Hong Kong-based wellness and spa firm Destination Spa Management

Hong Kong-based wellness and spa firm Destination Spa Management (DSM) has opened its first holistic centre in Bangkok to capitalize on the increase in health consciousness.

Opened this month, BodyConscious at Y Wellness centre is located at Column Bangkok Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 16.

Samantha Foster, the co-founder and development director, said the project is a joint venture between DSM and local investors, with a total investment of 35 million baht.

Ms Foster said Thailand has become a medical hub in Southeast Asia, but the perspective of most people in the region towards wellness concerns getting medical treatment from hospitals or going to a spa or gym at hotels rather than preventive considerations.

“We aim to offer integrated holistic services that hospitals and hotels are unable or unwilling to provide. Our focus is catching the warning signs of health problems,” she said.

The centre expects to serve 50-70 clients per day and generate income of 5 million per month over the next 18-24 months.

The target groups for BodyConscious are local customers, foreigners working in Thailand and foreign guests, especially from China

There are nine experts, including three doctors who work for a wide range of body and mind treatments across functional medicine, naturopathy, traditional Chinese, function physiotherapy and personalized fitness services.

A multilingual professional team provides services in English, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.

Ms Foster said high-end wellness operators in Bangkok such as Vitallife at Bumrungrad Hospital, Verita at MahaNakhon Tower and Tria at Piyavate Hospital are BodyConscious’ main rivals, but DSM wants to focus on the mass market.

She said DSM has developed over 30 centers in nine countries. Apart from Bangkok, the company has office in London in UK and Guangzhou in China. It is presently managing partners with Bangkok project, Atmantan Health and Wellness Resort in Pune in India, Honor Tree Peak Performance Centre in London, and Svarga Loka Eco Wellness Resort in Bai, Indonesia.

The company considered that China will be big part to drive its growth so it is working on management at projects in Hainan, Shanghai, Zhuhai, Chongqing, Beijing and Kunming.

Co-founders Joy and Sharon Menzies have a wealth of experience in the wellness industry, having managed top spas such as Chiva-Som in Hua Hin. They also headed numerous global wellness organizations and developed many spa brands.

By driving growth in the tourism industry and the government’s ambitious goal to promote Thailand as a medical hub, the market value of wellness tourism in Thailand has been seen strong growth over the past several years.

The Global Wellness Institute reports the market value of wellness tourism business in Thailand in 2015 was some 200 billion baht, a 7% rise from the year before. During 2010-15 the cumulative value was 320 billion baht, making Thailand the 13th largest market in the world and the fourth in Asia after China, Japan and India, according to a report from the SCB’s Economic Intelligence Center.

The centre reports that wellness tourism has been growing along with the medical tourism, which is expected to expand by 16% a year on average during 2017-20.