Take a load off on this Global Wellness Day

Jumeirah Olhahali Island in the Maldives. Malaysia Airlines will begin its direct flight services to the island from KL on Aug 1. — Photos: Handout

According to online reports, the global wellness tourism sector (2022-2024) is worth from anywhere between US$650bil (RM3.054 trillion) and US$815bil (RM3.829 trillion). The sector is expected to grow considerably over the next few years, with some predicting it to be worth US$1.4 trillion (RM6.57 trillion) by as early as 2027.

Wellness tourism is defined as travel that’s associated with the pursuit of improving one’s mental, physical and emotional well-being. Travellers on a wellness-themed trip would usually look out for experiences like spa sessions that use traditional healing methods, yoga and meditation programmes, cooking classes that help reset one’s diet, and other similar activities.

Global Wellness Day (GWD) is observed annually on June 8 and this year’s theme, #MagentaNature, focuses on the importance of connecting – or reconnecting – with nature, emphasising on the impact the environment has on our own well-being.

What began as a non-profit social project by Turkish activist Belgin Aksoy in Spanaca, Turkiye in 2012, GWD has now become a global movement that is embraced by organisations, brands and even some government agencies around the world.

On its website (globalwellnessday.org), GWD’s states its main aims, including: “To recognise the value of our lives; To be free from the stress of everyday city life and bad habits; To raise awareness about living well and increase motivation, not just for today, but for the remaining 364 days of the year ...”

Last year’s GWD was all about dancing, and many activities across the globe were held to celebrate the day. In Malaysia, qigong, reiki, sound healing and dance workshops were organised.

Some international hotel and hospitality brands have also taken initiatives to not just honour the single-day event, but to join hands in creating awareness on the importance of a well-balanced life. Among the hotel brands and properties in Malaysia that focus on wellness tourism are Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Regency and Anantara Desaru Coast.

Here are some other destinations, attractions and resorts that celebrate the spirit of the GWD.

The beautiful Yellow Lake or Lake Asfar in the Al Ahsa Oasis, Saudi Arabia. The beautiful Yellow Lake or Lake Asfar in the Al Ahsa Oasis, Saudi Arabia.

Al Ahsa Oasis, Al Hasa in Saudi Arabia

Home to one of the biggest oases in the world, Al Ahsa Oasis is a Unesco World Heritage Site that boasts natural springs and tall, beautiful date palm trees. Get closer to nature at the limestone hills of Al Qarah, which you can climb up to explore some caves and passageways that were carved into the rock.

The Al Ahsa National Park is great for picnics, but if your kids get a little restless then take them to the King Abdullah Environment Park to check out the fountain light shows, playgrounds, mazes and theatre. The Yellow Lake, or Asfar Lake, is another spot worth visiting.

TIA Wellness Resort, Da Nang in Vietnam

The TIA Wellness Resort in Da Nang is a beachfront property that creates personalised retreat and wellness programmes for guests. This includes spa treatments, sound healing sessions, curated nutritious meals that focus on plant-based dishes, and fitness classes.

“We designed this retreat so guests could empower the body to release toxins and move towards a more vibrant, and healthy lifestyle,” said Ramon Imper, general manager of the resort.

Malaysia Airlines will begin its 7x weekly direct flight route to Da Nang from Kuala Lumpur on Sept 24. Introductory fares for this route are currently available until July 22.

TIA Wellness Resort in Da Nang. — Photos: HandoutTIA Wellness Resort in Da Nang. — Photos: Handout

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, global

This hospitality brand recently launched its #MagentaNature-inspired programmes at its properties worldwide. In the Maldives, Jumeirah Olhahali Island has activities like group tennis lessons,

pranayama (the practice of breath regulation) sessions, nutritional masterclasses and self-care meditation workshops.

Jumeirah Bali in Indonesia offers, among others, sound healing sessions, Hatha yoga, and beach zumba during sunset, while Jumeirah Guangzhou in China has “piloxing”, a fitness

programme that combines boxing with pilates. Other properties are located in Mallorca (Spain), Bahrain, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Malaysia Airlines has direct flights to Bali and Guangzhou, and will begin its direct flight, 7x weekly services to the Maldives (from KL) in Aug 1. Introductory fares are available until July 22.

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