Who are we?
A national non-governmental product organisation registered under the Tourism Act and working to promote health tourism on the Bulgarian as well as on the international market.
Represent the common interests of Bulgarian health tourism (balneological, SPA, wellness) in order to develop it as priority product line which is part of the general tourist mix.
Support the State in establishing the Policies regulatory basis
Pursue policies through active dialogue with the Bulgarian line institutions, European statesmen, politicians, specialists, journalists, tour operators and citizens to promote Bulgaria as a destination for high-quality year-round health tourism (in the balneology-SPA, SPA and wellness area).
Create conditions for solidarity and cooperation of interested public institutions, non-governmental organisations and enterprises for development of balneological and SPA tourism in Bulgaria.
Position Bulgaria as a competitive year-round European destination based on health tourism (in the area of balneological, SPA, wellness and thalassotherapy tourism), holding strong upon a proper foundation: rich natural resource – climate, mineral waters and peloids (“Our mineral waters are the gold of Bulgaria”); traditions dating back to Thracians and Romans; well-trained staff.
Our key achievements for 15 years:
In the period 2010 – 2015, we developed the regulatory basis of the sector in full synergy with the Ministry of Tourism and with expert support from the European SPA Association. As a result of our long-term work, Ordinance on the certification of Medical/SPA, SPA, wellness and thalassotherapy centres of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health was adopted on January 29, 2016.
On September 20, 2019, Bulgaria was included in the list of the countries in which the German national association of health insurance funds recognises the provision of outpatient medical services. Official letter 2019/483 updated the list of outpatient medical services for prophylaxis in EU Member States, the contracting parties of the European Economic Area Agreement and in Switzerland. This step placed Bulgaria in the elite club of countries offering high-quality health tourism services (in the area of preventive medicine and prophylaxis). An opportunity awaited more than 20 years. It became a fact owing to the cooperation between the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism, the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health!
When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism immediately developed rules for the safety operation of the Medical/SPA, SPA and wellness centres under the conditions of a pandemic. Thanks to the rules, the operation of the sector was restricted for a very short time (the SPA centres in many European countries were locked for guests for over a year). This achievement is due to the proper communication between the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism and the tourism and health ministries and the understanding of the important role of balneological and climate resorts for enhancing the body’s natural immune system.
We have initiated the setup of a working group for development of health tourism, led by the Ministry of Tourism in coordination with the Ministry of Health.
► Bulgarian municipalities – leaders in development of health tourism: Velingrad, Garmen, Kyustendil, Razlog, Samokov, Sandanski, Hissar, Chepelare.
► Bulgarian companies with strong and responsible investment in Bulgarian balneo and SPA tourism: Albena AD; Arte Park and SPA Hotel (Velingrad); SPA Hotel Augusta (Hissar); SPA Hotel 103 Degrees (Sapareva Banya); SPA Hotel Belchin Garden (resort complex Belchin Bani); SPA Complex Belchin Spring (Belchin Bani RC); Bor SPA Club (Velingrad); Borovets Hills (Borovets); Grifid Hotels (Golden Sands); SPA Hotel Dvoretsa (Velingrad); Hotel Intercontinental (Sofia); Spa Hotel Kamengrad (Panagyurishte); SPA Hotel Katarino (Razlog); Balneohotel Mineral – Yagoda (Yagoda); SPA Hotel Orpheus (Devin); Pavel Banya Grand Resort (Pavel Banya); Pamporovo AD – Hotel Perelik, Hotel Orlovets; SPA Hotel Persenk (Devin); SPA Hotel The Five Elements (Sapareva Banya); Park Hotel Pirin (Sandanski); Grand Hotel Pomorie (Pomorie); Grand Hotel and SPA Primorets (Burgas); SPA Hotel Rich (Velingrad); RIU Hotels; Sts. Constantine and Helena Holding AD – Astor Garden, Aquahouse; Balneo and SPA Hotel Azalia; SPA Hotel Saint George (Pomorie); SPA Hotel Saint Nikola (Sandanski); Balneohotel Saint Spas (Velingrad); Sevtopolis Medical and SPA Hotel (Pavel Banya); Sunny Day AD – Hotel Palace, Hotel Marina; SPA Hotel Strimon Garden (Kyustendil); Hotel Therma Vitae (Ognyanovo); SPA and Sports Complex Eco Village (Kranevo); Topola Skies Resort (Topola); Uva Nestum Wine&SPA (Gotse Delchev); Wave Resort (Aheloy); Festa Via Pontica (Pomorie); Hilton Hotel (Sofia); SPA Hotel Hissar (Hissar); Hot Springs Medical and SPA Hotel (Banya).
► Specialised companies operating in the field of balneo and SPA tourism: Aquatec OOD, Diagenti EOOD, MedSPA BG, Profi Tours OOD, Scanclean Ltd.
Since 2007, the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and Spa Tourism has been an active member and participant in the management of the European Spa Association (ESPA). ESPA unites the representative organizations in the SPA sector of the EU Member States. Thanks to our membership and active involvement in ESPA, we contribute with the necessary international expertise for the development of the sector at a whole new level.
Since 2018, the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and Spa Tourism is member of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GBCCI). GBCCI represents Germany’s economy in Bulgaria, working in the interest of bilateral relations. Thanks to our membership in the Chamber and the good partnership with GBCCI, we launched an ambitious project to reposition Bulgaria on the German health insurance market as a destination for high-quality health tourism
Medical University Prof. Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov – Varna
International Business School
Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association
Bulgarian Ground Water Association
Bulgarian Tourist Union