The French city of Nancy in the Lorraine region is working on reviving its spa industry with the opening in 2023 of a major complex which is deemed to have no equivalent in the heart of a large city in France.

Tourists know Nancy in France’s Grand East Region for its architectural treasures. The historical capital of the Lorraine, Nancy is home to one of Europe’s grandest squares in classical style, Place Stanislas. The square, inaugurated in 1755, is a legacy of former King of Poland, Stanislas Leszczynski, and which was inspired by the city of Versailles.

Since 1983, it has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, and was named on September 15 “France’s Favourite Monument 2021” in a TV competition. Nancy also boasts one of the largest collections of Art Nouveau buildings, as the city had been the heart of this art movement.

All of these attractions have played positively on Nancy’s tourism. Before the Covid crisis, the city had some 4,500 beds in 40 hotels generating close to 800,000 overnights. Nancy received over 600,000 tourists annually in hotel accommodation; 25% being foreign travellers.

In the near future, Nancy might also become popular for its spa. The city is currently developing a very ambitious project: Nancy Thermal. The project aims at reviving the city’s thermal history which goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. In 1908, local architect Louis Lanternier discovered a water source with curative properties – particularly anti-rheumatic ones. The architect started constructing a series of buildings to turn Nancy into a thermal city similar to Baden-Baden, but he died during World War I in 1916, and the project was abandoned.

A hundred years later, Nancy has revived the project. With private partners, the city is investing 100 million euros for a huge bath and spa complex due to be inaugurated in 2023. The future Grand Nancy Thermal will be the only aquatic and thermal establishment in France located in the heart of a city.

Grand Nancy Thermal will contribute to reinforcing its attractiveness, particularly in terms of tourism, but also in terms of economic development, as the project will foster the creation of new jobs.

Enhancing Nancy’s appeal

Nancy Thermal will offer a wide range of varied activities open to all, locals and tourists alike. The centre will have three major areas of activities:

  • The Thermal centre, which will also include the ThermaSport and ThermaSanté sectors.
  • The Wellness area around the existing swimming pool, which is currently under complete renovation.
  • The aqua-ludic and sports complex, which will include the current indoor Olympic swimming pool and which will offer modern outdoor activities suiting particularly visitors with children.
Nancy Thermal
Nancy Thermal will open its doors to the public in 2023 (Photo: Nancy Metropole)

In addition to the thermal centre and its various facilities, Nancy Thermal park will also include an integrated hotel residence and a restaurant, a shop, a day care centre as well as a parking lot.

With this new facility adapted to the wellness needs of today’s world, Nancy hopes to regain its status of a modern and attractive spa town. The Greater Nancy Tourism Office plans to attract 15,000 spa visitors per year as well as one million admissions for the leisure and well-being sections of Nancy Thermal.

The city is developing a strategy which foresees mounting a campaign informing of the opening in 2023. The campaign will stress the perfect alliance between thermalism and the current trend for “slow tourism”. The marketing plan will also look at developing loyalty for the spa activities among leisure and business travellers. A dedicated documentation space will be available for the public – both consumers and professionals. Among the priority markets for Nancy’s promotion are domestic travellers as well as Germany and the Benelux – both being proximity source markets.

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