New Tourism’s Culture Battles Old Spa Stereotypes
The small Czech Town of Luhačovice held a festival to promote revitalization of spa towns in V4 countriesJuly 21st, 2016
Festival Luhovaný Vincent combined fresh new culture from V4 countries and a conference about the future of small spa towns in the region of V4 countries. The festival gave a place to meet and talk about the future of public spaces and community life, as well as a chance for further integration within the V4 framework.
From July 7th to 10th the festival Luhovaný Vincent took place in the Czech spa town of Luhačovice, hosting numerous performances by various artists from V4 member countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia).
Organizers called it “an alternative festival for the young spirited”. The festival aimed to develop and examine spas as a socio-cultural phenomenon and help modernizing this old cultural tradition with fresh ideas coming from the V4 bloc. It also provided a stage to build and strengthen cultural and communal life and to discuss the role of spas as functional public spaces.
The festival combined theatre, exhibitions, music, movies and lectures tackling issues such as identity in computer games or sexual identity. Additionally, visitors were able to take part to organized walks around the town to learn more about spa’s architecture.
Representatives of organizations and informal groups aiming to restore derelict spa buildings and areas participated to the festival, looking for new opportunities on how to bring such structures back to life through cultural or social uses.
The Festival’s conference started with the presentation by organizers of cultural events from different spa towns from the countries of V4. The list includes spa towns such as Marináske Lázně, Piešťany, Karlovy Vary, Sopoty, Kyselka and many others.
The conference tackled important changing trends in the spa business. For instance, young people (born after 1980) have recently started a trend of shorter, more active vacations at less known and crowded places.
Smaller towns with more locals than tourists are being preferred by the younger generations. This could prove beneficial for the countries of V4 able to promote their spa towns. Moreover, spa tourism and tourism in general offer a great opportunity for even stronger cooperation among these four countries.