Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Czech Connections - Malvern and Mariánské Lázně

Czech Connections - Malvern and Mariánské Lázně

Malvern has been developing economic and cultural partnership links with the town of Marienbad in the Czech Republic.

Malvern Hills Beacon

The towns have exchanged visits to explore future cultural and economic opportunities. They both share a rich spa heritage, as each were involved in the early watercure treatments that started in the 19th century. Malvern was a World leader in these treatments developed by doctors Gully and Watson, and often attracted the rich and famous such as Charles Darwin and Florance Nightingale.

Malvinha Fountain - Malvern

Sadly, the watercure popularity declined in Malvern, leaving only its wells and superb architecture as a reminder of its once prominent position. Today Malvern, still famous for its water and fantastic scenery, is considered a major UK centre for the communication and surveillance technology industries. Quite a leap from spa to spying!

Singende Fountain - Marienbad
Although wellness and spa therapy is still the main income generator for the town of Marienbad; It has suffered cutbacks in government subsidy for water cure treatments in recent years. This is mainly due to the European wide recession. These realities have forced the town to review its economic base and research other income streams to support its main economy.
Marienbad identified the need to develop a business park to support SME’s and nurture other businesses. Malvern Hills District Council and Worcestershire Chamber have provided business advice and support to Marienbad and also provided introductions to key UK companies such as QinetiQ and Morgan Cars.

Morgan Cars
A Malvern business and trade delegation will be visiting Marienbad for the Opening of  2014 Spa Season at the beginning of May. The visit will include representatives from Malvern Town Council, Malvern District Council, Malvern Civic Society and key Malvern businesses.The visit will be another step in partnership development, strengthening opportunities in tourism, trade, education and culture.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

One hour in Asia at the ITB Berlin

It was March, it was cold and the wind was blowing. I was really longing for some sunrays and nice temperatures combined with a fresh young coconut, white sandy beaches and a cosy hammock. 

In near future I am going – almost – around the world and I start in Asia. Then I can enjoy young coconuts every day (yeah!). It is very superficial spoken when you say „Asia“, because you can’t really compare one country with each other, but I am sure, they have one thing in common: the long tradition of hospitality.

So naturally I started my ITB experience with a lecture by Samantha Foster

Source: destination spa management
Samantha Foster is an expert concerning destination spa management especially in Asia. First she put out the trends we know like day spas, medical spas, resort spas. Nothing new really, but than she mentioned the spa real estate. A huge trend, of course for those who can afford it, and that really wowed me. Having your own appartement combined with modern architecture and with all the amenities of a resort spa like cafés  or wellness centres – it is like being on holiday all year round. On the one side I can really feel the positive effects of such an „oasis“ due to the daily stress level we endure during every day work. You need a place where you can take your mind off and to refill your „power cells“. Therefore I would highly recommand such a spa real estate (but frankly said – you have the same effect if you just go into nature). But on the other side if you live on such high standards being pampered every day, I think it is getting harder and harder to enjoy a real holiday than. The ordinary people percive the term holiday as something special, a break from their routine. They are working hard all year round to get some quality time they normally don’t have. 

What are the consequenes for the spa industry if such real estate become „ordinary life“? Very hard to imagine… 

What do you think?

Text written by Petra Gangl (Tourismusverband St. Georgen im Attergau, Austria)