ATHENS – Greece is in a prime position to be able to offer visitors wellness and spas among tourist destinations as it seeks to diversity what it can off, particularly through its thermal mineral springs, said speakers at the Global Wellness Economy conference in the capital.
The event was aimed at promoting the country’s potential to become a leading health and wellness tourism destination and drive people to places that have spas, some resorts being vastly underutilized.
Constantine Vurdakis, a partner at Greek health and wellness tourism organization Asklepieia, said the country’s history, climate, coastline and geographical positioning are some of its strongest advantages, reported Spa Business.
With 750-800 thermal mineral springs across the country he said that Greece is an ideal position to benefit from two of the four wellness sectors forecast to grow exponentially between 2020-2025, the springs and spas.
Greece’s location makes it an easy reach for European tourists, some 300 million of whom traveled for wellness in 2022 even during the waning COVID-19 pandemic, the report said.
“Europeans are willing to travel halfway across the world for wellness services, but Greece can serve them everything they need – and we’re in their backyard,” he said, adding there’s a need for investments though.
He said the country has a chance to bring investors in global wellness because it’s an underdeveloped sector that worldwide is projected to grow 20.9 percent annually by 2025 with still untapped potential.
“These two things give the Greek market a huge potential for growth and, for investors, ROI, (Return on Investment) ” he said. “Those who invest early will reap the benefits,” he added.
He said the potential is there for Greece to be a major health and wellness tourist hotspot that could bring in as much as 13.6 billion euros ($14.81 billion) to the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP.)
“Greece possesses multiple strategic advantages that make it one of the most popular tourist destinations year-round,” said George Patoulis, President of event organizer Greek Health Tourism Council (Elitour) – a partner of the Greek government, the report said.
“We have all the key elements for the recovery and maintenance of health and well being – highly experienced doctors and scientific staff, state-of-the-art facilities and high-level accommodation, in combination with the unique climate and Mediterranean diet,” he also added.
“The quality of the services provided combined with competitive pricing make wellness tourism in Greece an advantageous, attractive field of activity for dynamic investors from all over the world,” he said.
He noted there are currently 48 spa and wellness destinations in Greece, but more than 700 new projects are on the way.