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Session Title: A strategy to develop wellness destinations in the next new normal tourism in Southeast Asia
Speaker: Ann Suwaree Ashton, Assocoaite Professor, National Institute of Dedevlopment Administration
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Session description: When talking about wellness tourism or wellness lifestyle activity many people often refer to a luxury life, or expensive tourism activity, and assume that only rich people can join such a superior experience. Actually, this type of tourism caters for all tourist groups, ranging from young to old, low to high income, and all career types can take part. However, there is a lack of clear understanding of the wellness activity, attributes and destination resources concepts having not being explained properly in the past. This presentation will provide a strategy for developing wellness destinations in the next new normal tourism in Southeast Asia: a theoretical and practical approach. In the past few years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the current phenomenon of a well-being lifestyle had already played an important role in people’s everyday lives. Consequently, due to a high demand in wellnesses activity and products, many events have occurred, for example: sports and leisure for heath in different places around the world. This also includes the healthy food market and slow food tourism development, especially the rise of organic food products.

Bio: Associate Professor Ann Suwaree Ashton graduated with a PhD and Master’s degree from the University of Queensland, Australia. She is currently working as the Associate Dean for Administration at the Graduation School of Tourism Management, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) in Bangkok Thailand. She has experience working in the hotel industry and spent the 2008-2010 school years as a teaching assistant at the University of Queensland in Australia and universities in New Zealand. She is presently conducting research projects in the areas of wellness tourism; yoga and spiritual tourism, active aging for wellness tourist; sport and leisure for health tourism; slow food tourism; destination image development; street food tourism; and international retirement migration development. Apart from interested in wellness tourism development research, she also a yoga instructor and health well-being consultant.