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The research entitled “Definition and service form of wellness tourism in the Upper Northern Region, Thailand” consisted of 2 parts. The first part aimed to define and study the form of wellness tourism in 3 provinces of the Upper Northern region, which were Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Sorn. Data was collected through focus group discussion with 10 persons involving in wellness tourism, such as professors, experts, and representatives from government and private organizations related to wellness tourism. In the second part, researchers studied the operation of 11 wellness tourism businesses in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Sorn to investigate business operation, types of business, and service readiness. Data was collected through in-depth interview with business owners or their representatives. The interviews were conducted with 6 businesses in Chiang Mai, 2 businesses in Chiang Rai, and 2 businesses in Mae Hong Sorn.
From the focus group discussion, wellness was defined as the state of balancing physically, mentally, and spiritually, resulting in happiness. Also, wellness tourism was defined as the journey emphasis on activities that promote physical, mental, and spiritual balance. Service providers must include accommodation as well as wellness activities. The focus group also classified wellness tourism activities into 3 groups; active activity, semi-active activity, and passive activity. The first group included activities that participants conducting the activities by themselves. The last group included activities that other person performed activities for the participants. Activities in the second groups lied in-between.
When investigating business operation in wellness tourism in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Sorn, the study revealed that each province offered different forms of wellness services. In terms of tourism accommodation, the study found that each location should focus on accessibility. In addition, the study found that businesses in those three provinces possess different service potential.
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