A time to unwind

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang says that Malaysia has great potential for wellness travel.

"Our country has much to offer in terms of wellness tourism given our natural assests such as troopical forests, beautiful beaches and mountains, and we should capitalise on it. The potential for the wellness and fitness industry is immense, and with the backing of Tourism Malaysia and the tour operators' promotional activities, there can be even more awareness on the different types of wellness pakages that our nation can offer travellers", Tan says.

Although there are not many full-service wellness resorts in Malaysia, there is an increasing number of local tour opertors that work with hotels to bring wellness activities to travellers. There are also many wellness-based service that are being offered via online booking like Airbnb, Agoda and LokaLocal. Some of these services include guided walks, hiking excursions, traditional cooking classes and therapeutic art workshops.

And when it comes to one's health and well-being, most of the time, money is no object.

"Health is wealth and there is a growing trend for wellness vacations and packages, especially to Malaysia.

"Wellness travellers to Malaysia might have different needs and objectives. Some seek experience to maintain a routine of fitness, healthy eating, and related activities. Others go deeper into wellness holidays to rejuvante themselves both physically and emotionally.

"Besides the usual physical and healthy dietary controls, there is a focus on mental health, which includes meditation, yoga, and religious activities", he continues.

Hopefully, more retreats and tour packages that focus on wellness will be introduced in Malaysia soon, as the demand for it is rapidly rising.

"Bringing in high-impact spiritual retreats and fitness activities will do well for this segment. Such packages can range from a simple spa treatment and therapy to outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, to healthy eating.

"There are also more comprehensive wellness packages that include time for self reflection, health checks, and volunteerism experiences"' Tan concludes.