Specialists in thermalism and preventative health from eight European countries got together in Lithuania, in July, to take part to the 3rd Study Visit organized within the InnovaSPA project.
Part of the interregional learning process, the Study Visit represented an opportunity for the participants to learn about the thermal ecosystem in Lithuania and discuss about the policies that support the development of the medical SPAs and wellness resorts in Vilnius area.
The event was hosted by the Lithuanian Innovation Center in the second week of July 2019 and included visits at medical SPAs and wellness centres in the cities of Druskininkai and Birštonas, two of the oldest and most developed balneary resorts in Lithuania.
During the Study Visit the participants had the opportunity to learn about the policies that support the preventative health and thermalism in Lithuania and how two of the cities with great potential in terms of natural factors, developed using public funds.
The main natural factors used in Lithuania are climate, mineral water and mud. The Lithuanian herbs and amber are also natural remedies with healing properties that are successfully used by the health services providers. The main use of these natural factors for health promotion, treatment and rehabilitation services in resorts are in climatetherapy, balneotherapy (drinking mineral water, mineral water baths, mineral water pools, mineral water inhalations) and peloid therapy (mud applications, mud baths).
Therefore, in order to see in practice how these natural factors are used in medical treatments and wellness services, visits at medical SPAs and wellness resorts located in Druskininkai and Birštonas were organized.
The visit started in the city of Druskininkai, the largest and the oldest Lithuanian mineral water, mud and climate therapies resort. The sites visited in Druskininkai were:
- UPA medical SPA, a SPA treatment centre and rehabilitation service that offers more than 80 different therapeutic treatments, rehabilitation, wellness, facial and body grooming services;
- Health Resort Druskininkai, an institution of modern technologies encompassing centuries of SPA experience and traditions of personal health care, providing services of ambulatory health care.
The visit continued in the city of Birštonas a resort endowed with natural riches as abundant mineral water springs, therapeutic mud, clean air and climate. The sites visited in Birštonas included:
- Vytautas Mineral SPA, the only special mineral spa facility in the Baltic region where guests can improve their wellbeing thanks to the unique minerals found in the water extracted from the exclusive Sofia source (discovered in 1960);
- Medical Spa Egles Sanatorija, a medical SPA opened in Birštonas in 2013, that has residential quarters and a medical centre which offers more than 100 therapeutic treatments and services. This summer “Eglės sanatorija” was awarded the “EuropeSpa” medical certificate stating that the services provided there meet the highest quality standards for the European medical SPA;
- “Birutės Vila” Mineral Water Pavilion, an indoor pavilion that houses a mineral water basin fountain and mineral water vaporization wall where visitors can boost their health by inhaling the air saturated with minerals;
- “Druskupis” Mineral Water Graduation Tower which creates a marine climate at 50-80 meters around it. The visitors of the tower can enjoy particularly healthy air with “sea effect”. The open air graduation tower has a mineral water fountain and a salt gallery.
Lithuania has a strong service industry related to preventative health and thermalism. The resorts and resort areas significantly developed over the years with the support of the funds allocated from the state budget and the budget of the involved municipalities. Currently, new medical SPAs and wellness resorts are being developed and about to be opened in the next 3-5 years in Lithuania. Health and wellness tourism is a priority at national level, together with the eco-tourism, cultural and business tourism, which means that more and more public investments will contribute to the development of this sector and of new services. The public authorities together with the relevant stakeholders are important pillars in the development of the health and wellness resorts in Lithuania. In Lithuania geothermal waters have great potential for balneotherapy but more scientific studies are needed to support geothermal water treatment for different kind of diseases.