The German state of Baden-Württemberg is seeking to entice Middle Eastern visitors to the region with its noble wines, gourmet services, and perhaps most importantly, its wellness and medical facilities.
“While there are no direct flights, it is easy to journey to Baden-Württemberg via Frankfurt, and we believe a visit to the region is a truly memorable experience,” said Ulrike Gaertner, of the state’s tourist board.
In 2006, the province registered 73,000 overnights from the UAE alone, largely in spa hotels, and Gaertner said those numbers are set to increase significantly over the next two years.
The choice is immense. Almost 60 thermal resorts and spas make Baden-Württemberg the number one spa resort in Germany. Taking the waters and health care have a long-standing tradition in the area.
More than 2000 years ago, the Romans with their thermal baths laid the foundation for the present day wellness resorts, such as in fashionable Badenweiler in the Black Forest, where the antique bath temple is still located right next to the highly recommended Cassiopeia Therme.
Other famous baths are the Balinea Therme in Bad Bellingen, the Vita Classica in Bad Krozingen close to Freiburg and the Caracalla Thermal Bath in Baden-Baden which is known worldwide for its spa facilities.
Nowadays the way to the best health addresses is pointed out by the wellness stars, which are awarded by the State Tourist Board Baden-Württemberg and the association of spas of Baden-Württemberg.
The number of stars ranges from three to five, awarded according to criteria including at least always one physician on duty, an initial medical examination advisory help on site and a final examination.
And once your guests have relaxed and been pampered, several attractions in Baden-Württemberg are worth a visit, Gaertner pointed out, including the city of Stuttgart, Lake Constance, several castles and palaces, a new Mercedes Benz museum, and a Porsche Museum, which is set to open in 2008.
By Keith J Fernandez