(CTN News) – As a soft power, Thailand’s Minister of Health Santi Prompat emphasized the country’s booming Thai massage and cuisine markets.
He highlighted how the value of herbal use has been on the rise, with Thailand now ranking third in Asia at 90,000 billion baht. The event occurred yesterday at the Richmond Hotel during a special assembly and policy communication conference.
Thailand’s Health Tourism Focus: Unique Blend of Tradition and Modern Medicine”
Health tourism can be fostered by Thailand’s traditional herbal medicine and its ability to integrate it with contemporary medicine. This is a key component of the country’s health economic initiatives.
This was demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a surge in interest in Thai cuisine, herbs, and health.
The health economy is being propelled in part by the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine’s initiatives, according to KhaoSod. These initiatives include wellness community health care, Thai massage as a profession, Thai cuisine as a health food, herbal items, and employment development.
Creativity, or soft power, is something the government actively seeks to foster, as Santi disclosed.
Thai massage is an internationally recognized symbol of Thai culture. Over the years, the Ministry of Public Health has prioritized development in order to boost confidence. As a result, over 30,000 individuals from both the public and private sectors have received certification to offer Thai massage services for health purposes.
The government’s promotion of Thai cuisine is just one more example of the soft power it uses to prop up the economy.
Twenty percent of Thailand’s overall tourist revenue comes from food tourism.
Revenue from the purchases of food and drink by international tourists has been observed to rise by an average of 5.74 percent during the previous three years.
A kickoff event for health tourism and food in Phetchabun Province is scheduled for December 2023.
According to Dr. Tweesilp Visanuyothin, acting director general of the Thai Department of Traditional and Alternative Medicine, there are three major concerns with the operational strategy for the next five years (2023–2027).
1. The public has more faith in those who are ill. Ten percent of the population uses herbal remedies to maintain good health.
2. Top-notch assistance. A whopping 10% more people are opting to treat their illnesses with traditional and alternative Thai medicine.
3. Knowledge is power. At 90,000 billion baht (US$ 2,579,425,200), the country’s herbal consumption ranks third in Asia in terms of value.
With a valuation of 56,994 billion baht (US$ 1,634,002,250) in 2023, it ranked fourth in Asia, only after South Korea, Japan, and China.