Dr. Tatyana Angelova: Bulgaria can become the pearl of balneology and SPA tourism in the Balkans2 May 2007 | 21:38 | FOCUS News Agency
FOCUS: Dr. Angelova, there are many mineral springs in Bulgaria. What kinds are they?
Dr. Tatyana Angelova: There are more than 600 mineral springs in Bulgaria. 80% of them are springs of low mineral content – below 1 g/l. The mineral content of a large part of the springs is below half a gram per liter and they can be drunk without restrictions. The springs are very clean and have wonderful organoleptic qualities. The springs’ depth ensures that they can’t be polluted during meteorological changes by anthropogenic polluters. Their depth is 500 – 2,000 meters and even more.
FOCUS: What kind of diseases do the springs cure?
Dr. Tatyana Angelova: Bulgaria has a great variety of mineral waters – springs of low mineral content in Knyazhevo (122 mg/l) and Gorna Banya (149 mg/l), which do not have any equivalent in Europe; brines in the village of Mirovo in Varna region (318,243 mg/l). There are both cold springs, for example in Voneshta Voda in Veliko Tarnovo region (12°С), and hot geysers – in Sapareva Banya (100° С). It is important to note that some Bulgarian waters contain gases such as radon, hydrogen sulphide, which have a positive effect in balneo treatment of diseases of the locomotory system, the peripheral nervous system etc.
Waters of low mineral content are used for their detoxificatory effect. Some of them contain fluoride, which is good for dentogenesis of teeth. That’s why these waters can be used for caries protection. Another important group of mineral waters are the ones whose mineral content is above 1.5 g/l. The mineral content of most of the waters from this group is up to 5 g/l. They contain hydrocarbon, sulphate, calcium, magnesium and other ions. These waters are recommended for drinking and they cure diseases of the stomach-intestinal tract such as duodenal ulcer, chronic enteritis, gallic troubles, metabolic diseases such as diabetes, gout. There are such waters in Sliven, Shipkovo, Mihalkovo etc.
FOCUS: Do we use rationally the rich water resources that Bulgaria has?
Dr. Tatyana Angelova: The mineral waters are used by hospitals and hotels for balneo treatment. SPA and wellness tourism has been developing for the past six or seven years. There are several popular resorts which have SPA and wellness centers – Velingrad, Hisar, Sandanski, and Devin. Kyustendil is also becoming a popular destination. In a few years, Varshets is also expected to build new hotels with balneo- and SPA centers. There are also regions, which have mineral waters, but which are not used rationally – the Fore-Balkan region, the Struma river valley and Mesta River.
FOCUS: Do you mean that the mineral waters are not used rationally enough for the development of tourism?
Dr. Tatyana Angelova: In the 1970s Bulgaria was famous as a tourist destination of well-developed balneology, which was primarily used by the domestic market. As I already mentioned, Bulgaria has been developing SPA-tourism for seven years already. Many SPA-hotels have appeared due to the great interest in this service. Bulgaria is really rich in resources of mineral water, natural mud-cure and climatic conditions, which allow the development of contemporary balneo- and SPA tourism. If we manage to use these natural resources as rationally as possible, this economic sector could become a paying industry and Bulgaria could become the pearl of balneo tourism in the Balkans.
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