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Malaysia Should Focus On Higher-end Spas

Malaysia should focus on the higher-end of its spa industry, says Dr Gerard Bodeker.

Malaysia should focus on the higher-end of its spa industry if it wants it to be lucrative and successful.
World Health Organisation Global Atlas editor-in-chief, Prof Dr Gerard Bodeker, said the spa industry was luring big-spending tourists, with studies showing they were now even choosing hotels based on the quality of spas offered.

"The real revenue comes from higher-end spas and I think, in the long run, standards will be set for higher-end spas and spread throughout the industry," he told Bernama at the media launch of the Asia Spa and Wellness Festival 2007 on Nov. 14 in Kuala Lumpur..

On Thailand's successful spa industry, he said it was unfair to compare Malaysia with that country as the latter had a bigger tourist influx.

"The Thai spa industry pitches to every level of tourist spending, from budget to luxury medical spas.

"However, as Malaysia's spa industry is still in its infancy, it could just focus on setting a high industry standard for higher-end spas and eventually, ensure every budget level meets high quality service.

"Besides, the Malaysian spa industry has much more to offer, owing to the depth of its cultural tradition... we have the ayurvedic experience, the Malay "urut" (massage) and many of other Asia's great healing traditions," added Dr Bodeker.

Meanwhile, Tourism Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Victor Wee said spas were now an integral part of Malaysia's tourism offerings and contributed towards employment and foreign income.

Malaysia will host the Asia Spa and Wellness Festival from Nov 30 to Dec 2, at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre in Mid Valley Megamall here.

On Dec 1, a Malaysia Spa and Wellness Awards ceremony will be held to give recognition to the country's top spas and wellness centres. (Bernama)






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