“Recently I had to explain to a British tourism expert, why is it worth to take a spa-vacation in Estonia. She had been to Estonia before and therefore knew Estonian life in general. But she was extremely surprised when I told her that Estonia has almost 200 years of health and spa tourism experience. And when she heard about our price-level and different opportunities of treatments and services, she was totally speechless. After recovering from my praising speech, she asked me why don’t we promote local spa services and opportunities…”
This is a story from Sabina Kaukis, a spa blogger in Estonia.
So, it means that Estonia has extremely valuable spa traditions, resources and opportunities. Spa tourism could be the most special selling argument of Estonian tourism. But is our spa sector good enough in marketing and promotion?
Enterprise Estonia, which is responsible for overall promotion of Estonian tourism abroad, has chosen spa and wellness tourism as one of the focuses how to attract foreign tourist to Estonia. Their introductory brochure Wellness Holidays in Estonia brings out:
that our sauna could be called a Nordic spa – the bather warms himself at 100-degree Celsius and then whips himself with birch or juniper branches, charges into cold water with his body steaming, and cleans the skin with salt, honey, milk, and plant infusions;
how Estonian tourism farms allow foreigners to experience our native health culture – guests are fed with locally grown organic foods and the vacationer may augment these with ecologically friendly, classically healthy activities such as hikes in the forests and bogs, canoe trips, or horseback riding;
the variety of different environments for spa and wellness vacation – from rough beaches to top resort hotels, from country spas to pure outdoor experiences;
of course the uniqueness of Estonian mud – on 19th century in became clear to spa operators that in addition to water, air, warmth and light, the earth itself was extremely beneficial for improving a person’s health;
that there is something for every visitor – medical spas are popular next to wellness spas, adventurous water and theme parks, hiking trails, herb farms, and manor homes.
These are some keywords how Estonia describes itself as a spa and wellness destination. Soon we`ll take a look at how spa companies promote their services.
And by the way, it appears that nowhere else in the world there are not so many spas per capita – more than 40 spas for 1.3 million people. Even more, small Kuressaare town (15,170 inhabitants) has 1230 spa-hotel places – probably the most spa-filled town in the world…
First paragraph from SpaaBlog.
Marko Siller is a tourism and tourism education marketing expert in University of Tartu Parnu College in Estonia. Parnu College is well-known for its tourism education. Wellness sector is a continuously growing part of tourism industry, which makes wellness education an attractive field of studies.