The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is seeking to strengthen Thailand’s position as a wellness and medical tourism destination, hoping to capitalize on this growing trend and establish the country as a go-to location for those seeking rejuvenation and treatment.
Speaking at Bangkok Post Conference 2023 — “Thailand’s Road to Wellness Hub”, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said that Thailand has competitive advantages in terms of certified facilities and lower prices compared to international competitors. With wellness travelers seeking transformation, TAT is looking to develop hybrid wellness programs that combine wellness treatment with physical fitness, volunteer programs, culinary experiences, and spiritual and cultural activities.
According to Allied Market Research, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 35% of medical tourism, with Thailand contributing 9% in this sector. The country has 59 healthcare facilities accredited by the US-based Joint Commission International, which is the fourth-largest healthcare accreditation body in the world. In addition, the government provides a medical tourist visa and the Thailand Elite Visa for a long stay of five to 20 years.
The TAT Governor predicts that the country’s tourism market would reach 24.4 billion US dollars in 2027, up from 9.1 billion dollars in 2019, highlighting the country’s competitive edge in medical costs, which are lower than in many other countries.
Yuthasak added that Thailand can also capitalize on its soft power, such as Thai cuisine, spiritual culture, Thai massage, Thai medicine, muay Thai, and quality hospitality, to blend in with wellness tourism. Thailand has a diverse selection of world-class medical, wellness, and sports facilities as a result of these various marketing strategies, making it an appealing destination for both wellness and medical tourists around the world.