Библиотека курортолога«МАТЕРИАЛЫ Международного научного конгресса и 62-й сессии Генеральной Ассамблеи Всемирной Федерации Водолечения и Климатолечения (ФЕМТЕК)» → THE STRATEGIC CHOICES OF INNOVATION FOR THE ECONOMY OF THE THERMALISM IN THE FUTURE


Gurnari G., Solimene U.


Wherever in these last years the debate on the thermalism is more circumstantial. We live in a period that puts in evidence contradictions, potentiality and limits of a use of the thermal water that has been planned on the base of a long and ancient tradition for centuries.

On one side the thermal tradition goes on with difficulties always bigger because of the outlays cut in the sector of the National Sanitary Services, from the other the costs has raised, but the offer has remained the same. This is provoking a progressive loss of the old customers.

Contemporarily the demand of water wellness and the request of quality in the connected services find a trend of demand exponentially growing.

Therefore it’s a paradox. Also because the risk is the thermalism could be confused with the recreational wellness and the «normal» receptive structures could propose themselves with contents that cannot safeguard the health of the customers.

In this complex situation there is another necessity. The aquatic structures cost regarding initial investment and are expensive regarding management. It is necessary to furnish services of quality together with reduction of the costs. Is this objective possible?

The answer is positive on condition that more careful and coherent choices are taken.

It’s a matter of determining new criterions of intervention that allow to widen the offer integrating different services as answer to an articulated and more careful demand.

In this context it’s necessary to place diversified services side by side, in integrated form, in order to satisfy the demand — that nowadays is much diversified — at best.

The complementary services for the person concern the «Wellness centre» functions, those of a beauty centre together with the acquaticity (recreational swimming pools, also for babies), specialistic services (for example the rehabilitation or the physiotherapy), e/o complementary sanitary services (for example a group practice). Besides services of relief and small commerce mustn’t be missing.

After careful studies and researches — and on the base of the experience acquired in these last years of projects and realizations — we can propose a schedule of the distribution of the available surfaces for the different services in a modern resort.

It’s important to remember that water dominates this type of offer however and therefore there must be parameters of reference for what concerns the entity of the surfaces destined to the purpose. Always on the base of the experience some minimum and maximum values of the available relative surfaces are suggested.

Such values refer to quantities, but the true objective is to furnish high-quality contents.

It starts from the employees: the personnel — although with long job experience in the structure — must constantly be brought up-to-date and professionalized. The ability of communication and the suitable necessity of reception must also be taken care of.

The planning factor is extremely important factor for the contents: only rational tracks — with well planned and customer-oriented functions — can determine the conditions so that everyone can feel at ease. In this context it is essential to study forms, colours and successions of functions that are not only emotional, but strongly involving both for mind and for body, reducing risk factors at best.

The reduction of the risk originates from strategic choices in technological and technical field. Today materials of new conception are available on the market: in advanced polymers or in composite materials that allow getting excellent results contributing to reduce the costs of exercise. A good choice of fit materials — accurately studied in their position and spatial distribution inside the structure — not only guarantee a great efficiency, but is decisive to reduce maintenance costs and energetic costs.

A basic aspect of the new thermalism inevitably passes through the energy saving and the drastic reduction of the consumptions of water. Integrated energetic sources and the massive exploitation of the geothermal energy resources (possible also with low enthalpy), the cogeneration and the trigeneration, allow to reduce very much the consumptions and the relative costs, favouring a process of sustainable environmental balance that is healthy for the sector — also as a strong and identifying image. That originates the exploitation of the renewable energy resources, the water heat recovery, the photovoltaic energy (both thermal and electric) and — when possible — the hydroelectric energy and the wind energy (also in micro form). Besides the recovery of the wastewaters must be considered; if they were processed in ecological and biosustainable form, they could be recycled in one hundred different way — for example irrigation or energetic utilization — also considering the hypothesis — compatible in various environmental contexts — of introducing it again in the subsoil.

Besides it’s necessary to remember that the electronics and the digital sector are transforming every society: why aren’t they still a common tool only in the thermalism? Their introduction would lead up to a great control, best productive performance, and pleasure of the customers and to a measurable -and high — economic advantage.

In short all is projected towards a new approach that through the developments of the technology allows getting consistent advantages in this typology of sanitary-tourist offer.

It’s easy to create a thermal resort: it’s much more difficult to build it and to make it working in order to obtain positive results also in economic terms. Today the knowledge, the technology and the technical ability have improved remarkably compared with a recent past. But the choices remain in people’s hands. Only a radical change in the culture of the sector can allow to get the expected successes.

And this culture can be changed with a simple question that every employee of the sector must put to himself: what I invest, what I choose, what I create is indeed oriented towards my own necessities of person — if I was sick or healthy — and do they really answer to my demands of well-being always and however? If he questions himself humbly he can find those answers that inevitably bring to a result of quality. And if the questions are too difficult and very specialistic, it’s better to turn to the specialists instead of trying with «self-made» or — worse — «from hearsay» solutions: but only choosing that professionals able to show their attitude in a very beautiful and fascinating field — but full of unknowns and of difficulties — the problems of management can be avoided trough time.

Therefore it’s about strategic choices to guarantee that contents innovation — today very awaited — and still few widespread or badly applied. But without this push towards a radical change, the thermalism and the world of resorts based on the water could incur in an uncertain future, with the help of a contrasting and instable social and economic climate.

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