November 30, 2020 at Rachavadee Resort and Hotel, Khon Kaen – the Human Capacity Research Institute and Health Promotion, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University held a project opening ceremony of the Health and Wellness Tourism Innovation: The most impression E-San Style. Dr. Somsak Jungtrakoon, Khon Kaen Governor presided over the event, while Prof. Dr. Jintanaporn Watanathorn, Director of the Institute made a reporting speech. Over 30 people attended including administrators form the government sector, private sector, researchers and news reporters.
The Health and Wellness Tourism Innovation: The most impression E-San Style Project was aimed at developing the grassroot economy through the production of creative local health goods. Different factors are connected such as tourism routes, cultures, foods, local traditions and innovation health care. These are expected to be integrated as the prototype of products and services and the health tourism business model.
Prof. Dr. Jintanaporn Watanathorn, Director of the Human Capacity Research Institute and Health Promotion, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University explained that this project is aimed to support the visions and operations of the government sector, the private sector and the public in creation of incomes in the community, leading to security, wealth and sustainability. Community enterprises are enhanced while the tourism routes of the localities are connected in parallel with value addition of farm products. The researchers working for this project have integrated the works in different aspects which are the strength of Isan and develop them into a health tourism model.
“Health tourism at present is increasingly being demanded in the market. With the increase of the elderly population, the market value of Thai health tourism has a tendency to rise every year. Health tourists have high expectation primarily toward physical relaxation and secondly toward learning cultures and being close to the nature. The Human Capacity Research Institute and Health Promotion, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University therefore designed the Health and Wellness Tourism Innovation: The most impression E-San Style Project as the model of tourism that integrates culture, foods, health massage and spa products. The tour, which is in Khon Kaen and Chaiyaphum, is scheduled from November 30 until December 4, 2020. The route covered on December 1 will be Khonsan District, Chaiyaphum to pay respect at Thawornchaisiri Monastery, Thap Lao spring water, and skill development activity in making local products. On December 2, 2020, the main activity will be testing spa from rock salt, which is the principle salt of Isan and Khita Nagarach massage, which is the new integrated style of massage that the inventor was inspired from the swimming movement of Naga. December 3, 2020 will cover tourist spots in Khon Kaen ending in physical check-up. The last day on December 4, the participants will be given the results of their physical examination. All through the program, participants will be served with health foods that have been mixed with local dishes which will be new, different, but contemporary. The foods, all from the locals, have the tension-releasing effects such as spinach éclair, khaw maw sushi, fried rice with tamarind paste and fried fish with herbs,” the director of the institute said.
Dr. Somsak Jungtrakoon, Khon Kaen Governor said, “There are many strong points in Isan that can be brought to enhance our experiences as well as to create identity to business such as spa business, where rock salt can be used. Rock salt of high quality is abundant in Isan. We also have many varieties of herbs that can be developed into salt scrub. Besides, Isan is outstanding in food, with good taste and good ingredients that can enhance the health tourism. These strengths of Isan can be modified into products with value added. Collaboration of the government, the private sector and the public sector to develop integrated products and services would help respond to the government’s policy to propel the country under the vision of security, wealth, and sustainability.”
The Health and Wellness Tourism Innovation: the most impression E-San Style Project has been carried out in many aspects. For instance, a model platform for integrated tourism, training and producing a manual for making health dishes from local raw materials, training and producing a manual for making health tea, Khita Nagarach massage training, training volunteer tour guides from the community on ancient kingdom, the legends related to the silk route, salt sources and their relation with health promotion.
News: Rawiporn Saisaenthong
Photos: Seksan Nahuanin, a student trainee of Communications Division