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As a German region with unspoiled nature, many attractions for tourists and a health sector which has been growing steadily for years, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has become a leader in health. Strong networks and a good infrastructure offer optimum conditions. With the first German coastal resort in Heiligendamm, it can look back on a long tradition as an area of recreation. Its geological conditions and natural features of landscape, sea, chalk, marshes, brine and lakes all but make it destined for wellness. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's forest has also been rediscovered as a health factor: The Baltic Sea resort of Heringsdorf owns the “1st spa and health forest in Europe” and another one is to be developed in the Baltic Sea resort of Graal-Müritz.
The health sector has elaborated the next steps to be taken in its Master Plan 2020, the aim of which is to carry on networking efforts and identify focal points for research in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. A greater international focus is being sought. Another task is to coordinate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's programmes, actors, potential and successes in these fields and aggressively market them to the national and international public. Five primary fields have been singled out for work in the coming years: life science, health services, healthy ageing, health tourism and healthy nutrition.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's health industry has had an impressive development trajectory. With an annual turnover of almost four billion Euros, the sector is of tremendous economic importance to the entire region. Thousands of new jobs are created each year. In addition to secure jobs for skilled workers in health tourism, rehabilitation and care, this also means highly qualified professionals in medicine and research.
Enterprises profit from an intensive exchange between research and science facilities, well-trained labour and the concerted promotional strategy of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Annual "idea competitions", staged by the state together with networking partners, strengthen Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as an attractive location. The annual National Sector Conference for the Health Industry is the showcase and engine behind this development.
Regular exercise and sports can prevent many diseases. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern offers recreational athletes and active holidaymakers a multitude of opportunities to engage in sports. The region, with its clean air and a varied landscape, long beaches, wide meadows or extensive forests, offers the perfect route for everyone – whether for hiking, horseback riding or cycling. More than 2,000 lakes and around 1,900 kilometres of coastline offer water sports enthusiasts the most beautiful locations for sailing, diving, paddling or surfing. Anglers will also find a suitable spot in the salty Baltic Sea or on one of the many lakes and rivers inland. Pitching, chipping and putting are the order of the day at the country's 17 high-quality golf courses, which stand out for their style, excellent playing characteristics and a Northern German maritime atmosphere.
Exercise and fitness are very important in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. There are almost 2,000 sports clubs and 46 sports associations in the state. According to its own figures, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's State Sports Federation counts over 250,000 members – over 15 percent of the state's population.
In addition to recreational sports, top-class sports play a major role in the state. From diving at the International Diving Day in Rostock, sailing at the Warnemünde Week, show jumping at the Equestrian Festival in Redefin to Ironman 70.3 -- the region attracts top athletes from all over the world with high-quality events all year round. Athletic talents from MV are always in the spotlight at national and international competitions, including the volleyball players from Schweriner SC, track and field athlete Martina Strutz, rower Hannes Ocik and cyclist André Greipel.