A specialised trade show for spa and wellness tourism has been successfully organised in Slovenia on four occasions and is now changing its location to Hungary. The trade show was meant to have an effect beyond Slovenian borders from the outset and it is now well recognised on the professional market in the Central European region. The interest in hosting this trade show in other European countries with a long lasting spa tradition has made the trade show even more high-ranking and popular.
The 2013 SPA-CE will take place from 3rd to 5th October 2013 in the Hungarian spa town of Sárvár and will host more than 30 exhibitors from Central Europe and around 50 invited guests from all over the world.
Four years ago the Slovenian Natural Spa Association that has been associating 15 verified Slovenian spa resorts for more than half of the century had an idea to organise a business event that would, on one hand, support the development of spa and wellness tourism in Slovenia and, on the other, serve as a platform for the growing demands to connect those that offer this tourist product within a broader region. In four years the SPA-CE has thus become an internationally recognised business event that enables its visitors to network, acquire new knowledge, establish new connections and partnerships and conclude business agreements all in one place.
The Director of the Slovenian Natural Spa Association Iztok Altbauer said: "Long tradition, a generally recognised and qualitative product and services of top-notch quality offered by spas in central Europe present only some of the challenges we want to overcome every year within the framework of the SPA-CE."
The fifth SPA-CE will offer a different boutique trade show experience enriched with study visits to Heviz or Budapest and a professional conference on natural healing factors in Central Europe and trends in medical tourism. The focus will remain on pre-scheduled meetings between the suppliers of spa and wellness services and the invited guests. Last year there were more than 400 meetings carried out in just one day.
Slovenian spas represent the strongest Slovenian tourist product since they reach 31 per cent of all tourist overnight stays while owing a 25 per cent share of beds for the entire accommodation capacity in Slovenia. In addition they have the lowest level of seasonalisation in the country. In past years more than EUR 270 million was invested in renovating hotel facilities and other tourist services. European development funds represented approximately one quarter of the investment.