"The wellness industry potential is very promising, as the industry value of US$639 billion in 2007 is expected to increase to US$919 billion by 2022 and is forecast to surpass US$1,672 billion by 2030," Tourism and Creative Economy Deputy Minister Angela Tanoesoedibjo said.
Wellness tourism has become one promising tourism sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to grow further as the pandemic dissipates, she noted at the opening ceremony of the Aroma Wellness Festival hosted by the Indonesian Wellness Institute (IWI) in Surakarta on Friday.
"The trend was propelled as the people began to become more aware of their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and even social health. We also see that wellness tourism destination has become a trending Internet search query," Tanoesoedibjo said.
The deputy minister, citing Global Wellness Tourism Economy data, informed that Indonesia is ranked 17th among the top global wellness destinations, with its wellness industry recording US$6.9 billion in revenue and providing jobs to 1.31 million workers.
"Though we are not among the top, we must see this as a challenge as we still have a great opportunity to enhance our wellness tourism as the industry is expected to grow in the future," she remarked.
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Indonesia's natural, cultural, historical, and traditional diversity could become an important asset for the development of the wellness industry, Tanoesoedibjo pointed out.
Indonesia could also promote native herbal products, aromatherapy, and traditional massage techniques to attract more tourists, she added.
"Our ministry is committed to maximizing the potential of the wellness tourism industry that is in line with our mission to recover the Indonesian tourism industry. We will begin our wellness industry development from Surakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bali, before continuing to other regions as new potential arises," the deputy minister stated.
Meanwhile, Surakarta Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka said the local wellness tourism industry has long been the focus of the city's tourism, adding he is also committed to further accentuating traditional herbal drinks, sports facilities, and spa resorts in the city.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is making tourists more concerned about health issues while visiting other cities, they will be fussier about hygiene, vaccination, or contact tracing," the mayor said.
Raka also highlighted that wellness tourism is parallel with sports tourism, hence they could be promoted together to enhance their potential.
"Tourism in the future would always be about health and wellness. The city authority will assist MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) producing traditional herbal drinks to improve their product packing quality and complete their legal necessities," he said.
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