Welcoming prestigious tourists who travelled around Europe sparked the rise of health tourism and even modern tourism. These celebrities made the spa towns names, and thus gave rise to an infatuation with leisure among visitors, and hence the creation of the first casinos, musical theatres, covered promenades and landscaped parks which welcomed the celebrities of the day. It is this history, thermal heritage and shared memory which the EHTTA (European Historic Thermal Towns Association) wished to promote by creating a European cultural route.
The EHTTA is a network which was set up in Brussels in 2009. It is made up of 30 member spa towns and cities in 12 European countries, which possess an emblematic architectural heritage and whose mineral waters healing properties are well known across Europe. The Route des Villes dEaux du Massif Central is an associate member of the EHTTA.
This European networks missions are to gain recognition from the European Union of the distinct innovative and cultural characteristics of the European thermal towns, with a view to developing their tourist activity under a new plan to encourage the cross-border tourism endorsed by Destination Europe.