Thailand upgrades spa and massage industry to compete globally

     Thai spa and Thai massage, which are second to none globally, have led to the advent of Wellness Tourism, including massage, herbal steaming, or herbal compress, wellness spas, aromatherapy, and hydrotherapy. These have gained immense popularity among tourists, generating a substantial income.

     In 2022, Thailand was ranked the fourth most popular travel destination in the world by the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study, with Thai massage being one of the most sought-after activities by tourists.

     As Thailand reopens for full-scale tourism, it is anticipated that Thai massage and spa services will be health-promoting activities attracting tourists. Therefore, the Department of Health Service Support has realized the importance of promoting, developing, and upgrading Thai massage and spa establishments to provide services with a distinctive Thai character recognized globally. Consequently, the "Thai World Class Spa" and "Nuad Thai Premium Awards" were established to annually certify the global standards.

     Currently, 31 establishments have received the Thai World Class Spa award, and 64 establishments have been upgraded to these standards, receiving the Nuad Thai Premium award.

     In addition, the government has set a goal for Thailand to become a developed country by driving the 20-year national strategy for Thailand to be "secure, prosperous, and sustainable." The plan includes the development, promotion, and continuation of the high-income generating tourism industry group and wellness tourism to enhance the country's competitive capacity.

     The Thai spa and massage businesses have gained immense popularity among foreign tourists. According to the data from the Health Business Division in 2022, there were 10,077 health establishments registered with the DHSS and Provincial Public Health Offices, with 190,000 registered service providers in health establishments offering massage and spa services.

     Excellent services are at the heart of creating sustainable and secure health service businesses. Upgrading services to global standards is an initiative to elevate health establishments to be recognized both domestically and internationally, creating jobs, generating income, and stabilizing the economy, in line with the Health for Wealth policy.

For health establishments looking to achieve global standards, continuous readiness and self-assessment are required according to five standard aspects: 

  1. Premises and environment, 
  2. Personnel, 
  3. Services, 
  4. Products, tools, and equipment, and… 
  5. Organizational management, monitoring, and evaluation.

     Maintaining quality and standards according to the aforementioned criteria promotes service quality and impresses with comprehensive services across five senses - sight, taste, smell, sound, and touch. This boosts the reputation of Thai health establishments and attracts both Thai and foreign customers, leading to word-of-mouth promotion and continuous service utilization.

Data updated on March 21, 2023.
Source: Public Relations Department, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health, 88/20 Moo 4, Talad Khwan Subdistrict, Mueang District, Nonthaburi 11000,
Tel. +66 2590 1000

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