Q & A with Alejandro Rubin Carballo, Director of Termatalia
Positioned as one of the main events on health tourism, the International Thermal Tourism, Health and Wellness Show, Termatalia 2016, to take place at Mexican state Coahuila, is going to strengthen its role as a thermal bridge between Europe and America while gathering professionals from over 20 countries. Caribbean News Digital had the opportunity to interview Mr. Alejandro Rubin Carballo, Director of Termatalia, and talk about aspects related to this year’s edition and other news in the sector.
What are the new elements in Termatalia 2016? What makes it different from previous editions?
When the project travels to the Americas, it adapts to the demand in that market, but keeps its usual structure and quality standards. We’ll harness the proximity to the US market to increase the network of collaborators in this country.
Mexico is an avant-garde segment in terms of Health and Wellness Tourism, which represents over 50 percent of the sector’s income in Latin America and the Caribbean; therefore, there are thousands of professionals working in this field. The training offer before and during the show has been enhance this year, so demanded services can be fulfilled.
This edition will be placing particular emphasis on Mexico’s tour operators since we’re in their territory, as a potential tourism outbound market, with high average expenses, although we’ll be also joined by tour operators from Europe and the Americas, like in every edition of Termatalia.
Which elements make Termatalia stand out as one of the most prestigious shows in the health tourism sector?
Termatalia’s value is not only about the show with its business center and training activities. The essence lies in the capital of relations generated among those who participate in this project, since it gives an opportunity to spend three days with the leaders of the sector in 30 countries of Europe and the Americas, with a growing number of regions from different countries.
The public-private cooperation and the relation with tourism destinations undoubtedly strengthen Termatalia as a brand, as well as its international network of strategic partners.
Termatalia is not only going to be attended by professionals and specialists in the field of health and quality of life tourism, but also suppliers and distributors. What will the last ones find in terms of tourism services?
Although it’s named International Health Tourism Show, Termatalia actually comprises the whole water value chain. Therefore, the distributors coming to this international show are going to eye the latest developments, ranging from the collecting and preserving of water, analytic and control services, construction and management of thermal facilities, spa or thalassotherapy, to marketing the destination.
The latest equipment will be exhibited at the Thermal Center, an area that prepared by Mexican company Saunasol. Moreover, it’s sponsored by the Galician Institute of Economic Promotion (IGAPE is the Spanish acronym), Xunta de Galicia, with the presence of equipment manufactured at Termatalia’s origin community.
Why choosing the venue in Mexico, on Latin America?
Termatalia is more than just a show; it has become a health and wellness tourism brand. The idea of changing the location aimed at increasing the promotion of Ourense, Galicia and Spain, as well as the rest of our strategic partners in new markets.
Termatalia has been working with professionals of the Mexican spa and thermal sector since 2010, with a numerous delegation that has grown bigger year in year out. In 2014, the Government of Coahuila officially applied to host the event in Mexico, so we’ll be there this year.
We believe that hosting Termatalia is going to boost the thermal industry in the country and open new business opportunities for attending companies from Mexico, other countries in the region and Europe.
What do you make of health tourism, specifically the thermal segment, in the Caribbean and the Americas? What do you foresee will be this segment’s trend in the region over the next years?
Several countries in the Caribbean region are presently gaining momentum in terms of thermal activities and the medicinal water business, not only in the leisure sphere, but also in a new horizon related to the use of water in preventive or rehabilitation techniques, which is the international trend.
As I said before, Mexico has finely developed the spa sector and it’s ranked among the top 10 countries of the world. As for the thermal segment, the country offers great opportunities, since it has thermal waters in at least 21 out of the 32 federative entities.
How about other events taking place within the framework of the show?
Among its activities, Termatalia is going to develop a comprehensive theme program with the participation of over 40 internationally prestigious experts, thus sharing their experiences. As an example, I can mention the International Meeting on Water and Hydrotherapy, with sessions to debate on topics related to hydrogeology, tourism, innovation and sustainability; as well as a meeting of thermal cities.
Termatalia also organizes a Tourism Hiring Stock, where hoteliers and tourism destinations will have the opportunity to do business with 35 travel wholesalers from around the globe.
The participating professionals can also ask for appointments with any exhibitors by means of our online platform on www.termatalia.com where they can already register.
Among the actions with the highest media attention, we’ll have the Water Bar and Tasting Session, where brands of bottled water from different countries will be showcasing their products.
We’ll also have thermal routes to get in touch with the wellness offer in the state of Coahuila. Many other activities have been posted on the website.
What do you think is going to be the impact of Termatalia 2016 in the economic development of the region?
The countries that have hosted Termatalia, Peru in 2012 and Argentina in 2014, have shown a new comprehensive view on wellness tourism and hydrotherapy. With this year’s edition we’ll try to fulfill three objectives:
- During the three-day show, Coahuila will be positioned as the world epicenter of health and wellness tourism, and it’ll be advertised as an innovative tourism destination.
- Boosting the thermal development in Mexican states, as well as increasing the training of Mexican professionals in this field. We’ll do this with the support provided by the Latin American Spa Association, which is going to capitalize that knowledge in an effort to keep on developing the sector after the show comes to an end.
- Strengthening Termatalia’s international strategic network by generating contacts and business to foster the development of thermal activities and the growth of health and wellness tourism, thus favoring the positioning of destinations linked to the brand.