The 2017 ENSPA Conference will host distinguished Slovenian and foreign speakers from the spa and meetings industries that will share their knowledge and experience.

Welcome address

Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister

Ministry of Economic Development and Technology

Balneology once, today and in the future

Prof. Dr. Umberto Solimene


Recent Medical Balneology and Spa Therapy Research

Prof. Dr. Zeki Müfit Karagülle, MD, PhD

Istanbul Faculty of Medicine

The results of a comprehensive spa treatment at the health resort Rogaška Slatina

Suzana Lazarova, MD

Medical Center Rogaška

Formulation and characterization of peloids for their use in thermalism

Dr. Lourdes Mourelle Mosqueira, PHD

Universidad de Vigo

Sečovlje Saline Mud: Composition, Characteristics and Traditional Use

Dr. Nives Kovač, PhD

National Institute for Biology

Sečovlje Saline Mud: Composition, Characteristics and Traditional Use

Dr. Neli Glavaš, PhD

Soline d.o.o.

Salina mud from Sečovlje Salt pans, composition, characteristic and traditional use

Dr. Lepa Veljanović, MD

Terme Wellness Lifeclass

Modern approach to Rehabilitation

Prof. dr. Helena Burger, PhD

University Rehabilitation Institute Soča

The Future of Rehabilitation

Dr. Klemen Grabljevec, MD, Msc.

Slovenian Association for Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

Analysis of Thermal SPA healing in Slovenia

Dr. Tomaž Čakš, MD, PhD

Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia

What is a demanding Wellness guest looking for

Michael Altewischer

Wellness Hotels & Resorts

Medical Traveler or Wellness Traveler

Dr. Ádám Ruszinkó, MD

Hungarian Ministry of National Economy

The Global Wellness Economy - a $3.7 Billion Business

Mark Hennebry

GWI - Global Welness Insitute

Health Tourism International - potentials in the CE region

Zdeslav Radovčić

HTI - Health Tourism Industry Conference

(title to be announced)

Dr. Tanja Rauter Pungartnik, MD

Sava Medical

IDA Method - New Tool in Modern Hydrotherapy

Branko Ravnak

IAHD Adriatic - International Association for Handicapped Divers Adriatic

Welcome adress by Minister Zdravko Počivalšek

Ladies and gentlemen, participants and organisers of the 2017 European Natural Spas & Wellness Conference,

I was glad to accept the honorary sponsorship of the 2017 ENSPA Conference and I thank you for your trust.

I warmly welcome all participants, speakers and esteemed guests to Slovenia: a green, healthy and active tourist destination, where care for health and well-being is a priority.  

Healthy living is a dynamic process because it requires a comprehensive approach observing all aspects of people’s activity: physical, emotional, rational, spiritual and social. Their balance is the basis of health.

Health and well-being are very important motives, which promote tourism and are from year to year becoming increasingly significant decisive factors when selecting tourist destinations. This fact is known to the majority of European spas, which direct their marketing activities towards the promotion of modern spa holidays where they emphasise the transition from passive treatment to active comprehensive training for body, soul and spirit.

This year’s ENSPA Conference observes the trends as well and its expert programme enables the transfer of knowledge, best practice and new ideas, which will be shared by domestic and international experts. Highly esteemed foreign and Slovenian lecturers will speak about balneology, medical rehabilitation, and the links between medical and wellness tourism. Examples of best practice in neurology, cardiology, rheumatology and modern hydrotherapy for physically impaired patients will be very interesting.

Tourism is considered one of the most important strategic sectors in Slovenia, which generates new jobs and has a positive effect on balanced regional development and sustainability. Whereby sustainable development of tourism is the basic direction and fundamental development concept of Slovenian tourism.  

2016 was the year of record numbers in statistical data on tourist visits to Slovenia, since over 4 million tourists visited our beautiful country and generated over 11 million overnight stays, which was 8% more than in 2015. Some 66% of tourist overnight stays were generated by foreign tourists.

On average, the tourists spent most of their time in municipalities with spa facilities, i.e. they usually stayed there for 3 to 4 nights. Almost one third of tourist overnight stays were generated in those municipalities, followed by mountain municipalities (25.6% of overnight stays), coastal municipalities (20% of overnight stays) and the capital of Ljubljana.

A growth in tourist arrivals and overnight stays has been noted in 2017, and we thus expect a record year for Slovenian tourism. In the first seven months of 2017, the majority of tourists visited Slovenian natural spas; 28% of all tourist overnight stays were generated in municipalities with spa facilities, and the number of overnight stays in those municipalities increased by 4.1% compared to the same period in 2016, which was followed by mountain and coastal municipalities, and Ljubljana.

In cooperation with other line ministries, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology will strive for a suitable business environment to further the successful development of Slovenian natural spas and wellness tourist products.

The 2017–2021 Strategy for the Sustainable Growth of Slovenian Tourism is currently undergoing interministerial coordination and includes a vision that by 2021 Slovenia will become a global green boutique destination for demanding visitors seeking diverse and active experiences, inner peace and personal benefits. Realisation of the vision is also based on key attributes and advantages that offer and enable visitors experiences and well-being by means of a well-established and improved spa and wellness programme.

Regarding the current lifestyle and increasingly recognised and esteemed values, such as health, well-being and healthy food, I am certain that spa, wellness and selfness tourist products have good perspective and we expect their successful development.

To all participants in this international conference, I wish successful implementation of the 2017 European Natural Spas & Wellness Conference, as well as productive work, many constructive discussions, positive experiences and a pleasant stay in Slovenia.

Zdravko Počivalšek