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Health Cities: Development of Wellness Destinations in Central and Eastern Europe

April 22, 2018


On April 22, the Eastern European Initiative hosted a Roundtable and interactive forum in Cracow to discuss the transformation of current health cities to wellness destinations in Central and Eastern Europe. The discussion was moderated by Arkadiusz Dawidowski, CEO of the European Spa Foundation, and Alla Sokolova, founder and CEO of Inbalans and Chair of the Eastern European Initiative

 

key takeaways:

With such a rich heritage and culture of health services in the region, the question of how these health cities will transform to keep up with consumer demand is critical. On April 22, the Eastern European Initiative hosted a Roundtable in Cracow to discuss the transformation of current so-called traditional health cities to wellness destinations in Central and Eastern Europe. An esteemed group of experts and visionaries, including the mayor of Polanica Zdroj, a scientist from Cracow Technical University, entrepreneurs, media representatives and wellness experts, came together.  

Key outcomes of the discussion included the need for a multi-disciplinary approach from the bottom-up to ensure the concept of wellness can be understood and implemented and, on the highest governmental level, the need for a closer collaboration between the scientific community, entrepreneurs and government officials. The existing model of health cities and health resorts needs a transformation, with a stronger emphasis on local culture and traditions. Finally, it is important to enhance the wellbeing of the local communities in health cities, not just grow with a focus on tourists as it has been done in the past. If locals are feeling well, they will be more open and client orientated to incoming guests.

The Roundtable was sponsored by ForSpa, a Warsaw-based spa consultancy company. The founder, Arkadiusz Dawidowski, said, "It is my mission to make sure Poland is a key player in the wellness industry on the global arena. These kinds of events are key to join together and share our experience and innovative developments with the global community."

 

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS:

Alla Sokolova, Founder and CEO, Inbalans Group, Latvia
Arek Dawidowski, President, European Spa Foundation, Poland
Dr. Diana Dryglas, Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
Tomasz Kaleta, CEO Malinowe Hotels, Poland
Katarzyna Kuziemska, Project Manager, Polish Tourism Organization. Poland
Ewa Nickel, Spa Consultant, Nickel Consulting, Poland
Jerzy Terlecki, Mayor of Polanica Zdroj, Member of the Board of Association of Polish Spa Communities, Poland
Agnieszka Trafas, Owner, Wellness ProVita Hotel Kolobrzeg, Poland
Mike Wallace, General Secretary, International Medical Wellness Association
Katarzyna Soltyk, Editor in Chief, Eden Spa & Wellness Magazine, Poland