Sri Lanka could emerge as a leading destination for wellness tourism in the world with the enthusiasm for Ayurveda and wellness products and services among health conscious explorers growing, a renowned wellness expert said.Under the National Export Strategy, wellness tourism sector has been identified as one of the key sectors for development and to gain more international recognition for this sector. “I think Sri Lanka has all the ingredients to successfully cater to this segment,” Stella Photi, Founder and Managing Director of Wellbeing Escapes, London told a conference organized by Sri Lanka Export Development Board yesterday.
Speaking on global wellness tourism trends, she said that authentic culinary concept is becoming popular, especially among people living in the Western world with the demand for organic, vegan and vegetarian food increasing.She also emphasised that Sri Lanka has the ability and the necessary ingredients to cater to this segment in a big way.In addition, she said that areas such family wellness and emotional healing are growing at a rapid pace across the world.
Meanwhile, EDB Chairperson Indira Malwatte speaking at the event stressed that all the stakeholders in wellness tourism should get together and form an association to successfully redress existing issues that hamper the growth of the industry and also to promote the country as a destination for high quality wellness service.“It is essential to promote wellness tourism as a key sector within the local tourism sector,” Malwatte said.
“If we work as a group, we will have a better bargaining power in the world market. So, it is important to form yourself into a group and try to work towards creating a brand for Sri Lanka’s wellness tourism,” She emphasised.She said Wellness tourism is one of the key focused sectors in the National Export Strategy and the sector strategy is aimed at global positioning of the sector, focusing on the development and promotion of industry through skills development of the professionals, improving quality and standards, developing synergies and coordination with all stakeholders, country branding and promotion in the key target markets including the UK, she said.
It is a fact that Sri Lanka has a well-established medical system in indigenous medicine, Western health services and other alternative medical practices, which make the country an ideal destination for medical travelers, Malwatte noted.