Thailand: a health and wellness powerhouse

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) capitalises on its first-ever official online tourism marketplace, Thailand Tourism Virtual Market (TTVM), to keep the country’s prized health and wellness sectors in the top-of-mind awareness among international visitors amid an ongoing pandemic

Wellness tourism expenditures in Thailand amount to more than US$12 billion, according to a report by the Global Wellness Institute

Brought to you by Tourism Authority of Thailand

In promoting Thailand as a health and wellness destination, the inaugural Amazing Thailand Health and Wellness Virtual Trade Meet held from 15-17 December, 2020, saw 49 Thai suppliers and 82 buyers hailing from 27 countries congregate on the TTVM platform.

The virtual trade meet also provided an opportunity for Thai health and wellness related businesses to update and share best practices, trends, and new products and services in the country with potential international partners.

Two key activities evolved from this format were pre-scheduled appointments with three time durations tailored to different time zones, and informational webinars. Webinar topics presented ranged from wellness forecasts in 2021, to market insights on global travellers, to anticipated updates by the Department of Disease Control regarding the tackling Covid-19 and new norms; alongside TAT updates on Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA).

Destination updates from Phuket, Samui, and Krabi, along with presentations from the Spa Association and the Private Hospital Association of Thailand also provided both market specific and association updates.

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand

Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, observed the existing challenging conditions during the pandemic is all the more reason to promote Thailand’s health and wellness industry.

He added: “People are now more health conscious than ever before, and Thailand is among the world’s top destinations that international tourists want to visit once the situation improves. This is helped because the country is globally recognised for its effective Covid-19 preventive control measures.”

In 2017 and 2018, medical, and health and wellness tourists to Thailand amounted to more than 300,000 annually. East Asian countries constituted the largest number of visitors, followed by ASEAN, South Asia, South Pacific countries, EMEA and the Americas, respectively.

The country’s growing health care industry has been supported by more than 370 hospitals, 61 of which are accredited with Joint Commission International (JCI) standards.

TAT’s overseas offices also market health-related packages to the following two segments: medical tourists, and health and wellness tourists – with the latter combining gastronomy and sport tourism products into their stays. Preferred destinations for wellness-related travels include Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui.

The annual Amazing Thailand Health and Wellness Trade Meet will take place again in 3Q2021 with the event format advised closer to date, pending developments from the pandemic. Please stay tuned!

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