A Message From Our European Friends

Dear ISA Members and other Saunalovers
The time after the last Saunaletter has been basically full of corona
and the effects also to saunas. It has been hitting hard.
The information has been concentrating on cancellations of different events because of this pandemia. And the cancellations are still coming even though in saome places the restrictions are softening.
One of the first bigger event that was cancelled in the last minute was the Helsinki Sauna Day on Saturday 14th of March. Still in the beginning of that week everything was under control and the amount of saunas included was about the same level than before. And some new saunas also included outside of Finland.
The quick development was anyway the basis for the decision to cancel that event.
And that was just the beginning. In practice all the events until end of June and in many cases even much later are cancelled or moved to a new schedule.
The public saunas are closed in most of the countries and this closing is continuing at least to the end of May.
One big  group of events were rthe Aufguss WC with  all the preliminary country championships.
All these have been moved to 2021.
All the training sessions basically until end of June are cancelled or moved to a new date.
And e.g. the Finnish Sauna Society has been closing their saunas  until 21st of June. After that the situation is still unclear and is waiting instructions.
ISA is also postponing the Board Meeting that was supposed to happen  in April has been postponed.
INTERBAD 2020 is happening as planned in the end of October in Stuttgart. We´ll see waht is happening to the travel restrictions outside of Schengen area. Interbad is important for the
visitors from outside Schengen.
„The most important interbad for many years“
Communication and knowledge platform for rapid developments and numerous innovations
The opening of swimming pools was also one of the topics during the corona discussions between the Federal Government and federal states on 6 May 2020. The federal states are responsible for implementing the results of the discussions and have already communicated some of their plans in this respect. What does this mean for the upcoming interbad? Interview with Dr. Christian Ochsenbauer, Managing Director of the German Association for the Recreational and Medicinal Bath Industry.
What support do local authorities need during the corona crisis in order to comply with their obligation to provide essential services in the area of public swimming pools?
In particular, local authorities have no planning security at present. Even after the Federal Government’s press conference on 6 May 2020, politicians made no clear statement regarding public swimming pools in Germany. This must now quickly end as otherwise the swimming pool operators will remain in a state of limbo. Time is crucial for open-air swimming pools. They have a lead time of up to three weeks between official permission to open and the actual start of operation of the facilities. It is already clear that a large number of open-air swimming pools could open at the earliest at the start of June. Whether local authorities will be able to do this is another matter entirely. We urgently pointed this out to politicians. We are disappointed that so little attention is being paid to swimming pools. Especially in corona times, public swimming pools need a dedicated political lobby. Nobody now no longer doubts that we are faced with a recession along with lower trade tax revenues for local authorities. All voluntary essential services provided by local authorities will be under scrutiny sooner or later. It can already be predicted that local authorities need a “rescue package” in order to fulfil their tasks in the area of essential services. If this rescue package is not available, we must expect municipal public services to become a general problem. There is reason to fear that planned investments in swimming pools will be deferred and that there will be more discussions about closing swimming pools. This is unacceptable. Innovations in the areas of pool construction, pool operation and pool and bath technology will become even more important. Companies, operators and trade associations have a great responsibility here.
Will public swimming pools benefit from the proposed “climate recovery package” to promote long-term investments in environmentally-friendly technologies?
We are very certain here and have actually seen how much swimming pools benefited from corresponding economic stimulus packages after the “Lehmann crisis”. Energy efficiency and sustainability are nothing new for the area of pools and baths. Companies, planners, operators and our Association are now already working intensively on the refinement of corresponding concepts.
In spite of the crisis relating to swimming pools, saunas, spas and wellness, we are currently talking about many interesting topics and also positive prospects. In view of this situation, how much importance do you attach to interbad in October this year?
This will be the most important interbad for many years, and perhaps the most important interbad ever! Society and industry are being reorganised in new ways at present. It is already being said that the corona crisis will signal the turn of a new era. This means that the participants in the pool and bath industry will also have to fundamentally adopt a new position at times. Although this will pose enormous challenges for everyone, there will also be opportunities which would never have arisen without the corona crisis. Digitalisation is experiencing a boom which was unforeseen just a few weeks ago. Suppliers of digital access control systems have been overwhelmed with inquiries. Administrative, sales and management processes are being developed within weeks in steps for which years were estimated before the corona crisis. This will also rapidly change the swimming pool industry even though the physical basis will naturally remain a swimming pool with water. At interbad 2020 we will have experienced the start of an age of new normality and will be confronted with many innovations and challenges which will make the exchange of information and ideas at a communication and knowledge platform like interbad more indispensable than ever. We will also see enormous challenges due to the economic problems of local authorities. There will be great demand for innovative pool and bath concepts which emphasise the functionality and efficiency of municipal public services. The question of spas and wellness in an era of new normality, which will be characterised by new general conditions for leisure pools, thermal baths, tourism and hotels, will be another key topic. interbad in October this year will be decisive for all these questions.
 About interbad
interbad, the international trade fair for swimming pools, saunas and spas, is the world’s most important platform in the sector for public swimming pools and one of the top 3 trade fairs for all interests of private swimming pool owners. Globally, it is the trade fair with the largest product range in the field of saunas. On an area of 35,000 square metres, more than 400 exhibitors present their products and services in the field of public bath construction, swimming pool technology, pools, saunas, spas and wellness. Around 15,000 visitors from more than 60 countries learn about the latest products, trends and pioneering ideas. Numerous presentations, workshops and discussion sessions in two congress formats round off the offering. The next interbad will take place from 27 to 30 October 2020 at Messe Stuttgart. For more information, visit: www.interbad.de


