal tourism”  preceded the works of the General Meeting  and offered the opportunity to meet with the companies located on the seaside; a series of common issues on the seaside - as a special entity in the tourism sector, with a huge potential for balneal and curative treatment - and in the balneal resorts of the rest of the country were discussed on this occasion. The debated aspects were: the situation of the personnel, modalities of qualification of the personnel, the expansion of the seasonality, the difficulties faced by the investors in tourism, especially in the spa, etc. ; it was underlined the results of introduction of spa departments in the hotel structures as well as the necessity of their accreditation with European or international emblems, with some best-practice examples.

- Participation at meetings of the Consultative Council of the Ministry of Tourism, as well as in the discussions on the organization of OMDs (Destination Management Organizations) as tools to promote and increase the visibility of destinations; in this sense, a draft law will be elaborated.

 

DO NOT FORGET:

The Balneal Tourism Exchange and Forum, 19-22 sept.2018, Covasna, Hotel Caprioara ****

- In view of the requests coming from the travel agencies and the direct beneficiaries, the Special Offers Campaign was prolonged until 30 June by more than 20 hotels from the balneal resorts.

- Participation in the National Conference of the Institute of Balneology and Medical Recovery - where scientific themes were discussed according to the agenda and a number of prizes were handed out both to the mayors and to balneal tourism companies.
- At the International Forum For Responsible Tourism,  Bucharest, a series of aspects of the responsible activity were highlighted, insisting on a process of approaching new members.

- The "Connecting Europe through Innovation" conference organized by European Parliament member Mrs. Claudia Tapardel, with the participation of Mrs. C. Bielowska, European Commissioner, attracted a number of specialists including tourism, representatives of central authorities, business environment, etc. There have been presented the development plans in the field as well as some projects in collaboration with other institutions (Bucharest Mayor’s Office, Sibiu Promotion Association, etc.).

 

- The National Congress of Recovery, Physical Medicine and Balneology of the Romanian Balneology Association, Cluj-Napoca and Turda-salt mine; scientific papers were presented, a beneficial experience exchange was made and a study was presented on the potential of Baile Tusnad resort and how to capitalize it; the "Balneal Gala" took place, where OPTBR, together with other resorts/units, received an award.

 

- Congress ESPA - May 2018, Domburg, The Netherlands

The Congress occasioned the presentation and debate of topics of common interest at European level, of new programs; an original theme that wants to attract more naturally potential countries was the 'Forest - source of health' program, which enjoyed a major interest; on this occasion was presented by Professor Christian Roques the epidemiological study and the impact of the treatments with natural cure factors, a study attended by Romania through OPTBR; the study will also be presented to the European Commission for information on the valences of spa tourism and its inclusion in a European funding project.

 

- Seminar on the introduction of legislation on data protection; in line with the regulations in force and in the desire to support its members in approaching the new system, with the support of specialized companies, was organized in Calimanesti-Caciulata, at hotel Orizont***, a training seminar. Representatives from 12 resorts took part, who appreciated the information received and clarified - through debates - some aspects of law enforcement.

April was full of events; we mention the main actions organized by OPTBR in collaboration with other associations / structures:

  1. The Health Tourism Forum, April 19-20, focused on debating the role and importance of national and international accreditations and certifications as a guarantee of the quality of health services. The main themes: the implementation of quality standards recognized at European level for the access of foreign tourists through Private Health Insurance Houses or Private Pensions companies, when considering the possibilities of launching a wellness prevention program involving hotels and guest houses.

- The National Tourism Health Partnership was launched, open to partners, both legal persons and individual, which aims to ensure a constant communication between all parties involved in order to improve and develop health tourism in Romania.

  1. The "New Tourism Career Opportunities" Conference organized by EuroGites and ANTREC Romania, in which an exchange of experience with the countries participating in the project took place and discussions were held on how to train the personnel in the field; there have been pointed out the difficulties of the spa tourism companies in finding qualified staff and how young people should be attracted to such occupations; an exchange of experience between the countries participating in the project was proposed.
  2. The conference "Tourism - the chance for the development of the national economy", organized by Christian University Dimitrie Cantemir, with several partners from the tourism sector and some academic units; OPTBR has been presenting information on investments in recent years in balneal resorts as well as ways to attract young people to this sector.
  3. The TV Promotion Campaign of the balneal tourism was launched, in a new concept, made by TV producer Razvan Petrisor; the campaign involves 14 balneal tourism companies; the shows are broadcast weekly on Saturday and Tuesday and taken over by TVR International, TVR 2, TVR Moldova and can also be accessed on the TVR website.

Balneal tourism was present at this event, held in the new exhibition halls at Romexpo, with a stand where 15 members presented their offers for the summer season 2018, as well as offers for Easter celebrations. The interest in these programs was quite high, with visitors being given direct information by the representatives of the resorts.

Balneal Tourism Seminar

Also during the Tourism Fair was the seminar "Quality of services and qualification of human resources; where are trained proffesionals?” where some of the institutions (Academy for Economics, the Christian University Dimitrie Cantemir) and some schools for the training of the personnel in the field (the post-graduate school "Center for European Studies") presented their offers and the availability of collaboration, by including student practice programs for effective practice in balneal and spa facilities.

 

Cooperation protocol
On the occasion of the seminar, a collaboration protocol was signed between OPTBR, the Amfiteatru Foundation and the National Authority for Quality Management of Medical Services, aiming to establish

a general framework of collaboration for the promotion of spa and health tourism, setting up concrete actions, occupations in the field, etc. There is also a certification / licensing action for the spa units as a working tool both for the recognition of the quality of the medical infrastructure and services as well as the preparation for entry into the European market, thus putting into practice the European Union Directive 23 of liberalization of circulation people and services, including balneal services.

As every year, starting with  January 20th, a special campaign for the extra- season  is opened; all categories of clients  can benefit from this special balneal programs at extremely attractive rates.

The following programs can be are requested in the travel agencies or directly in hotels: A week of rehabilitation in the spa resorts, Spa Decade, Come to the Baths! and Balneal Wellness

The campaign is valid until May 20, 2018.