Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura has given authorisation for two thermal springs in Thessaly, Central Greece. In a separate study, it has been suggested that Greece’s 124 thermal spring facilities can triple revenues to €390 million per year if they are upgraded. In 2017 1.5 million Greeks spent €106 million visiting thermal springs.
The facilities of Smokovo and Soulanta near the mainland town of Karditsa have been included in the ministry’s national plan to promote health and wellness tourism, as well as establish new tourism destinations. The Smokovo and Soulanta springs will offer hot spring treatments for a wide variety of ailments.
The new Thematic/ Special Interest Tourism Law is expected to pave the way for the diversification and development of Greece’s tourism sector. The framework addresses long-standing legislative, administrative and operational gaps while setting out a framework for thematic and special interest tourism, which was unexploited and unregulated in the past.
A recent study found that Greece’s 124 thermal spring facilities can triple revenues to €390 million per year if they are upgraded. The study by Palmas Analuysis was for the Hellenic Association of Municipalities with Thermal Springs. It also found that Greek travellers are willing to spend €45 on average per day for accommodation, food and spa treatments and stay for up to eight days.
64% of Greeks are considering visiting thermal springs in the future, but only 44% (4 million) have done so thus far, citing no need for thermal treatments or that they cannot benefit on a therapeutic level. Of visitors to thermal springs, most go for recreation/relaxation and half for therapeutic purposes. The number of potential visitors to the nation’s thermal spa facilities can reach 3.1 million.