The virtually “Study Visit in balneary resorts of Centru Region” gathered over 70 participants in Centru Region of Romania, right in the heart of Transylvania. This happened at the end of October when the partner Regional Development Agency Centru organized the 5th international study visit of the InnovaSPA project. This study visit was the first public project event that went virtual given the pandemic situation in Europe.

The first part of the study visit was dedicated to the presentation of the balneary ecosystem in Centru Region of Romania. During this first part, important information about the balneary ecosystem was provided by the representatives of the Romanian Association of Balneology, Organisation of Investors in Balneary Tourism in Romania (OPTBR), Transylvania Regional Balneotouristic Cluster, and company WEGA INVEST, a local company that is bottling natural medicinal water.  

Project partners and stakeholders from France, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, and Slovenia, together with other relevant Romanian actors had the opportunity to virtually visit the most representative balneary areas of the region, to learn about the existing natural resources (mineral waters, thermal waters, salt waters, salt caves, therapeutic mud, mofette, microclimate) and the ways these resources are valorized through balneary treatments and therapies, the level of their use and the good practices and policies that support the development and innovation in balneary areas.

During the second part of the study visit, local policymakers, representatives of the balneary resorts of Sovata, Praid, Borsec, Băile Tușnad, Covasna, Blvanyos - TuriaBazna and Ocna Sibiului talked about the unique natural resources they have, the importance of these resources for the health and economic development of these areas and about their future plans for development. The representative of Dr. Benedek Geza Hospital of Rehabilitation in Cardiovascular Diseases Covasna talked about the specific treatments and therapies they provide for their patients, using natural resources from Covasna area. An example of valorization of natural balneary resources was the Csiszar Bath, a traditional balneary resort in development, located in the middle of the forest, in Turia village.

The event ended with the organization of the online Steering Committee Meeting, during which the project partners discussed the implementation of the future project activities in this difficult time in Europe.

We hope that this experience will be valuable for all the participants and the examples shared by the Romanian partner will help them to improve the policies that support the development of the balneary/thermal sector in their regions or countries.