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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » May 28, 2013
Tourism
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Discover Poland’s Health Resorts
May 28, 2013   
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Poland’s central location in Europe combined with its well-preserved natural environment, wealth of cultural opportunities and European Union membership make the country attractive to foreigners—not only tourists, but also those wanting to work and study here.

According to a report by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, a total of 39,144 foreigners were issued permits to work in Poland in 2012, and a growing number of foreigners—21,500 in the 2010/2011 academic year—are studying at Polish universities.

“Most of Poland’s health resorts are located in the most beautiful parts of the country, have an excellent microclimate and deposits of minerals with medicinal properties as well as well-appointed hotels and food-service facilities, and a range of leisure and cultural and entertainment opportunities. Many of the health resorts are nestled within or close to valuable protected areas such as national parks and scenic parks, which allows organizers to expand their range of services to include interesting tourism packages for those interested in nature,” says Bartłomiej Walas, vice-president of the Polish Tourist Organization (POT).

ciechocinek

Unlike standard vacation destinations, health resorts have their own special protected zones guaranteeing an unspoiled environment and top-caliber recreation. An additional selling point of Polish health resorts is their highly qualified medical staff and top-standard medical services. Poland also stands out in Europe in terms of competitive price tags for such services.

Polish health resorts not only offer mineral springs and a special microclimate, but also have a long tradition. Many spas have a history dating back centuries. To this day, it is possible to come across preserved old spa architecture and other traces of these places’ former glory. For example, records show that the springs of L±dek Zdrój have attracted bathers since the Middle Ages; in the past the resort played host to royalty, well-known politicians and people prominent in the arts. Rymanów Zdrój in the Beskid Niski mountain range, in turn, used to host Archduke Albrecht, an uncle of Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph.

ladek zdroj

Rest and relaxation is promoted by healing waters and a healthy microclimate, but also by magnificent landscapes, both those created by nature and those engineered by man. The parks in Szczawno Zdrój are among the largest and most beautiful in Poland. Local attractions also include a unique palm house with lava from Mount Etna.

kolobrzeg

Many well-established health resorts with a long history are expanding their range of services to include modern spas and wellness and beauty treatment. In today’s fast-paced, stressful world, many people are not only health-conscious but also want to keep fit and look after their mental well-being.

Over the past several years a diverse range of health tourism products has developed, including a wide range of rehabilitation and treatment options as well as wellness and spa opportunities. Also available are modern treatments and services in fields such as cosmetology, esthetic medicine, medical cosmetics and dermatology.

krynica

“It is too early to speak of strong, recognizable brands, though there are already some excellent examples of a branding process beginning in health resorts such as Kołobrzeg, Szczawnica, Nałęczów, Krynica or Muszyna,” says Walas. “That is why we are placing a great emphasis on the promotion of the sector. Short waiting times for treatment and high service standards at competitive prices are our selling points. I am convinced that Poland, which offers competitive tourism products, stands a good chance of becoming a key destination among countries offering natural beauty combined with health-resort treatment opportunities.”

More practical information about Poland available at www.polska.travel.pl

“Our promotional efforts must also take in foreigners living in Poland, because not all of them are aware of the country’s tourism potential. Opportunities offered by Poland’s health resorts and wellness and spa centers deserve special attention when it comes to foreigners working in Poland,” says Bartłomiej Walas.
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