Members of the Association:
Members of the Association:
Aspects of the Association
The Association is comprised of members of first-level local Administration – Municipalities – in whose administrative boundaries there are acknowledged curative natural resources.
The Association, as a body that is aware of the situation, took the initiative to respond to the responsibilities and challenges that are dictated by the human needs for health care with the use of curative natural resources.
The Association considers every kind of hydrotherapy facilities in a thermalistic environment as units of the primary care of human health. These units, which affect the cultural environment of their area, are the key to the economy and development of the local communities, are related to the local history and tradition, set in motion numerous activities and highlight the uniqueness of the character of the thermalistic environment. The Association, since its formation, supports and aids every developmental initiative of its members in the fields of Spa- Medical Tourism and in the energy usage of the hot water.
Goals of the Association
The promotion, project and protection of the curative natural resources of our country, as well as their environment.
The promotion and project in Greece and abroad, of the curative thermalistic centres, every form of hydrotherapy treatment, prevention and well-being, as well as all elements and works of art, history and culture that are connected to the curative springs, hydrotherapy- climatotherapy, thalasso-therapy and clay therapy.
The support of every form of therapeutic treatment, prevention and well –being with the use of the curative natural resources as well as every form of thalasso-therapy, climatotherapy, cave therapy, that are realised and have as a goal the care of the human physical and mental health.
The establishment, promotion and project of the variety of the thermalistic therapeutic places of the country, as well as the support and promotion of every alternative form of tourism (religion, conference, nature loving, e.t.c.) in the places of the curative natural resources and thermalistic centres.
The scientific research and study of the hydrogeological, chemical, biological and environmental characteristics of the curative natural resources, the local history, the cultural elements that are connected with the use of the curative springs as well as the statistic evaluation of the results of the thermalistic treatments.
The scientific research, verification and evaluation of the results of the therapeutic indications- contraindications of the curative natural resources, of the environment and the climate conditions of the thermalistic therapeutic places. The realisation of meetings, educational seminaries, conferences, scientific meetings that concern the sustainable development of thermalism, the sustainable management of the curative natural resources and of the environment and every other act or action that falls under the objectives of the Association.
Greece, due to its geographical location and because of its geological structure, has a large number of mineral resources. Physical vents of hot and cold mineral water, vapor and regions with clay and peat next to lakes and rivers, in mountains, at beaches and plains, testify a rich aquatic thermal potential in different environments of Greek geographical space.
Many of these thermal springs over the years were associated with art, tradition, myths and beliefs of the local communities. Too many archeological monuments of ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires are located in, or next to Greek thermal springs and are used in the service of human physical and mental health. In Greece, the art of hydrotherapy has been practiced for more than 2500 years.
For the protection and development of thermal natural resources, it was founded in 1983 the Hellenic Association of Municipalities with Thermal Springs (H.A.M.T.S). Members at that time, were the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Alexandroupoli, Nigrita, Lagadas, Edipsos, Zaxaro, Kamena Vourla, Ypati, Souroti, Nea Appolonia, Agistro, Xino Nero, Tryfos, Milos, Platystomo. It was agreed that the H.A.M.T.S would have existence for ten years and the central offices were located at Kamena Vourla.
In 1985 the headquarters of the H.A.M.T.S were transferred in Thessaloniki.
In 1989 the H.A.M.T.S was considered by the Greek government as “an institution for elaborating and implementing development programs”.
In 1992 in order to provide technical and scientific support to its members, H.A.M.T.S founded the Greek Thermalism Company (ETHE) S.A; today’s Greek Thermalism Development Company (ANETH) S.A.
In 1993 it was decided by the state, the extension of the existence of H.A.M.T.S for fifty years and its objectives were defined as follows:
In 1995 H.A.M.T.S was one of the leading members that established the European Spas Association-ESPA based in Brussels and was assigned the position of b Vice-President of ESPA.
Milestones in the history of the H.A.M.T.S were the following:
Over the years H.A.M.T.S has made very significant publications. The “Guide of Greek Spas” for example, is very popular and admittedly has a unique value. From 1995 till now improved editions of “Guide of Greek Spas” have been reissued and sent to thousands of stakeholders all over Greece and abroad as well.
After the adoption of the law 3498/2006 “Development of Spa Tourism and other provisions”, H.A.M.T.S has incorporated to its technical program all those studies prescribed by the law for the “recognition-certification” of the thermal natural resources of the municipalities-members. Till now, several hydro geological studies and health reports have been conducted and delivered from H.A.M.T.S in collaboration with Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) and other independent scientists. It should be mentioned also, that H.A.M.T.S is a member of the Committee for the Protection of the thermal springs of the Ministry of Tourism, which is responsible for the recognition-certification of them.
Today H.A.M.T.S consists of 53 municipalities-members with 71 thermal springs which are spread all over Greece. The board is composed by 74 representatives, elected according to the Law 3463/2006. It is the technical advisor of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (C.U.M.G), for the geothermal water and participates in the committees of Tourism and Health. It has also very close collaboration with the co-competent Ministries of Interior, Tourism, Health and Development on matters pertaining thermal natural resources.
The municipalities-members can, in any occasion, consult and use the scientific results of the Medical and Law groups of H.A.M.T.S. At their disposal are also, the results of surveys of scientists cooperated with H.A.M.T.S, for the quality, quantity and the social and economical characteristics of the visitors of the spa resorts. These surveys can be used by the municipality members as a base for the conduction of successful business plans or for their feasibility projects.
Significant efforts have been made and are planned for the forthcoming years, in order to communicate globally the quality of the Greek thermal springs. Participation in international exhibitions, conferences, forums, European networks and detailed editions are underway.
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