Danube HealthTour (working title)

  • Project idea information


    Environment and culture responsible Danube region - Foster sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage and resources

    Project Idea Promoter
    (name of the institution)

    Municipality of Blagoevgrad, Republic of Bulgaria

    Needs and challenges
    (Needs, main problems or challenges to be addressed)

    Health, wellness and medical tourism are recognized as one of the most developed and growing sectors of today's thriving tourism industry. There has been an increase of the elderly population, a tendency that leads to a growth of health services consumption and desire to improve the quality of life. The Danube region has the natural endowments, comprising of hundreds of hydro-thermal water springs, healing climate and curative peat deposits, as well as the intellectual resources to accommodate people who need prevention and treatment of various deseases. Nevertheless, the growth of the health and medical tourism in the region has not been as substantial as anticipated, mostly due to the deficiences in the on-line and media promotion of both medical facilities and spa resorts. The regional and local authorities, medical institutions, tourist agencies and SMEs do not cooperate on regular bases to establish common initiatives.

    (main and specific objectives to be achieved)

    • Supporting the cooperation between local authorities, medical and university institutions and other stakeholders in the field of health and tourism sector, regarding the sustainable use of the natural resources in the Danube region;
    • Promoting of the balneology, medical and spa services in the region;
    • Preparing of SWOT analysis for the development of the health tourism;
    • Improving the capacity, qualifications and knowledge of students by internship program and good practices sharing;
    • Providing better healthcare services in balneology and spa facilities.

    Main results and core outputs

    • Enhanced cooperation among hospitals, sanatoriums and balneology sites, tourist NGOs and SMEs, SPA hotels, educational institutions, local authorities through the exchange of know-how and best practices;
    • Raised awareness among the regional authorities, tour agencies and foreign tourists/patients by running a successful media campaign;
    • Prepared SWOT analysis;
    • Improved capacity, qualifications, knowledge and professional development of students in specialties “Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine” and “Tourism” and medical experts through their active inclusion in internship program, workshops, networking, experience and best practice exchanges in the field of modern healthcare standards and best health tourism practices;
    • Provided better healthcare services through the use of new medical equipment for monitoring of the hydrothermal resources and new technologies for physical therapy and rehabilitation.

    Main foreseen activities

    • Developing practical cross-linkages between local authorities, medical and university institutions and other stakeholders in the field of health and tourism sector, by organizing various events;
    • Elaboration of SWOT analysis in the field of health tourism;
    • Capacity building programme for young people;
    • Information and publicity measures.

    Innovative character of the project idea

    Development of innovative tourist products that combine the healthcare services, spa and balneology procedures, through the sustainable use of the natural resources.

    Estimated Total Budget
    (in EUR)

    2 000 000.00

    Estimated duration
    (in months)


  • Partners involved at this stage

    ERDF Partners

    Municipality of Blagoevgrad, South-West University "Neofit Rilski" - Blagoevgrad

    IPA Partners


    Associated Strategic Partners


  • Partners requested

    ERDF Partners

    Universities, local authorities, medical institutions, NGOs

    IPA Partners


    Associated Strategic Partners

    Universities, local authorities, medical institutions, NGOs

  • Contact Person


    Georgi Ivanovski


    1 Georgi Izmirliev, sqr., 2700 Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria



    Telephone number

    E-mail address

    Is the applicant the project's potential Lead Partner?

    If not, is the potential Lead Partner already being chosen?

Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)