Thailand moves forward with certification of wellness centers to cater to health tourism market

     Increasingly, both Thai citizens and foreigners are prioritizing their health, making health tourism increasingly popular. Thailand is one of the countries with the potential to promote the health tourism market, catering to health tourists and retirees.

     The Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine has launched a policy to promote Wellness Centers across the country under the project "Promoting High Potential and Distinctive Tourism Formats" to revitalize the health tourism market and elevate Thai medical services to global standards.

     Health tourism combines relaxation and medical services. Treatments aim at rejuvenating health, or activities promoting health, and are often coupled with leisure. Thailand's uniqueness lies in its wisdom in traditional Thai medicine and herbs, which can be combined perfectly with modern medicine to promote health tourism.

     According to the Global Wellness Economy Monitor (October 2018), Thailand has great potential in health tourism that should be promoted and developed towards excellence. Thailand is the world's 13th most popular destination for generating tourism revenue, valued at 12 billion US dollars. Approximately 12.5 million tourists visit Thailand each year, employing about 530,000 people directly in this industry.

     In 2023, the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine collaborated with provincial public health offices and businesses, as well as relevant agencies, to implement the project "Promoting High Potential and Distinctive Tourism Formats". The aim is to establish Wellness Centers throughout the country. They have promoted businesses and health tourism destinations to participate in the evaluation to upgrade service standards and build confidence for tourists.

As of now, there have been 448 applications for certification of Wellness Centers, out of which 87 entities have successfully passed the evaluation and have been officially certified. These include:

  1. 29 Tourism accommodation Wellness Centers
  2. 15 Restaurant Wellness Centers
  3. 8 Health massage Wellness Centers
  4. 14 Health spa Wellness Centers
  5. 21 Hospital Wellness Centers

Data updated on April 24, 2023

      For five types of business establishments including tourist accommodations, restaurants, health massages, health spas, and hospitals wishing to be certified as Wellness Centers, those in the provincial areas can contact their provincial public health office. Those in Bangkok can reach out to the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine. For those interested in reviewing the evaluation criteria, they can visit https://thaicam.go.th/wellness-center/. For any inquiries, please contact the Department of Alternative Medicine, Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, at 02-591-7007 extension 2603.

     Wellness standard inspections will assure tourists of the quality and safety of the services provided according to international standards, catering to the needs of customers in the new normal lifestyle. This will lead to customer satisfaction and is another way of generating income for the country. It will aid in reviving the health tourism market and solidify Thailand’s reputation in the global arena.

Data updated on May 2, 2023
Source: The Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, the Monitoring Division of the Office of the Permanent Secretary, the Ministry of Public Health. No. 88/20, Moo 4, Talad Khwan Sub-district, Mueang District, Nonthaburi 11000.
Tel. +66 2590 1000

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