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Healing thyself in nature
Travelling involves meeting new people and getting the best proposition besides exploring new places. CIS countries are very well known for their wellness tourism, offering healing springs mud baths to spa resorts which has grown with each passing year. Health tourism is among the latest trends in the tourism industry. It is one of the fastest growing sectors in travelling and attracts over 8 million people worldwide per year.
Most of these wellness resorts and centres are strategically located to take the most advantage of their geographical locations. For instance, the hospital near the healing springs of Barkovshchina was built near the hot springs so that the water from these springs can be rerouted to the hospital, which offers medical baths and mineral water.
Armenia has an entire town dedicated to spas and medical therapies, which is very popular amongst locals and tourists for their sanatoriums. Dilijan is the urban municipality located in the Tavush province and is often referred to as Little Switzerland or ‘Armenian Switzerland.’ The pleasant weather and high oxygen regimen add to the benefits it offers as a spa town.
Belarus is no stranger to wellness tourism and wellness centres. Belarus was first put on the map of Europe in 1830 when the hospital in Barkovshchina started offering medical baths. In the beginning of the 20th century, the number of health resorts in the neighbouring region began to increase. It is not that these wellness centres are located at the same place, but on the contrary, these hospitals are spread across many districts and towns. Sanatoria of Belarus offer balneal therapeutic treatments which have become a trademark. The high-end sanatoria offer as many as 200 different kinds of services and also use spa technologies like spa capsules. Stone therapy, mud and algae treatments are also quite popular. Some of the most famous resorts of Belarus include Rogachev, Naroch, Ushachi, and Zhdanovichi. Naroch is now one of the five most promoted tourist destinations in the country. A project was undertaken to convert Lake Naroch into a world famous resort. It is also listed among the top three resorts in the CIS countries.
Bulgaria offers a lot of variations when it comes to wellness tourism. There are many great opportunities for spa vacations, therapies and healing holidays. Tourists can choose from the best resorts the country has to offer to that which caters to specific health conditions as well. Every spa resort complies with the standards set by BUBSPA (Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism), and ESPA (the European Spas Association). Many balneal therapeutic treatment resorts use local healing mud as well. A combination of numerous factors like mineral water and Sea Mountains make this country ideal for healing vacations.
The Azerbaijan tourism industry got a wakeup call with the recent rise in medical tourism to restore this sector. A majority of the tourists choose Azerbaijan because of the weather, which makes for an extraordinary vacation. The land of fire is mainly noted for its cuisine, nature, and lifestyle, which makes wellness tours more exciting. Azerbaijan was voted to be in the Top 5 countries for “Wellness Holiday”. Azerbaijan was called the land of healing oil for many centuries owing to the curative properties of therapeutic oils like Naftalan crude oil, which put Azerbaijan on the world map long before Baku’s oil boom in the 19th century. Masalli is a unique and beautiful city which is famous for hot springs with therapeutic properties. The water comes from a depth of about 100 to 250 metres. The water is rich in calcium, chloride, sodium, and iodine.
Almaty, in Kazakhstan has the most well-known spas in the country. The Almaty province has as many as 10 different spa resorts. SIAM SPA Luxury and Family Club Timatey are the only spas which are less than 3 kms away from the city centre. Arasan Wellness & SPA is arguably the best spa in Almaty and is only 5 km away from the city centre.
Serbia has over 1000 warm and cold water springs. Medicinal mud and natural mineral gases are also found in abundance, which supplies over 53 thermal resorts. Other than mineral water springs, Serbia also has climatic spas which are well known for their geographical and climatic conditions.
Uzbekistan has many health resorts and sanatoria which are at close proximity to mountains and natural reservoirs. Zaamin resort is popular for its abundance of conifers and alpine landscape. It also goes by “Uzbek Switzerland”. Another famous health resort popular for its climate is Aktash. Treatments using healing mud and hydro-sulphuric springs are the main reason tourists visit Chimyon, which is quite close to Fergana. Spa resorts are also quite popular. Bukhara has two spa resorts which are quite popular in the city.
Turkmenistan has implemented several new initiatives to boost their wellness tourism sector. Several clinics, spa resorts, and sanatoria were completed equipped with the latest medical technology. Archman, Bairamaly, and Mollakara are the most popular destinations for spa retreats for their favourable climate.
In recent years, the health tourism industry in Russia contributed to 2.6 per cent of the global tourism. Russia offers wellness and curative treatments. There are various sanatoria and modern resorts which provide healing services using natural resources. In recent years 2.7 million tourists visited Russia. 38 per cent of all the sanatoria in Russia are maintained by the government, while 57 per cent of all health resorts are privately owned.
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