Spa, fitness, beauty… are some of the popular
tourist activities not just in Korea, but worldwide as well. There has been growing demand for such “wellness”
services among tourists and tourism leaders have gathered to share their countries’ strategies
and discuss the future of the industry. Lee Ji-won has more. Wellness is a developing lifestyle,… this
means that when it’s time to choose a vacation an increasing number of people are seeking
wellness experiences. The Founder and President of Wellness Tourism
Worldwide, Camille Hoheb highlighted the growing market and demand for wellness travel at the
2016 International Forum on Wellness Tourism on Wednesday. Wellness tourism is a growing industry that
is based on well-being and health related activities such as spa, fitness, beauty and
relaxation. The global market for wellness tourism has
been growing consistently with a market size of about 438-billion U.S. dollars in 2013,…
which is over 14-percent of the entire tourism industry. Various industry people gathered in Korea
to discuss the current trend and their countries’ strategies to develop the market. One of them is Roongtip Kimura, Director of
the Service Promotion Division of Thailand’s Tourism Authority. With its well-known expertise in massage,
the country is an active player in the industry. “These help draw people to come to Thailand
and we have a chance to welcome these people from around the world. That means we will have lots of opportunities
to generate income and employment.” But for Korea, there is still much to be done. Professor of Health Administration, Jin Ki-nam
said Korea has great resources to attract wellness tourists, such as famous cosmetics
and temple stay experiences,… but is poor at promoting them. “We need more experts in this area, who know
about the foreign trend and we need to decorate our current product to be more attractive
to foreign tourists.” Professor Jin also thinks that Korea should
focus on providing customer care on top of the products,… such as skin care services
with cosmetics,… to further deepen foreign travelers’ experiences in the country. “The expert added, with the world’s increase
in spending to stay young and healthy, the wellness tourism industry is going to grow
even bigger and the government needs to invest more to grab opportunities in this blue ocean. Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.”