The project of Law of ludic use of the thermal waters of Galicia begins its parliamentary procedure. The new regulation is a pioneer in Spain when it comes to ordering the recreational use of thermal waters and complements the existing regulation in the field of their use for non-spastime therapeutic purposes – responding to the new reality of a sector of activity that has great potential associated with wellbeing and leisure. Thus, it wants to distinguish between the thermal waters destined to therapeutic and preventive uses, with an exclusive use in spas, of the thermal waters destined to ludic uses, that are taken advantage of in thermal spaces and swimming pools.
The latter are regulated in this bill, which determines the general lines of the administrative procedure for granting the corresponding concessions or authorisations, establishes the rights and duties of the holders of the uses and provides for a system of inspection and sanction.
Similarly, the new regulations establish a simplified procedure for the regularization of pre-existing recreational uses, granting a term of one year.
Galicia as a thermal referent
The initiative supposes an important step that will allow ‘to turn Galicia into a thermal referent as well as to consolidate the tourism in this sector’, according to the conselleiro of Economy, Employment and Industry, Francisco Conde. Conde emphasized the importance of advancing in a field like the thermalism, in which the Xunta is working for years for its tourist impulse under the protection of the Plan of Thermal Tourism, with which it contributes to the formation of the sector with the support to the Chair of Medical Hydrology of the University of Santiago, recovery and increase of the alojativa capacity of some Galician spas, the collaboration in the project of medical management and documentation or tourist signposting of the villas and thermal resources, among others.
Galicia is the largest thermal power in Spain with 300 catchments of mineral-medicinal waters, 21 spas, thalassos with more than 3,000 hotel beds, which represents 20% of the national supply and receives about 150,000 users annually. In addition, 7 of the 33 spas in Spain with the Q for Tourist Quality are Galician and Ourense is the second European city with the largest reserves of medicinal mineral waters, only behind Budapest.