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Everything You Need to Know About Wellness Tourism in Thailand

Thailand has always been a strong market for medical tourism in Asia. The relatively low cost of treatment, the high standard of care and the idyllic surroundings for rest and recuperation. In recent years, people have begun to look to the country as a place for wellness and health retreats. 

Read on as Pacific Prime Thailand outlines some of the key reasons to choose Thailand for wellness tourism, the types of services on offer and how to keep yourself safe while visiting this beautiful corner of the world.

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What is Wellness Tourism?

Many people travel for rest and relaxation, while a significant number also come to Thailand to address a medical need of varying urgency. Wellness tourism falls somewhere in between these two drivers of travel. 

In other places, wellness tourism often takes the form of destination spas, such as Canyon Ranch or Mii Amo Spa in the US. These places have resort or hotel-like conditions, but offer a range of holistic health and wellness services on site. 

Wellness resorts also offer food and leisure options designed to improve your health and wellbeing; think yoga classes, meditation sessions, chia seed smoothies and fruit buffets for breakfast. 

Why Do People Choose Wellness Holidays?

In this day and age, people are prioritizing good mental health and holistic wellness, leading to the growth of wellness centers around the world. Here are some of the key factors driving the demand for the wellness industry in Thailand:

Growing Demand for New Experiences While Traveling

Overtourism is a growing global problem that comes with the rise of the middle class. Think of places like Venice and Barcelona, or even Paris and Tokyo – wondrous places that can, to some extent, be overrun by foreign visitors. 

Overtourism itself can be felt by both locals and tourists, where they feel that there are too many people traveling to or through a place or attraction, so that the experience itself is diminished.

While many of these places will still be a huge draw for many people, industry experts are looking for new ways to bring tourists to less traveled places or to new experiences other than taking a selfie with the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. 

For example, some of Thailand’s own tourism gems offer a break from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, allowing for a more peaceful and tranquil holiday experience in one of the world’s most visited countries.

Increased Global Awareness of Health and Well-being

Today’s consumers are much more proactive and progressive in their approach to health and wellness. The demand for better nutrition has already had an impact on the food and beverage world, with a growing number of organic or natural products being offered around the world. As a result, these same consumers are now looking to exert their influence on the tourism market.

The wellness tourism game is already big money. Globally, health-conscious holidaymakers spent $639 billion in 2017 alone, a figure that’s expected to grow by 7.5% annually. Upscale hotel brands, secluded retreats and fitness and spa-focused facilities are tailoring comprehensive holiday packages that replace visiting attractions as the main purpose, focusing on consumer demand for health and wellness experiences.

What are Your Options for Wellness Tourism in Thailand?

Wellness tourism is growing, but there are already some well-established options available to you in Thailand.

  • Resorts: At places like Kamalaya in Koh Samui or Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, you can stay in a luxury resort that offers a range of health services such as yoga and meditation, as well as wellness sessions with meditation experts, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and more.
  • Hotels: While hotels have always offered extra services such as massages and beauty therapy to visitors, places like the Eforea Spa at the Hilton Pattaya or the Barai Spa at the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin have developed comprehensive packages to compete with resorts.
  • Fitness retreats: As the home of Muay Thai, Thailand is dotted with boxing and fitness camps throughout the country. With the growing interest in Thai martial arts and the health benefits that such fitness programmes can provide, camps such as PhuketFit and Absolute Sanctuary have expanded their traditional fitness services to include full diet and detox packages to improve your health.
  • Nutrition retreats: Focusing more on food, nutrition and health retreats in Thailand offer healthy eating and dietary advice during your stay. Expect fully tailored meal plans peppered with health and wellness sessions (yoga, pilates and mental health classes) at places like the Olive Retreat or the Paleo Wellness Retreat.
  • Cruises: Some cruise lines offer specially tailored wellness programmes for those who want to sail around the Land of Smiles and still engage in activities to improve their overall health and wellbeing. Star Clippers Yoga, Culture, & Wellbeing Cruises offers a tranquil mix of sailing, mindful stretching and engagement with nature for those seeking a non-traditional tourism experience.

Some hospitals and medical facilities may also offer wellness programmes to visitors, particularly those traveling for medical tourism. These packages can sometimes use a hotel or resort as a wellness partner, allowing hospitals to transfer a recovering patient to a more luxurious place to rest and recuperate than a hospital ward.

Getting the Right Insurance Coverage for Your Time in Thailand

Whether you’re a foreign spa tourist, a resident expat looking for a healthy getaway or a local looking to try something different in your own backyard, Pacific Prime Thailand has you covered. We can source and compare a wide range of packages to suit your needs and budget. Our partners are some of the most respected brands in Thailand and the world, so you can rest assured that your care is in good hands.

For a free quote or impartial advice on planning your next wellness tourism experience in Thailand, contact the team at Pacific Prime Thailand today!

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Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime Thailand
Serena Fung is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, a global insurance brokerage and employee specialist serving over 1.5 million clients in 15 offices across the world. With 2+ years of experience writing about the subject, she aims to demystify the world of insurance for readers with the latest updates, guides and articles on the blog.

Serena earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, Canada. As such, she is an avid advocate of mental health and is fascinated by all things psychology (especially if it’s cognitive psychology!).

Her previous work experience includes teaching toddlers to read, writing for a travel/wellness online magazine, and then a business news blog. These combined experiences give her the skills and insights she needs to explain complex ideas in a succinct way. Being the daughter of an immigrant and a traveler herself, she is passionate about educating expats and digital nomads on travel and international health insurance.