Sveti Martin na Muri Wins Prestigious EDEN Title for Wellness Tourism

By 15 November 2019

November 15, 2019 - Sveti Martin na Muri is the new national European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) in the field of wellness and well-being tourism. 

HRTurizam reports that this prestigious title, which has been awarded by the European Commission since 2006, was awarded to Sveti Martin na Muri in Ilok, the city which, with Vukovar and Vučedol, was the national EDEN winner for 2016/2017 on the topic of cultural tourism. In addition to the winning destination, four finalists, famous destinations for health and wellness tourism - Stubičke Toplice, Daruvar, Tuheljske Toplice and Krapinske Toplice - were presented at the ceremony held at Odescalchi Castle.

"Health tourism has seen the fastest growth in the tourism industry with an annual rate of 15 to 20 percent and strongly influences the creation of year-round tourism. Seven percent of tourists come to Croatia motivated by health reasons, while eight percent come for wellness offers, and it is also known that such guests are good consumers, who on average spend 20 to 30 percent more than the “classic” tourists. Therefore, I am extremely pleased that the theme of this year's EDEN Award is wellness and well-being and that Croatian wellness destinations have recognized the opportunity for additional promotion in the European broadcasting market through this project,” said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that he sincerely congratulates the representatives of Sveti Martin na Muri, as well as all other finalists. 

The winning destination, or winner of the EDEN title, will be promoted on the official website of the European Commission and the Croatian National Tourist Board, and according to Slavia Jacan Obratov, Director of the Sector for the Tourist Board and Product Development in the Croatian National Tourist Board, the winner and finalists will be presented at the European level and join a European network of destinations promoting sustainable tourism.

Since the beginning of the project, the Croatian National Tourist Board, with the system of tourist boards and in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, has conducted EDEN selection following the set topics given so far by nine national EDEN winners and 36 finalists.

The latest winner, Sveti Martin na Muri, is a recognizable wellness destination for continental tourism. Rudi Grula, head of the Međimurje County Tourist Office, says it is a local community highly aware of sustainable tourism.

"The synergy of all stakeholders achieves the competitive advantage that makes Sveti Martin na Muri stand out over similar destinations. Terme Sveti Martin is the bearer of new trends in wellness and well-being through innovative offers linked to the anthroposophical principles of Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic agriculture and a wide range of active holidays,” said Grula.

And the wellness industry is looking for authentic and innovative products, which was pointed out in the panel “Wellness and well-being of tourism - are we following trends?” held at the ceremony. Eminent Croatian experts and tourism professionals - Slavija Jačan Obratov on behalf of the CNTB, Ivana Kolar, owner of Julius Rose, Izabela Vrtar, editor-in-chief of Sensa magazine, Marcel Medak, director of Bizovac Spa, Manuel Magdić, manager of Pannonian Health cluster, concluded that Croatia has the potential and resources to develop health and wellness tourism, as demonstrated by this year's finalists of the European Destination of Excellence. It is this segment of tourism offer that can be the basis for the development of non-traditional tourist destinations such as those promoted through the EDEN project.

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