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1.1 Presentation and definition of the market

A thermal establishment is defined as an establishment using water from mineral springs, as well as the sludge and gases derived from them, to treat the ailments or pathologies of patients. [ Ministry of Health ]

Resulting from a long French tradition, the thermal establishments have known how to go through the decades, until becoming a normal component of the French health system. Supporting several thousands of people, a whole ecosystem has been built around the thermal establishments (accommodation, entertainment...). The whole represents a market of several hundreds of thousands of euros.

Aimed above all at retired people suffering from rheumatological problems, stays in cures also represent a moment of relaxation for the hundreds of thousands of curists who come every year to the establishments of large chains such as the Chaîne Thermale du Soleil.

Since the beginning of the 2000s, controls have been reinforced on the quality of the waters used by the thermal spas, encouraged by a willingness of the public authorities to better regulate this Health Insurance expenditure.

The spas have not stopped there, they also try to attract a younger clientele via thermoludism, the rise in range and the emphasis on proximity to the territory.

1.2 A fast-growing global market

The market for thermal and mineral cures represents a turnover of **.* billion dollars in ****, for an average annual growth of *.*% between **** and ****. [***]
This represents about *.*% of the world market for wellness (***).
There would be in the world about ** *** spas and thalassotherapies, present particularly in Asia and in Europe (***).

Source: ****
China, Japan ...

1.3 Several hundred thousand people taking the waters in France

The thermalism holds a particularly important place in France, because of the number of curists who go to the thermal baths every year and of the direct and indirect economic effects generated by these stays. In ****, more than ** million days of care were dispensed in the French thermal spas, for about ...


2.1 People taking the waters according to therapeutic orientation

More than ***,*** people took the waters of the *** thermal establishments present on French territory. The stays of the curists all have a therapeutic emptying, aiming at treating dysfunctions via certain properties of thermal water. [***]
The thermal establishments do not generally have all the cures, which partly explains their diversity on the ...

2.2 Profile of patients

It is possible to establish the profile of the persons taking the waters from data collected in **** for Thermal Medicine . Despite their seniority and the rejuvenation of the clientele (***), these still reflect the main characteristics of the people taking the waters.
The majority of those taking the waters are women (***) and ...

2.3 Population ageing

In ****, France will have a population of approximately ** million according to the INSEE . A great characteristic of the French population is its continuous ageing for several years now In ****, the share of seniors over the age of ** years old represented **.*% of the total population - compared to **.*% in ****. This ageing, which ...


3.1 A market in the hands of a hundred players

According to the CNETh (***), the main actors of the thermalism market in France are the Chaîne Thermale du Soleil, which totals ** establishments on the territory, and ValVital, with ** establishments in France. actors' website] [***]
New actors have entered the market of the thermalism via the acquisition of several thermal baths. These ...

3.2 The stations depend on mineral water sources

Regulations require spas to use natural mineral water from uncontaminated sources.
This water must be drilled to reach the wells, which are then used by thermal facilities (***) and spa and wellness facilities.

Other services are offered by the spas, including accommodation and food for spa guests.

3.3 Orientations towards rheumatology mainly

Geographically, most spas are located in the South-West and South-East of France, regions that correspond to the locations of the mineral water springs.

Source: ****
Then the facilities can be segmented according to their therapeutic orientation. Several orientations can be adopted by an establishment, which may decide to treat rheumatological and respiratory ...


4.1 A wide range of derivative services

Spas have a legal obligation to treat spa guests for ** days if they want to be reimbursed. The thermal baths have therefore developed a set of facilities designed to treat pathologies or affections.
In order to diversify their clientele and increase their revenues, spas have also developed spa and thermoludism services. ...

4.2 The prices charged by the thermal establishments

The table below shows the prices of the most popular treatments (***).
The price of thermal cures can be broken down between the Fixed Price of Responsibility, the basis on which the reimbursements from the Health Insurance are calculated, and the Billing Limit Price which, subtracted from the TFR, gives the amount ...

4.3 Upgrading and proximity

The investments carried out by the internal and external actors of the sector aim at improving the equipment of the thermal spas. One of the first objectives is to allow the upgrading of the establishments. [***]
The Resort is proving to be a model particularly appreciated by investors, combining care, accommodation, catering ...


5.1 Spa regulations

It may be important to note certain regulatory aspects that have marked a breakthrough in the sector. Cures in thalassotherapy centres are no longer reimbursed by Social Security since ****. On the other hand, thermal cures are reimbursed under certain conditions:
The spa cure must be prescribed by a health professional and ...

5.2 The quality of the water used is paramount

The process of opening an institution is a slow and tedious process that requires going through many administrative steps. In particular, it is necessary to obtain the agreement of the Prefecture and the Regional Health Agency. When an establishment wants to set up near a mineral water source or wants to ...

5.3 Coverage of spa treatment costs

The Health Insurance covers all or part of the costs related to a spa cure (***). [ Mutual For this, * conditions must be met:
The cure must be prescribed by the attending physician of the patient The cure must correspond to a condition or pathology provided for by the regulations (***) The thermal establishment ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Chaîne Thermale du Soleil
  • Valvital – Cie Européenne des Bains
  • EuroThermes
  • Arenadour
  • Thermes de Balaruc les Bains
  • Station Thermale de Bagnols les Bains
  • Station Thermale de Brides-les-Bains
  • France Thermes
  • Thermes de Vals-les-Bains
  • Groupe Lucien Barrière
  • L'Oréal
  • Compagnie Lebon
  • Caisse des Dépots

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