Landesmesse Stuttgart GmbH
Kaja Hoppe
Team Director Communication
Messepiazza 1
70629 Stuttgart (Germany)
Tel.: +49 711 18560-2728
Fax: +49 711 18560-1728
Mobile : +49 178 3704179

It is clear that this closing is meaning economical problems for many saunas. In some countries the  authorities are trying to arrange support by reducing the expences or by paying even direct compenastions.
In some countries like in Japan there are active organisations/people who have started operations to find economical support to the saunas and especially to sell the tickets etc. for the period after . One excellent example is SaunaIKITAI in Japan. Their project is going well  and is still open for supporters. You can read more and even participate from here:
We hope that we could have a special Saunaletter about different reserch results and articles about sauna and health and naturally especially about sauna and corona. Unfortunately there is a lot of matreial that is not scientifically sound but we hope that some research groups are doing reliable work .
Design for Leisure started as a supporting member in USA. Please use e.g. the book “Giude to Hydrothermal Spa&Wellness Development Standards” that one can download from here.

Design for Leisure (DFL), specialists in the design of award-winning hydrothermal spa and wellness environments, is proud to be the first and only supporting member company of ISA in the U.S. and the UK. With headquarters in London and Austin, TX, DFL has been creating high-end, turnkey hydrothermal spa areas for both luxury homes and professional wellness projects for almost three decades. Design for Leisure is also the official partner of KLAFS GmbH & Co. in the USA.

DFL was founded by Don Genders, CEO, in London in 1991, and the company’s first large-scale project was Holmes Place Health Club, Kensington, London in 1993, followed by Virgin Active Health Clubs and The London Mandarin Oriental. After more than a decade of creating high-end, turnkey hydrothermal spa areas for hotels

throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, DFL was tapped by Canyon Ranch, the luxury spa and wellness leader in the U.S. to build its Miami spa in 2003, closely followed by its project at The Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas.

The success with these projects led to the opening of DFL’s USA headquarters, now located in Austin, TX, and managed by COO Matthew Williamson. Today, Design for Leisure is the leading hydrothermal design and building specialist in the U.S. and around the globe—see some of our projects here.

In addition, CEO Don Genders also chairs the Global Wellness Institute’s Hydrothermal Initiative, publishers of the must-have “Guide to Hydrothermal Spa & Wellness Development Standards” which seeks to educate the wellness industry on the design, build and use of all hydrothermal areas, including sauna.

DFL clients include well-known hospitality and spa brands, such as Disney, Canyon Ranch, Caesars Palace, Four Seasons and Six Senses, as well as well-known architect groups, including Foster and Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Bjark Ingels Group, Michael Graves and Thomas Heatherwick.

Wishing them and especially Don Genders welcome to ISA.

Following some links to interesting sauna material:

9 most beatyfull saunas in the world
Sauna song from Japan
And a good wood fired sauna there too with the name SAUNA.
Scandinavia sauna narrative in Denmark
Some saunahistory from Norway
Lithuania has a lot of sauna activities and one of the only TV programs about sauna. Here is one example of this Vanto Lapas program.
Lithuanian Bath Academy is also arranging interesting webinars about different saun matters now when we cannot use the public saunas and training courses are cancelled. They have been
sending invitations and do continue that. there is a small fee for the webinars but i am sure that they are worth it.
We all hope that this is soon over and we can continue normal life with enough opprotunities to have a sauna when we need it.
One thing is sure. Even if sauna is not killing any viruses etc. during the dull times it is nice to be able to relax in a sauna.
Wishing You all a very nice spring time. Please let us know if You have something special to distribute to the other saunalovers.
And let´senjoy the sauna whenever it is going to be possible for us.
Stay healthy!

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