BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Covid-19 and Thailand’s ageing society are driving recovery in the health and beauty industry, the Commerce Ministry said on Friday (Sept 30).
The number of operators registering businesses in the industry rose 90 per cent over the first eight months this year, it said.
A total of 353 health and beauty businesses were registered from January to August, compared to just 167 in the same period last year.
August alone saw 56 registrations, up 211.12 per cent from the same month last year.
A total of 1,621 health and beauty business were operating in Thailand as of Aug 31, accounting for capital value of 7.51 billion baht. More than half (836) are operating in Bangkok.
Deputy Commerce Minister Sinit Lertkrai attributed recovery in the industry to seniors paying more attention to their health and looks.
He added that health and beauty businesses had also gained a boost from pandemic trends such as working from home, exercise, and healthy foods, vitamins and supplements.
"More people are seeking out health and beauty services," he said.
The largest investors in health and beauty businesses this year are Thais, at 7.28 billion baht. The biggest foreign investor is mainland China (80.92 million baht), followed by Hong Kong (38.69 million baht), and Italy (34 million baht).
The Thai health and beauty industry generated 16.08 billion baht in 2019 before Covid-19 emerged. That figure fell to 14.31 billion baht in 2020 before recovering to 15.15 billion baht last year.
The Commerce Ministry expects the global health and beauty industry to generate 206 trillion baht this year as the rising elderly population drives continuous growth.
The same ageing trend in Thailand should also spur expansion of the industry here.
"The Foundation of Thai Gerontology Research and Development Institute predicts Thailand will have 20.5 million seniors, one-third of the total population, in 2040," Sinit said.
As of Dec 31 last year, 12.24 million or 18.5 per cent of Thailand’s population were aged 60 or above, according to Department of Provincial Administration data.
Of these, 5.42 million were men and 6.81 million women.
Bangkok has the highest elderly population in Thailand with 1.17 million, followed by Nakhon Ratchasima (495,452), Chiang Mai (379,118), Khon Kaen (340,855) and Ubon Ratchathani (303,720).