Thailand expands wellness sandbox destinations

The Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), has approved guidelines for promoting the “Thailand Wellness Sandbox,” proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). The project aims to develop Thailand as a major health and medical tourism destination.

The Hua Hin district in Prachuap Khiri Khan province and Cha-am district in Phetchaburi province will be turned into Thailand’s new wellness sandbox destinations. Officials are looking into adding more destinations later on.

Tourism officials aim to use the Wellness Sandbox to promote Hua Hin and Cha-am for Thai massage and spa services as well as traditional Thai medicine and herbal products.

Public relations campaigns will be launched to promote both Hua Hin and Cha-am, along with tourism development on Thailand’s west coast under the “Thailand Riviera” project. Tourism products and services in this area will focus on health and medical tourism.

The Thailand Wellness Sandbox project is also intended to offer tourism experiences to all visitors, in addition to services with international standards and with Thailand’s unique characteristics.

The aim is to build global recognition of Hua Hin and Cha-am, and to add value to visitor spending in the two beach resort cities, which are among the top tourist destinations of Thailand.

As the COVID-19 situation in Thailand is improving and most of its citizens have been fully vaccinated, the government continues to support and drive Thailand to become a medical and wellness destination for travellers from anywhere.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand pitched the idea following the success of the Phuket Sandbox.

Under the Sandbox entry scheme, those who are vaccinated against Covid are eligible to enter Thailand and roam freely in approved Sandbox locations for their first seven days in the country rather than undergoing a strict quarantine at a hotel.

Wellness tourism will target tourists from neighbouring countries as well as from Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Canada.

Hua Hin includes the Chiva-Som International Health Resort. One plan is to turn Hua Hin into a ‘City of Health’ for elderly tourists as well as elderly foreigners living there.