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MU – Varna works actively for the consolidation of Bulgaria as a strong and competitive SPA destination

After MU-Varna presented the first and only Master's programme "Rehabilitation, maritime treatment, wellness and SPA" at last year's Congress of the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism (BUBSPA) in Hisarya, at this year's forum the team of the Faculty of Public Health presented the results from the training in the first year of the programme.

A year later the participants in the scientific forum, which took place on the 27th and 28th of May in the town of Sandanski, had the opportunity to see the presentations selection of the Masters in the specialty "Recreational management". The MU partners from BUBSPA, represented by its President Mr Stefan Shelopov, Mrs Siyka Katsarova (Vice President of the Union and member of ESPA), Dr. Tanya Angelova (member of the Executive Board of BUBSPA) and the international participants in the congress, emphasized the need for academic training of qualified staff in the SPA sector and expressed their satisfaction with the sustainable collaboration with the Varna Medical University.

The members of the MU – Varna team Prof. Toodorka Kostadinova, Senior Assistant prof. Galina Petrova and Dr. Vyara Locheva also took part in special panel sessions devoted to the good European practices in the management of SPA destinations and the partnership between the business and the universities. In a special "Workshop – B2B", time was allowed for bilateral working meetings of the participants in the Congress. The possibilities for exchange of knowledge, experience and information about the new trends in the sector and the synergy of the actions between the training institutions and the employers was highly appreciated for the provision of high quality services at competitive European level.

In the Congress programme which this year was entitled "Tourism and Health – 2020", topical problems were also discussed related to the successful management of SPA destinations, medical SPA and SPA hotels, personnel recruitment, trends in balneology and rehabilitation as well as the training of staff in the SPA industry. BUBSPA awards for innovations were conferred. In addition, the project for Regulations of the conditions and the procedure for certification of "Balneological medical SPA centre", "Wellness centre" and "Thalassotherapeutical centre" were discussed, which is a serious step in the process of the formation of a suitable legal environment for the development of balneology and SPA tourism in Bulgaria.

The Congress was held in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and the European SPA Association (BUBSPA)