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The European Historic Thermal Towns Association held their Thermal Tourism Congress in Ourense, a province and municipality in Galicia, Spain. The reason why the EHTTA chose Ourense, besides its multiple attractions as a thermal destination, the city belongs to the founder members of EHTTA and the event was organised with the collaboration of Xunta de Galicia and the support of the UNWTO.
The association was founded in 2009 in Brussels by six founder members – Acqui Terme (Italy), Bath (UK), Vichy (France), Salsomaggiore Terme (Italy), Spa (Belgium), and of course Ourense. EHTTA was established as a non-profit association based on the need to encourage protect and enhance thermal, artistic and cultural heritage throughout Europe, nowadays is a healthy network of 40 members and 18 countries.
Coinciding with the World Tourism Day a welcome reception was organised in the stunning Cloister of San Francisco a great venue in Ourense for exclusive receptions and events:
The three pillars of the event were Tourism, Heritage and Experience, bringing experts from all around the globe to the stage and discuss best practices and the future of thermal destinations and their sustainabilty. The first day the event took place in two different venues, such a cool idea: in the morning the official opening and some conferences took place in the Teatro Principal in the old town of Ourense.
In the afternoon we changed venue and luckily for us the weather was quite nice to hold the conferences outdoors in a wonderful patio, another venue idea in Ourense:

One of the highlights of the conference was the event of Les Accros du peignoir, translated as Addicted to the Bathrobe, an initiative that was created to boost the image and attractiveness of thermal spas, rolling out new media codes and practices (unconventional, modern, confident, relaxed) designed to erase stereotypes and combat prejudice, thus making it easier to attract new, complementary clients.
The event took place in Termas de Outariz a thermal station inspired by the Japanese Onsen bathing culture, based on the principles of respect and harmony with nature. Place of peace and tranquility, here you can enjoy a few hours of relaxation and escapes at affordable prices. This spa, with capacity for 180 people, has 11 outdoor and 3 indoor pools:

Another unique space for events in Ourense.
And all attendees got a wonderful bathrobe:
The second day the Thermal Tourism Congress moved to the fairgrounds of Expourense venue and it took place at the same time as Termatalia, the most important international exhibition on thermal tourism, health and wellness (20th edition). Exhibitors from Spain and Latin-America exchanged experiences, from a business, institutional and social point of view, to obtain a global perspective of the sector, in order to promote the strategic market of Thermal and Wellness Tourism.
And full house during the open ceremony:
Ourense as the thermal capital in Spain, was such a great occasion to meet all the European Historic Thermal Towns members and learn so much about Thermalism: it is considered to be one of those fields of tourism which could experience the greatest growth after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourists will be looking for wellness experiences, immersing themselves in the destinations and interacting with local inhabitants.
Thermal Tourism is a powerful tool to contribute to safeguard the world’s thermal heritage (natural, cultural and intangible) and to provide socio-economic benefits, including the dynamisation of rural areas and the creation of stable employment and income-earning opportunities.
Here you can read my experience in Vía de la Plata in Ourense.
In this link you can read all the details about the Galician Wine Museum.
Here you can read all details about the health resort Caldaria Arnoia.
If you tracks #GraupixOurense in all my social media platforms, you can see more pics and comments