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The International Thermal Tourism Congress will run from 27th to 29th September 2022 in Ourense

International Thermal Tourism Congress in September in Ourense

The European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA) is organising an “International Congress on Thermal Tourism” with the participation of the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization). The Congress, hosted by the Province of Ourense (Deputación de Ourense) and Ourense Council, with the support of the Galicia Region (Xunta de Galicia) will run from 27th to 29th September 2022 in Ourense.

EHTTA, which is also a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe was delighted to be included in the UNWTO’s work programme for 2022, and with this prestigious Congress, will be reaching a global audience to examine the phenomenon of “thermal tourism”. Three major themes will run through the Congress: Tourism, Heritage, and Experience.

Opening with a special event on UNWTO World Tourism Day (27th September) and connecting to Termatalia (the bi-annual thermal fair in Ourense), the Congress is designed to be a celebration of thermalism and tourism and the combination of the two.

One particular highlight within the congress programme will be a “thermal evening event” at the Outariz Spa, on the outskirts of Ourense. That evening the so-called “Bathrobe Addicts” (originally “Les Across du Peignoir” in their native France) will be seen for the first time in Ourense. EHTTA Member “La Route des Villes d’Eaux du Massif Central”, where this movement originated, successfully launched this promotional brand and movement five years ago, and it was also adopted by the Belgian thermal town of Spa two years later. Now, in 2022, the Bathrobe Addicts “go international” and will be introduced and presented in Ourense.


“Les Accros du Peignoir” was created to boost the image and attractiveness of thermal spas, rolling out new media codes and practices (unconventional, modern, confident, relaxed) designed to erase stereotypes and combat prejudice, thus making it easier to attract new, complementary clients.

La Route des Villes d’Eaux du Massif Central is an association of 17 spa towns in the Massif central area (Vichy, La Bourboule, Le Mont-Dore, Châtel-Guyon, Royat-Chamalières, etc.) with a three-fold statutory objective: change the public perception of spa towns, promote their special features and make them more attractive.

With the support of its hundreds of partners, all involved in the running of thermal spas (municipalities, thermal spas, tourist information centres, hotels, associations, etc.), our association has been promoting the tourist potential of its member communes (thermal spa heritage, preserved natural landscapes, wellness therapies and modern-day health care, etc.) for 25 years already.

In 2016, La Route des Villes d’Eaux du Massif Central launched an innovative marketing approach aimed at presenting the spa towns in a more holistic manner (balneology, wellness, leisure, heritage, etc.) – modifying the message and the communication codes in order to attract new prospects and new clients and also to rejuvenate the image of the spa towns.

The Pitch

They have visited any number of spas. They are now completely “hooked” and go everywhere in their bathrobe.

Whether in the spa resort, back in their own home or in any manner of real-life situations, however incongruous and eyebrow raising, these individuals find themselves caught in the heavenly spiral of the bathrobe.

Step-by-step, the phenomenon is set to cast its spell, rolling out like a “wave of wellness”, becoming the recognised emblem of thermal spas in the Massif central.

Where did the idea of the “Peignoir” come from?

The Peignoir (bathrobe) is the one feature common to all visits and experiences to spa towns,

It is the standard bearer of the quality of the spa visit and the perfect symbol of well-being

It wraps you in a warm, soft embrace, a protective cocoon that epitomises the slow life outlook, inner healing and renewal, taking care of oneself, the peace and tranquillity embodied by its core values…

Using these tools and initiatives (a travel journal designed as a handbook for bathrobe wearers, design and distribution of a group exhibition, filming and broadcasting of a 4-film mini-series, creation of derivative products [totebag, postcards, colourings, tattoos, stickers, pins, ecocup, etc.], creation of a multimedia platform featuring the “Accros du Peignoir”, gatherings, etc.), the Association federates an “Accros du Peignoir” community, both virtual and physical, made up of people who take the time to enjoy life, to slow down, calm down, relax, have fun, treat themselves, take a nice walk, meditate, daydream and for whom spreading this lifestyle message has become their philosophy of life.

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Discover the “Bathrobe addicts” stays, weekends and short stays designed to relax, take the time to rest while combining environmental experience and well-being