Thai hospitality players move in on cannabis tourism

Cannabis tourism is poised to become a growth market in Thailand as the Kingdom’s relationship with marijuana goes back overground.

Thailand was the first South-east Asian country to legalise the production, import, and export of cannabis for medical purposes in 2018. This year, Thai authorities approved the de facto decriminalisation of marijuana but left a grey area around its recreational use.

De Cuyper: Thailand’s medical and wellness tourism sector can benefit from the rise of cannabis tourism

These moves, say observers, are fostering an environment where cannabis tourism can help resuscitate an industry that has been badly battered by the global pandemic. Indeed, many feel Thailand’s relaxed regulations could lead to a surge in medical and wellness tourism where marijuana is utilised as a key component.

“Thailand is well known as a destination for medical tourism and wellness travel. So, these sectors will surely benefit from the latest developments,” opined Dirk De Cuyper, CEO of S Hotels and Resorts.

Cannabis proponents say the plant can help relieve stress, reduce fatigue, increase appetite, and encourage deeper sleep. It can also stimulate the intestines and soothe inflamed skin.

Given these benefits, it is no surprise that numerous hospitality and wellness brands have latched onto the cannabis trend in Thailand.

Luxury spa facility Panpuri Wellness has put together a Holistic Cannabis Wellness Experience that includes onsen services, spa treatments using cannabis leaves, and cannabis-infused food and beverages.

Anantara is another major hospitality name going big on cannabis tourism. Anantara spas have created three “journeys” that utilise CBD (cannabidiol) oil – the second most active ingredient in cannabis. Over at Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, “healthy and nutrition-rich” cannabis-infused dishes have debuted on the menu at Service 1921 restaurant.

“There is growing interest in the therapeutic benefits of CBD,” said Chunxia Gao, group sirector of spa & wellness at MSpa International for the Asia region.

“With CBD safety guidelines ensuring the quality of the products, we can only foresee great success in CBD infused products, superfood choices, and CBD spa and wellness experiences.”

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