According to Wayniq Urairat, senior brands strategist, QUO Global, Thailand is well known as a centre of ancient healing traditions and techniques, ranging from Thai massage to meditation, herbal medicine, and other all encompassing practices.
“The destination is by far the largest when it comes to wellness establishments and total value of spend.
The Middle East market has always been one of the strongest markets for Thai medical tourism primarily due to its proximity to the Middle East, facilities, as well as accessibility from Bangkok to other islands if they are intent on extending a medical trip into a holiday, and value for money when it comes to both healthcare and tourism,” explained Urairat.
He further added that the big hospitals are very Middle-Eastern friendly, with translators, luxurious rooms, Arabic signage and collateral.
The need to offer authentic and one-off experiences with privacy as a number one priority sets Thailand apart from many Asian destinations.
As Stefano Ruzza, general manager, Conrad Koh Samui, commented on the property’s spa offerings, “Our highly trained therapists are committed to excellence and take pride in delivering an integrated and personalised service.”
Further adding that wellness and medical tourism are important to Thailand’s tourism industry and that there are many wellness and medical related businesses in major destinations throughout the country including Koh Samui.
When it comes to seamless offerings, tourism from the Middle East has been carefully preserved and managed, with efforts taken to attend to guests’ preferences and adapting to their individual needs.
Janny Braunwalder, supervisor, e commerce, Koh Chang & Bangkok, The Aiyapura Hotels, said, “The tourists who seek privacy, luxury and professional services in a natural location are top of their market.”
Jakobs commented that the medical and wellness industry are of extreme importance, in light of this, the resort cooperates with important hospitals and specialty clinics within the region to offer patients special promotions and amenities.
Coralie Houplain, director, sales and marketing, Park Hyatt, Bangkok, stated, “Park Hyatt Bangkok is aiming to open in the middle of this year, the first Park Hyatt in Thailand.
Combining modern life with traditional Thai hospitality and local culture, [the hotel] will be truly a home away from home.”
Adding further, Houplain indicated that even though it is too early to share statistics as the hotel is not yet open, the Middle East Market is an important market for Bangkok and will be a priority in light of this.
Patrick Both, general manager, Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, acknowledged Bangkok’s renowned healthcare and aesthetic services, adding, “It is a growing industry we have already fostered by offering chauffeured service to and from the guests’ appointments and concierge assistance while in hospital”.
Reinforcing the renowned Thai medical care and wellness tradition, guests are embraced with complimentary relaxation offerings, representing a norm in Thai traditions.
Ease of access and uniquely tailored transportation to and from Bangkok’s numerous hotels to medical centres across Bangkok further add to the preference in Thai holiday-making without any contemplation given to monetary values, emphasied by Ruzza, who stated, “With the recognition of [many spa and wellness awards], Conrad Spa at Conrad Koh Samui offers an experience that focuses on personal attention, sensory engagement and exceptional results.”
Ruzza also stated that the offered spa treatment rooms with private decks caters to the needs of all Middle East guests with a wide variety of fitness and wellness complimentary activities.
Menard further explained that bespoke catering options ensure the needs and preferences of guests are met by having individually tailored food and beverage on offer. Thailand is a country set to provide door-to-door pampering without any exceptions.
SHOP ‘TILL YOU DROP
Renowned as big spenders, Middle-Eastern travellers are acknowledged for their lavish shopping budget.
What better way to fill the needs of any shopper than the convenience of closely located shopping centres offering high end goods as Houplain, explained,” Park Hyatt will be constructed above Central Embassy, the latest luxury shopping mall.”
As Jakobs suggested, apart from niche medical and wellness offerings, Middle Eastern travellers seek properties located in Pattaya, Karon Beach and Bangtao Beach which are ideal beach relaxation destinations as they offer large rooms, facilities and a number of services.
Further aiding this, Srinarintranon mentioned that floating markets, city tours, foodie tours, mall shopping and Phuket Fantasea as highlights of many Middle Eastern travellers.
Menard, further explained how Bangkok is renowned as a shopping destination, offering a variety of venues ready to cater any discercing shopper with a string of luxury centres, leading to the ultimate relaxation experiences in Phuket and on Koh Samui, which boast white beaches and the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea, while the Si Kao district in Tang province is home to unspoiled beaches preserved by the Thai.
A SUCCESSFUL PRESENT LEADS TO A BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD
To pave the way for a successful future, the present should be tackled extensively, as proved by Thai philosophy and offerings.
Signifying this, Zeid Malhas, global director, sales, Middle East, Minor Hotels, explained, “Revenues increased in the region [...]year-on-year.
Our properties are now very experienced in handling Middle Eastern clients, understanding their requirements and meeting their needs, plus, the level of service and friendliness of staff are some of the main contributing factors.
In addition we have strong brand recognition in the region, which continues to grow.”
In consideration, Nopparat Klang Pa Kulsiri, vice president, Absolute Hotel Service, further expressed, “We continuously review our multi-channel consumer feedback on the direct adjustment of our services and facilities as well as language capabilities of our employees and marketing tools.”
Being the focal point of many Thai businesses, along with the continual efforts to look into this market in the following years, enhanced hospitality efforts of many residences and bespoke offerings have served as a universal effort, contributing to the ever-growing Middle East market in Thailand.