Pärnu is a health resort of international stature. In addition to guests arriving from around fifty countries, it is also proved by its membership in the European Spas Association (since 2000) and the European Blue Flag that has been flying at the beach of Pärnu since 2001.
Local administration consists of town council and town government. Election of town council takes place in every three years. The last personnel of town council were elected on October 2002. The number of council deputies depends on the number of population. According to the population in Pärnu the number of the deputies is 33.
In 1837, a few business-minded entrepreneurs decided to rebuild a lonely tavern near the beach into a bathing establishment, thus preparing the ground for the development of the resort of Pärnu. This wooden building was the predecessor of the present-day mud baths. The establishment, which was opened in 1838, accommodated 5-6 bathrooms that provided hot seawater baths in summer and operated as a sauna in winter. The wooden building was burnt down in the course of World War I. In 1927, the present stone building of Pärnu Mud Baths was erected at the same site. Later, the wings were attached to the building to accommodate a bath unit and a pool.
Today, disorders of joints, spinal column and peripheral nervous system, gynaecological problems and dysfunction of central nervous system are treated at Pärnu Mud Baths. The therapies include hydrotherapy, mud and ozocerite therapies, massage, laser and electrotherapies, lymph and inhalation therapies, aromatherapy and ECG. There are 130 rooms in the hotel of the Mud Baths.