This section is outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(June 2013)
Local administration consists of the town council and the town government. Town council elections take place every four years. The number of councillors depends on the population. The current number of councillors is 33. Estonian National Electoral Committee, Local government council elections
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 Flag that has been flying at the beach of Pärnu since 2000. Many tourists in Pärnu are Finns and Estonians. Hotel and restaurant staff speak English, Russian and some Finnish in addition to Estonian.
In 1837, a few business-minded entrepreneurs decided to rebuild a lone 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 the joints, spinal column and peripheral nervous system, gynaecological problems and dysfunction of the 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. Today, Pärnu is the most popular health tourism destination in Estonia.