Route of Hydrotherapy in Cuba
Arecent study conducted in Cuba on hydrotherapy confirmed that, with the consolidation of this modality in the country, nearly 1.2 million visitors could be taken care of, which would report 1.25 billion US dollars in revenue, a pretty impressive figure that shows the high potential of Cuban mineral and medicinal waters. On the opportunities hydrotherapy offer to foreign investment, Dr. Rafael Ledesma Rosa, Pediatric specialist and MSc. in Bioenergetic and Natural Medicine, explained that “Cuba, as a destination for thermal and wellness tourism product in the Caribbean, offers multiple benefits; namely, Cuba boasts a comprehensive, world-class health care system that, along with its geographic location, its climate and natural resources, are certainly strengths for the development of this modality. The also Head of the National Methodological Department on Medical Hydrology and member of the World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy (FEMTEC) referred to a group of favorable conditions offered by the country, such as the growing number of foreign visitors in recent years, the existence of an unmet demand of these services, so there are unexploited market niches and the emergence of new markets in the wellness tourism line. He also cited the skills of the health and paramedical personnel in the use of these waters and peloids —guaranteed and certified. “Our small nation —Ledesma said— boasts more than 1400 sources of mineral and medicinal waters and peloids spotted the length and breadth of the territory, which —once converted into high-standard thermal spas— may trigger a high international demand and thus drive revenue in foreign currency. “All of them are highly valuable in their physical-chemical, bacteriological, microbiological, and therapeutic composition, thanks to the presence of sulphurated, bromoiodic, siliceous, radonic, arsenic-based, ferruginous, and complex composition waters, some with a long exploitation period, dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, with great reservoirs (five of those locations may use the sea to additionally applied thalassotherapy).” Dr. Yolaysi Comendador Zamora, coordinator of the Group of Development and Foreign Investment of Comercializadora de Servicios Médicos (CSMC S.A.), when referring to the country's prospects to develop the thermal tourist product, working together with the ministries of Tourism and Public Health, stated that both are currently working on a strategy for the modality Tourism and Wellness, which basically involves the marketing of some services and the updating of dossiers for the exploitation of the waters, which allows to conduct accurate physical-chemical and bacteriological studies twice a year. Cuba has twelve thermal spas, six of which have mining concessions granted by the National Office of Mineral Resources. They are: La Paila, in Madruga, Mayabeque province; Ciego Montero in Cienfuegos province; San Diego de los Baños in Los Palacios, Pinar del Rio province; Elguea in Corralillo, Villa Clara province; San José de Los Lagos in Sancti Spiritus; and Rancho San Vicente in Viñales.